Self-deprecation is worth its weight in smoldering phoenix-ashes and baby unicorn tears.
Published on November 30, 2007 By SanChonino In Music

In Rainbows

By: Radiohead

Year: 207

Radiohead caused ripples in the music world with the release of their new album, hoping for the good faith of their fans to ride the success monkey. The album was released online, at whatever price you feel compelled to pay. (See the article here for more info.) While that resulted in over ten million dollars in revenue, it was also downloaded from their website nearly 20 million times. (Yeah, you do the math – most people aren't paying for it.)

And while the concept may have been innovative, the music of their latest effort, “In Rainbows”, is anything but. It lacks the emotional punch of their earlier, guitar-driven albums, but it also lacks the techno finesse of everything since Kid A. It feels like a hodgepodge of ideas, devoid of the force and direction of their far better albums of late. It's uninspired, mind-numbingly dull, and lackluster.

How could they have changed from one of the driving forces of alternative music to (if this album is any indication) ho-hum has-beens? While they've always been artists that have changed their direction, this seems to be steps backwards rather than forwards. There's too much focus on the drum beats, which are pedestrian. There's far too little synth work and programming, which has been their trademark on their last three albums.

All in all, it feels boring. And they sound bored. Rather than making new melodies, they seem to rehash old ones. It's as though they're trying to re-create “OK Computer”, their genesis as experimenting artists – but it makes it feel old, empty, and worn out. There's not much going on here. Thankfully, it's quite short; means I don't have to be so depressed by its maudlin sound. So very, very far from what Radiohead has offered us before.

This release misses the mark on every level – and for me, as a big Radiohead fan, it's the biggest disappointment of 2007.

Tracks to catch: It's hard for me to pick tracks worth listening to on this album. The opener, “15 Step”, is pretty okay. Simple, and the beat is poppy enough to keep me mildly interested. “Faust Arp” is probably the most progressive and experimental song, and the strings are nice.

Rating: 2 of 5. I keep this album really only for the completist in me. It's got none of the beauty, grandeur and forceful punch of their earlier guitar-driven releases, and it's missing out on the subtle synths that made their last three discs so groundbreaking. This album is disappointment in a small, downloadable package.

PS Sorry the pic is so large - I tried to resize it with HTML, and I'm too lazy to download it, resize it, upload it, and host it. Plegh.

on Nov 30, 2007
And now I've figured out how to edit it smaller, but because this is on the blog group and not my personal blog, I've got no power to edit it.

Caca pupu.
on Nov 30, 2007
While it isn't a pioneer album, I don't think it's all that bad. I rather like it. And I do love the marketing idea. I am hoping that more artists will tell the labels to stick it and direct market their work.
on Nov 30, 2007
And I do love the marketing idea. I am hoping that more artists will tell the labels to stick it and direct market their work.

I agree with the marketing idea. I find it genius. But I really don't care for the album at all.

Oh well.
on Nov 30, 2007
I have nothing musical to add other than to say that I like your review because you make it interesting and you know what you're talking about! I have listened to them before though, don't ask me which song it was!!
on Dec 01, 2007
I hate that album. All they do is moan along to some pretty awful synths.