In Rainbows

So after enjoying the up-tick in mood brought about by good music earlier in the week, I decided to take the hipster plunge and see what all the fuss was about regarding Radiohead and In Rainbows.

For those truly living in the internet cave:

Leave it to Radiohead. While the record industry freefalls and hemorrhages its once-massive profits, the lauded Brit ensemble self-release their seventh studio record, In Rainbows, offering fans the opportunity to pay for it what they please. By doing so, the band’s made folks like me—people who no longer pay for albums—actually contribute money to the cause (full disclosure: I paid $5).

Announcing the release only 10 days ago, Radiohead abandoned traditional means of promotion but created an avalanche of publicity anyway. Of course, none of this matters if the music’s no good— fortunately, it’s pretty fucking brilliant. Many listeners will be glad to read that the Nigel Godrich-produced In Rainbows is the band’s return to the accessible pop structures of its two most beloved releases, 1995’s The Bends and 1997 masterpiece OK Computer. And, while they haven’t completely eluded the mechanized blips of 2000’s elusive Kid A, here the computerized elements are folded into compact, traditional rock songs. Okay computers, indeed.

So yeah, a completely new, professionally-produced album from one of the world’s most innovative and respected bands and you can pay nothing for 10 mp3s (that’s what I did).

Sure, I might be a cad, but I’m not “buying” any music until I get a listen first. Having gotten through the album now, I’ll likely be back to pay (and not download again). For me, it’s worth about $5.00 and that’s no knock on it’s quality – either artistically or from a production standpoint – but I saved them the cost of a CD and album artwork and distributors, so it’s a steal for both of us.

In any event, I enjoyed In Rainbows but I didn’t have the same visceral reaction that I had to Kid A (which I also downloaded, albeit many years ago). It’s solid and a bit optimistically romantic. A portrait of the artists happier, I would surmise.

But what the fuck do I know? Here’s Rolling Stone (review) and Pitchfork (quantifying popularity).

Anyhow, Happy Friday!

2 thoughts on “In Rainbows

  1. Record Industry Cut Out of the Deal…

    The recent release of Radiohead’s latest album ‘In Rainbows’ has left record industry big wigs scratching there heads once again. after prince by-passed the entire distribution system by giving away his new album with the mail on sund…

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