Monday, October 15, 2007

Oh but Thom sounds happy with it.

It came with no alarms. No pre-release Internet leaks. Straight up. Click. There. My hard copy of Radiohead's 'In Rainbows' already pre-ordered.

I've not read blog entries in detail of how Thom and Co. were going to execute this album. I've not even bothered to be a url stalker; crawling into the crevices of Radiohead fansites and scouring for live renditions of upcoming studio songs. But after listening to the new album myself by digitally downloading it for merely a few pounds, I understand all the hype now.

Let's not study about how the band is marketing this seminal piece of work but how they have approached it with juvenile zest. In my humble opinion, fans out there who paid nothing for it are gearing up for the big release of the USD$80.00 hard copy.

Ever thought how Radiohead would sound like the day Thom Yorke feels pink all of a sudden? Well once you've got hands on the brand new album and you more or less have a picture of how brilliant this Oxford-based band can be, whatever the mood they're in! After years of interesting, desolate and sad bastard music, it's pure business sense that Radiohead ventures back into what made them a rock giant in the first place - guitars, layers and layers and layers of atmospheric noise and Thom's nonchalance.

Radiohead blends in all the necessary ingredients but executes a different formula from 'The Bends', 'OK Computer' and 'Kid A/Amnesiac'. Almost instantly recognizable, the drum loops and now-customary loops engage the listener to an all too familiar landscape of Radioheadland. But wait! Enter Thom Yorke; juggling rhymes and murmuring just like he used to but this time with a warm and chirpy grace.

It took me exactly five listens to fully appreciate Radiohead's new outing 'In Rainbows' in its digital format which clocks just over 42 minutes in its entirety. Maybe it's because I didn't get much feel of it; no liner notes to read, no Stanley Donwood art to drool over. How many take did it take you to dig this one? My favourite tracks right now would be 'All I Need' and 'House of Cards' but I can see the whole album being hot on my playlist this whole month.

Has Thommie found inner peace? Has Jonny got the fringes of his hair cropped? Ed's background vocals sound so much crispier compared to 'Kid A'. So many wonderful questions and remarks to make to compliment this meticulous production. Kudos to Phil Selway for his outstanding drumming in this album too.

Here are a few standout tracks from 'In Rainbows' but I'm just fooling myself because every song screams of nonchalance, telling the listener to just shut up and feel the new spawn of Radiohead. Many indie bands have shown mantle but none have been so exceptionally detail and managed to build-up their credibility album after album like Radiohead has.

01 - Radiohead - 15 Step
02 - Radiohead - Bodysnatchers
04 - Radiohead - Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
08 - Radiohead - House Of Cards
09 - Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling Into Place
10 - Radiohead - Videotape

In unison with some fellow bloggers who've purchased this album through their official website or leeched/thieved it from torrent sites, I just won't call this an instant classic just yet. However, it's heartwarming to know that Radiohead haven't lost touch with the way they present themselves. Their cross-fusion between electronics and acoustics coupled with layer-by-layer of industrial goodness do not fail them.

Made-to-orders should be out early December! Can't wait!


UPDATE (12 Dec 2007):

Songs from the 2nd disc are listed as follows:
1. Radiohead - MK1 (1:04)
2. Radiohead - Down Is The New Up (4:59)
3. Radiohead - Go Slowly (3:48)
4. Radiohead - MK2 (0:53)
5. Radiohead - Last Flowers (4:26)
6. Radiohead - Up On The Ladder (4:17)
7. Radiohead - Bangers & Mash (3:19)
8. Radiohead - 4 Minute Warning (4:06)

MP3s from the 2nd disc of 'In Rainbows' can be downloaded (for a limited time only) in zipped format by clicking on these two mirror links.

Download 'In Rainbows' CD2 via: zshare | rapidshare

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