Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I must admit that this record didn't totally hit me over the head immediately with it's greatness like the last few Radiohead records did. That being said I now totally dig it. Radiohead at this point in their career have absolutely nothing to prove. They are, to borrow the term from The Clash, "The Only Band That Matters" (sorry U2, you wish). They're now a mature band who can do what they want, how they want, when they want. In Rainbows is their first record in four and a half years because well, that's when they wanted to release their new record.
Some of the aspects of this record that struck me as interesting is that there is some actual rocking going on here. Guitars sound like guitars. And real drumming! I also feel Thom's vocals sound a little more soulful and less detached than they have in the past. The lyrics seem more personal. He sings more about "you" than the "them" of previous records. Tracks like 15 Steps, All I Need and House Of Cards all seem to have a more personal vibe going on. Love songs? I'm not sure. It's hard to say because most of the lyrics are typical Yorkian sturm und drang. I suck at analyzing lyrics so i'm not the person to ask. He's married with children now so maybe he's refocused his thoughts from computers and glaciers to people. One lyric of note comes from Bodysnatchers "It is the 21st century/You can fight it like a dog/And they brought me to my knees" and at the end he repeats "I've seen it coming" over and over. That made me think that he's saying that the times prophesized in Ok Computer are now upon us. Or maybe that's what I want to hear because that's what I think.
Overall, this is a record showing that Radiohead is no longer concerned with totally rearranging their sound with each new record but they are in no way ready to start sitting on their laurels. I think the band is in a good spot now and can't wait to hear what they have to say next. Hopefully it won't be another five years until we hear from them again.