In a world full of meritless claims to the reins of modern music’s royalty status, I was half-expecting Radiohead’s In Rainbows to come out and put me to sleep. On first listen, it’s clever, inventive, delicately pretentious in a non-abrasive or suffocating way, and seems to me their most consistent effort since Kid A. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi has me hooked as my instant favorite, followed by the track which follows it, All I Need — full of sick keyboard flashes, mellow droning and Thom Yorke’s flawless tenor over beats which cover the spectrum from straight ahead rock to hip-hop-esque. Faust Arp I need to hear again, but it reminds me of a Jeff Buckley song to be quite honest.
In any event, far from being the bore and toss I thought would end up in my inbox, it comes thru loud and clear as an immediately influential record whose depth I have just scratched the surface of. All I can say for certain is I plan to listen to it a great deal more.
Though they would not know or likely care one way or the other, it has made for a wonderful birthday present. Thank you, lads.
Revision 1: So, the more I think about it, the more bummed out I am about the sound quality of the files. I know, I know…not everyone can hear the difference, but because I can it’s bugging me. Some of the songs, like Nude, muffle and almost feed back slightly even when I re-adjust my levels. The problem with digital delivery is that it’s hard to please everyone. At the very least, the album is good.
Revision 2: It will probably sound like a random revelation, but I’m fascinated by how many thousands (hundreds of thousands? millions?) of people will have purchased and downloaded this record by day’s end. Now if we could just get those same people to get out and vote (those who have the right to vote, of course), think of the changes that could happen.