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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

IN RAINBOWS, IN THE HOUSE

I just downloaded the newest Radiohead album. It was a hassle free project. They sent an email at 11:10 PM, and 5 minutes later I had it on my iPod. The download was quick. No problems.

I'm listening to the first song, "15 Step." Sounds very different from the last three albums. I like it. More later.

UPDATE: 12:40 AM: It can take a long time before you can really assess how good a piece of music is and if it will really become a lasting part of your life. So I'm a little hesitant to write anything about In Rainbows now, but here are some first impressions with the promise of more thoughtful stuff in a week or two.

It's a more straightforward rock and roll album than we've heard from Radiohead in quite some time. That's not to say the band isn't still pushing the edges of the form, but there's less electronic noodling than in albums past.

In Rainbows feels less like a coherent statement than previous albums. Each song sounds quite distinct and separate from the others. I may go back on that statement in a week or two, so don't hold me to it.

Strings. A surprising number of songs feature string arrangements, and to an often dramatic effect. The "lush" sound suits them.

The early highlight of the album for me is "All I Need." It's a slow build then ends in a burst of glockenspiel and strings. (If you need to hear what brilliant things Radiohead can do with a glockenspiel, might I direct you to "No Surprises" on "OK Computer.) The string section sounds a lot like Sigur Ros. It may be a love song, although it includes lyrics like "I'm an animal trapped in your car." It is at once catchy, beautiful, mysterious, and perhaps sad. I've listened to the whole album once. I've listened to "All I Need" six times.

That brings me to another point: I miss the liner notes. Perhaps that really is Sigur Ros on "All I Need." I'd like to look it up.

I'm mostly through a second pass of this album, and it's quickly growing on me. There's a lot going on in these tracks. This may well be a great album.

I've really got to get to bed. But this album is well worth listening to, and you can't say you've been overcharged.

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2 Comments:

At 3:57 pm, Blogger Ellen said...

I will check it out!

 
At 8:28 am, Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Yeah, between the liner notes and album art, I still like to snuggle up with a good CD from time to time.

That said, hope to check this album out once I get the hang of my new machine.

 

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