Radiohead - In Rainbows (Cover Artwork)


Radiohead: In RainbowsIn Rainbows (2007)
XL Recordings

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: ngs091ngs091
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In Rainbows by Radiohead is an album that made me think about how current music is digested nowadays. As not one to let hype get to me in way of opinions in any way, shape or form, I bought this album when it first came out in CD form, a time when their masterpiece, OK Computer, was yet again in hea.
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In Rainbows by Radiohead is an album that made me think about how current music is digested nowadays. As not one to let hype get to me in way of opinions in any way, shape or form, I bought this album when it first came out in CD form, a time when their masterpiece, OK Computer, was yet again in heavy rotation in my player. Yet, the press praised this new album as if it was the next coming of music, and many placed it at the top of the year's 'best of' lists.

So, I began thinking that one has to wonder, that with all the online music review websites and downloading systems, that when a new album is released it usually does not have as much jubilation behind it, and sometimes even honesty. The sense of happiness ceases due to the way that many of the songs are leaked to the internet even before their release. The honesty is dying due to both this and how the music press now lays their opinion on thick before one has time to establish their own.

I believe one of the best things about music is when an album seems like it's your discovery, not someone else's. While many need a starting point to know at least what is good, the new way of musical digestion both tells you and lets you hear "the good stuff" before you can even have the album (with artwork!) in your hand and hear it how it is supposed to be heard: front to back and with booming stereo speakers.

So, a year ago, I listened to In Rainbows just a little bit, but never in full. I did not want my honesty to become nerve-wracking in having to decide if I was sincerely liking or hating it, if I was going with the flow or even trying to be different by not liking it.

Yet, now more than a year later the hype was sure to have left this album, and now all I had to do was listen. And listen I did to give you my honest opinion.

In Rainbows is an album that is not only Radiohead at their most mainstream, but also at their most ordinary. It is an album that has much of Thom Yorke's beautiful, signature vocal work as a focal point, yet not much of what makes his paranoid cry for clairvoyance seem as different from many of Radiohead's influences and knockoffs.

In this album, Radiohead subjects us to their more introverted and quieter side. In fact, much of the album plays out like Yorke's solo album, The Eraser, did. In Rainbows seems as if it is making a case for them as a more radio-friendly, alternative-sounding band, as if almost polite, in fact. Gone is much of the edgy experimentation that accompanies Yorke's they-are-out-to-get-me paranoid ramblings. The music here tries to be much too subtle and arty, thus bordering on indulgent dissonance, and sadly has a feeling of serenity breaking through the horizon. However, the album as a whole is not bad per se, because Yorke's voice sounds like a gentle breeze settling over an ocean wave. Though it can racket up in volume to an operatic rock-and-roll tortured scream, it also seems unfulfilled.

Songs like "Weird Fishes / Arpeggi," do nothing to make it seem as if they want to again break barriers, while "All I Need" and "Faust Arp" rerun over ground that Yorke has demonstrated on prior, much more epic, experimental, harder rocking and simply better songs. He has shown that he is both a singer of superb passion, encapsulating emotional torment in a thoughtful way, and that there was not much farther to go in crystallizing his voice with both production and accompanying instrumentals by that standpoint.

In this album, his lyrics are poetically sensitive, high and clement, so much so that after a while it sadly rings like a cry for remorse, cut short by a tightened throat holding back tears. Songs like "Reckoner" and "House of Cards" are good as they are augmented by string arrangements, but nothing brilliant as the sound is actually too remote, quiet and stifled, undone because Radiohead seems like so many others, as if their sense of subversion has finally gone to the masses. It's as if the album is an annoying Jenga tower that crumbles when the player makes the slightest wrong move.

In Rainbows is at its best with "15 Step," "Bodysnatchers" and the second-to-last-song, "Jigsaw Falling Into Place." These songs may have been done before by Radiohead, but no one does it like them. These tracks are the saving grace of the album, and the only reason the album didn't receive only 3 stars. Yet, they also sadly still remind one of what once was.

Honestly, though, more than half of the songs here work in some way (six of the ten, to be exact); there is a certain point in which the listener gets its stifled sentiment, as In Rainbows is another note of alienation and non-subdued anguish, and is done not up to the band's often high standards, seeming like one of the lesser bands it influenced (Muse or Coldplay).

While some love the album, others would rather Yorke and the music to be so scared of itself with both its institutionalized behavior and subversive ethic that both the band members and listeners will be in hospital straps by album's end -- as that is the Radiohead that we all know and love.


People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundBrand New - Deja EntenduRadiohead - Hail To The ThiefAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitAlkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch FireBrand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeAlkaline Trio - Good MourningAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandPropagandhi - Supporting CasteAlkaline Trio - From Here To Infirmary

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
ngs091 (May 20, 2012)

3 1/2 / 5 is a good rating. It's not like I hated it.

kouta55 (May 1, 2011)

What the hell, I thought that this is a punk site.

strizzmatik (June 20, 2010)

Just like to say the reviewer is a moron and he obviously didn't "get" the album. Probably Radiohead's best after Kid A, OK Computer and I'd tie it with The Bends tbh

crackpotdemagogue (February 2, 2009)

I was actually totally suprised by this album. I really like it. The first song especially blows me away every time I hear it. punk rock kids inevitably get 'turned off' by the kind of audience these guys draw; but you shouldn't let other people determine your own judgement. just listen to it and forget all that shit. this is good music.

holy_balls (February 2, 2009)

people who try to be different but end up being just like everyone else love this band!

muskawo_ (February 1, 2009)

I'll never listen to radiohead because of what fuckheads most of their fans are. I don't care if you think they are the best band in the world and everyone who doesnt think so is wrong. They are like the default "arty altenative" band for boring people who dont want to search out their own musical taste. Just like what everyone else likes.

King_Rodney (February 1, 2009)

And yes, Ok Computer is one of the greatest albums ever produced.

King_Rodney (February 1, 2009)

1.OK Computer
2.The Bends
3.Kid A
4.Hail To The Thief
5.Pablo Honey
6.In Rainbows

jacknife737 (January 31, 2009)


mikexdude (January 31, 2009)

"it's boring" crowd- you have no penis and don't know how to listen to music

Oh, it's not boring, it's just fucking trash. There's a difference.

punknewscommenter (January 31, 2009)

""it's boring" crowd- you have no penis and don't know how to listen to music"

-thanks for proving us right that a majority of Radiohead fanatics are narrow minded fuckwits.

And hey, you're a sexist too!

brown (January 31, 2009)

Now I love me some radiohead quite a lot. I enjoyed this album when it first came out, but I found I listened to it less and less. There are some pretty awesome tracks (for instance, Jigsaw Falling into place and 15 step are up there with some of their best tracks) but it doesn't hold too much replay value. I'm a lot more fond of "Hail to the Theif" but that album, regardless of what anyone says is brilliant.

Spalmer (January 31, 2009)

"it's boring" crowd- you have no penis and don't know how to listen to music

jacobtheserf (January 31, 2009)

Score is for the fact that I can't post a lower score.

Piata (January 31, 2009)

forgot to give it 1 star.

Piata (January 31, 2009)

This album was pretty bland and boring. Nothing even remotely as good as their peak (OK Computer). The only song I really liked off of it was Reckoner; the rest just blended into monotony.

Good album to listen to if you have insomnia and need something dull to put you to sleep.

balaka2 (January 31, 2009)

the review is a little pretentious, but i think thats a requirement of any radiohead fan. they are the greatest musicians ever, with a direct line to god, if you didnt know. the bends is a pretty damn good album tho

punknewscommenter (January 31, 2009)

Liked the review. Dislike this band.
As someone else said, a majority of Radiohead fans are just annoying. Im used to the looks I get when I mention Im not into them. Some just get downright offended!!

maxf2f (January 31, 2009)

This album is better than a lot of fucking all-sound-the-same punk albums on this website. This is art.

ryannn (January 31, 2009)

Now that I've given it well over year, Here is how i think it holds up to the rest of their highly impressive body of work....

1. Kid A
2. Ok computer
3. The Bends
4. In Rainbows
5. Amnesiac
6. Hail to the Thief
7. Pablo Honey

RondoMondo (January 31, 2009)

What a retarded and pretentious review.

Anyway, this album is a very good album to listen to when fucked up and about to go to bed.

eazyd2 (January 31, 2009)

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

cunt (January 31, 2009)

I am no Radiohead fan, but Reckoner is a fucking masterpiece

MrStylson (January 31, 2009)

Just hearing the name Radiohead makes me feel bored. I'd rather listen to Abba.

strizzmatik (January 31, 2009)

Album's pretty great. Not up to par with their older stuff but it still blows away most bands' best records.

mikexdude (January 30, 2009)

I am going to... *gulp* have to agree with MattRamone. NO!

This band is not good.

mammoth (January 30, 2009)

I fucking love this album but this review is shit. It's well written but boring.

scorpiondeathlock (January 30, 2009)

score is for The Bends

Spalmer (January 30, 2009)

Dammit, I used the word "chill."

Spalmer (January 30, 2009)

I think this one is sure a sleeper hit... I liked it when it came out, but it's moving up for me in my favorites... I definitely like it better than OK Computer although Amnesiac is still my favorite. I love how each album has its own distinctive sound. This is one is definitely more "chill"

duffmancantbreatheohno (January 30, 2009)

I could not wait for this thing to drop last fall. I listened to it constantly for like 3 months. Radiohead kicks ass.

deadelectromix (January 30, 2009)

Bomb the Music Industry! do it better.

mattramone (January 30, 2009)

Radiohead is the most annoying band in the world.

Sliced-T (January 30, 2009)

I had never listened to Radiohead before this album and I love this! Such a solid, chill album.

chrisafi (January 30, 2009)

I just....can't get into Radiohead. Like, I like bits and bobs, and this track there and that, but I dunno, just not for me I guess. Radiohead fanboys piss me off as well re: most creative musical geniuses ever. No.

the4footpartysub (January 30, 2009)

I love this album.

Spooky (January 30, 2009)

Amazing album. Score is for the record.

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