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Monday, October 15, 2007

In Rainbows


I wanted to listen to the CD multiple times before I formed an opinion, especially since I've changed my opinion in the past. Now that I have, I must say that "In Rainbows" by Radiohead is pretty damn good.

If really forced to admit, Radiohead would probably be considered my favorite band. To put it another way, if I could choose any band to play a private show for me or new unreleased songs, in both cases I would choose Radiohead. That being said, I approached "In Rainbows" with some apprehension. For while "Hail to the Thief" was better than most records, it was disappointing by the standards that Radiohead had set. It ended up being a sprawling (though often glorious) mess, a la "Sandinista!" or "Wowee Zowee". Given what follwed The Clash and Pavement's sprawling messes, I was not confident that this was not the start of a downward spiral.

And with all that being said, this isn't another "OK Computer" or "Kid A". The time for Radiohead to radically change or hit you over the head with something completely unexpected has passed. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. For while "Hail to the Thief" was a band trying to find their direction, "In Rainbows" has them confidently heading in one direction. And that direction is very good to my ears.

Maybe my receptiveness with "In Rainbows" has to do with my reassessment of The Flaming Lips "At War With The Mystics". My disappointment with that CD was it did not deliver the same excitement and amazement as my first time through "The Soft Bulletin". But that's not fair, for it is still a damn good record. So I entered "In Rainbows" potentially more receptive to a less groundbreaking Radiohead. But I don't think that completely explains it. I just think it will be considered a classic CD, slightly behind "OK Computer" and "Kid A".

As far as the downloading name your own price I think that kicks ass. For as much as I would like to complain about the record industry, the blame rarely goes to the bands. They are often treated as indentured servants, their advances more like loans than a salary. Make a bloated CD that doesn't sell, well, then you owe us money. So I hope this transforms the music industry into a business model that makes sense for all parties - fans, bands, and corporations. Unfortunately, if it means a smaller piece of the pie the corporations will fight it. But I have hope.

Tags:

*entertainment*music *Radiohead *indie *punk*In Rainbows *Hail to the Thief *Kid A*OK Computer *Flaming Lips *Soft Bulletin*At War With The Mystics*record industry*download

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