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October 16, 2007

Review: Radiohead's "In Rainbows"

If you haven't heard, there's a band called Radiohead which has released a new album! I don't usually care that much about new music. I already own about six... *maybe* seven CDs -- and that's plenty for me. But everyone on the Blog-O-Sphere seems to be obsessed with these Radiohead guys. Plus the band is giving away their album for free!

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Well, technically, they're not giving it away so much as selling it for however much listeners are willing to pay. Which, in my case, is precisely zero dollars. For my european readers, that's roughly equivalent to zero Euros.

Anyway, since everyone else on the inturrnut seems to live and die based on the quality of this new Radiohead album, "In Rainbows", I figured I would post my own review of some of the best tracks from the album. Because I'm nothing if not a shameless conformist.

15 Step: The album's opening track is vintage Radiohead. Spacey guitar work by Jonny Greenwood, vicious percussion by drummer Phil Selway. Lyrically, the song focuses on lead man Thom Yorke's addition to German scat-fetish pornography, and the 15 step program he completed to overcome said addiction. Though the lyrics don't refer specifically to sexual acts involving human excrement, you can really FEEL the fecal obsession when he sings "How come I end up where I started / all I want is for you to poop on me".

Reckoner: A stylistic departure for the band, "Reckoner" represents Radiohead's first venture into Rap-Rock, complete with guest vocals from Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst. Musically, this track has everything you'd expect from a rap-rock composition: rapping, rocking... SUCKING. As such, it is completely unlistenable. However, since this IS Radiohead -- and everything they commit to tape is Pure Unadulterated Genius -- we must assume that this crass and irritating track was intended ironically. HAHAHA I GET THE JOKE I AM SO VERY HIP AND KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT WHEN PEOPLES ARE JOKING!

Nude: This track is a nasty slice of smoov, sexy R&B. You likely wouldn't think of vocalist Thom Yorke as a Love Machine. If their seminal work "Kid A" proved nothing else, it's that Radiohead HATES machines, and the people who use them. Even so, I challenge female listeners not to get a little moist when Yorke croons "Bitch, I wanna get you nude." And when he sings "Girl, swing the booty in my direction"... well, even the most hetero guys around might consider switching teams. No doubt, this is one of the finest booty shakin' club jamz of the year!

Videotape: The album's final track is a relaxing lite-jazz affair. This is new territory for the band, but they take to it with their usual creativity and skill. With musical assistance from lite-jazz heros Kenny G and John Tesh (on Alto Sax and Synth-Bass, respectively), this song is a refreshing palate-clenser. It's the perfect track to listen to after a hard day trying to convince your hipster friends that you're considerably cooler than you actually are.

No matter what kind of music you listen to, you will find something to love on Radiohead's newest release. Just be sure to read lots of reviews of "In Rainbows" on the inter-web before downloading the album. Without reading a few dozen accounts of how brilliant the album is, you might mistakenly conclude that it is nothing but boring alt-rock from a band that is 8-10 years past any legitimate claim to cultural relevance.

Posted by Joey at October 16, 2007 07:16 AM

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