eMusic Review 0
"Don't get any big ideas," goes the first line of "Nude," the third song on Radiohead's haunting seventh record, "they're not gonna happen." This is, of course, hogwash — a willful bit of Thomfoolery designed to accentuate a theme by understating it. In Rainbows is a record full of big ideas, ideas about solitude and desertion and depression and dislocation — to say nothing of its notions about record distribution.
And let's, please, say nothing of its notions about record distribution. For weeks after its arrival all anyone could talk about was how much (if anything) they paid for it, obscuring any discussion of what Rainbows actually is: a stunning sustained consideration of loneliness set to a somber, underplayed score.
Musically, In Rainbows — like Hail to the Thief before it — finds Radiohead winding their way back towards something like conventional songwriting. That an album where the opener boasts jazz guitar, drum 'n 'bass rhythms and bursts of cheering children can be considered even remotely "conventional" is a testament to how far afield Radiohead were before this. They're calmer now, constructing songs from blue bands of synthesizers and delicate, twinkling arpeggios. With the exception of the ragged "Bodysnatchers," which hurtles forward… read more »