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11 October, 2007

Quick review: 'In Rainbows' (Radiohead, 2007)

I've identified one disadvantage of Radiohead's download scheme: if one buys a CD and dislikes it, one can recoup some of the expense via eBay.  With a download, one can't.

Comprehensive review, based on one run-through of the 160 kbps mp3s: meh.

It's okay, but no more than that. Maybe it'll grow on me, but I can't say I've been especially impressed by Radiohead since 1997, and my immediate impression of this one is no different.

As Tim (who "made [his] excuses and left after 'Kid A', which [he] never managed to get into") says, it's not entirely fair to judge any progressive album from a single listen – like Tim, I "find anything remotely complex takes at least four or five listens before it starts to make any sense".

However, one can usually detect some points of attraction immediately, and one can readily compare new material to past releases. Like those post-1997 albums (including 'The Eraser'), which I think it strongly resembles, 'In Rainbows' is... okay. Inoffensive. If any of these tracks came on the radio, I wouldn't turn it off. Unfortunately, that's the full extent of my praise.

I doubt 'In Rainbows' would disappoint existing Radiohead fans, but more casual listeners like me might take some persuading. Maybe I would suddenly see the attraction if I forced myself to play it again and again, but, well, life's too short.

[Update 18/10/07: Fight Club is of much the same opinion.]

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