Monday, February 18, 2008

Radiohead - In Rainbows

To download, or not to download. That is the multi-million dollar question, and it’s not going anywhere any time soon. Among the tech-savvy Generation-Y community, the answer may be an enthusiastic “Yes,” but downloading is not without it’s pitfalls, including that it is (technically) against the law.

Well, for those of you who sit on the fence of the pirate vs purchase debate, Radiohead have answered that question for you. The critically acclaimed band is releasing its next album, In Rainbows, on CD December 3rd. However, what makes this release unique is that, starting October 10th, anyone can download the album at a price that is determined by You, the buyer and the listener. You can pay as little as $0.00, or as much as….. well, I don’t know how deep your pockets are but that’s not the point.

So what do you get for (potentially) zero dollars?

In a nutshell, you get one of the most coherent records of the year. In Rainbows hides common musical threads within all of its songs that make the album an easy straight-through listen. Each track maintains its own character, while staying within the boundaries of the album. It is quite the neat little package.

The entire album is hypnotizing. It rolls from one song to the next before you know it, and is full of interesting music to be fascinated by.

In Rainbows starts off with the energetic tracks “15 Step” and “Bodysnatchers.” Driving up-tempo drum beats and a soaring flurry of clean guitar are propelled by deliciously fuzzy basslines. Thom Yorke provides his signature croon, lending a great dimension to the tunes, and adding to the momentum of the album right out of the gate. His voice soars flawlessly over every song on the album, and is a real treat to listen to.

In Rainbows then shifts toward a slower theme centered around arpegiated and finger-picked guitar lines. “All I Need” grooves on downtempo drums, electronic bass, and guitar swells to produce something that could be found easily on a Boards Of Canada album. “Faust Arp” combines acoustic guitar and a string section to produce a charming cinematic folk song. “Reckoner” keeps the arpegiated guitar theme going while disguised under reverberated drums, tambourine, and piano.

“Jiggsaw Falling Into Place” quickens the pace as the album nears its end. This song possibly rocks the hardest out of any on the album, despite the guitars being acoustic. In Rainbows closes with “Videotape,” a delicate and engaging dirge which leaves the listener craving more.

To download or not to download, the answer is not important in this situation. Radiohead has decided that you should pay whatever the hell you think they deserve for their newest album. There is no guilt in dropping a whopping sum of zero dollars and zero cents on some new music.

And hey, if you hate it, at least you got your money’s worth.


Post a Comment

<< Home