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Thursday, October 11, 2007

R-Head - In Rainbows: Everything Is In Its Right Place, Finally

Posted By on Thu, Oct 11, 2007 at 11:14 AM

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Immediate, visceral reactions:

Track 1 - "15 Step"

The central dynamic involves the interplay of super-scratchy, glitched out percussion with melodic guitar. The dominant percussion can drive pets up the wall. Very Eraser-ey.

Track 2 - "Bodysnatchers"

Just as up-tempo, but a lot crazier with overdriven guitar and this brutal scale-based riff. "Duh-duh-duh--Dweedel-deedel-dee!" Good shit.

Track 3 - "Nude"

Much slower, with a spare high hat and muted snare over single guitar notes. Yorke is at his most evocative and emotional. Fifteen years in, his voice just keeps getting better and better.

...

Track 5's "You Are All I Need" starts again with a simple trap kit beat, but these skipped-beat bass progressions topped with bells and the title lyric conjure lonesome walks home. The piano comes in and it's not as sad, while the drums bash it up a notch with the cymbal and swelling strings and digital washes filling out the whole spectrum.

Track 6 "Fast Arp" Lots of guitar chords driving this song. It's ok. It seems really hard to play.

Track 7 "Reckoner"

Just gorgeous with - once again -- this understated, deeply reverbed trap kit. Muted guitar backs the prominent tambourine, and Yorke's voice emerges like dusty refugees into the sunlight. Strings come in. There's hope here.

Track 8 "House of Cards"

Not my favorite off the bat. Second listen: actually starts off rather sweet and delicate; something they'd play for each other back in the Pablo Honey days.

Track 9 "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" Tied with "Bodysnatchers" for rockingness.

Last track: "Videotape" -- I'm loving just Thom and his piano on this one. It might be the most mournful and the best song on the album. Some shit about the devil, primary pixel colors, how we'll all be on videotape after we're dead.

Overall, this is a guitar and trap kit record. It's stripped down, essentially. None of the epic-ness of 'OK Computer'. More in line with the subtleties in 'The Eraser'. I don't hear a "Creep" or "Paranoid Android" or anything like that in here. Nothing for the radio, unless it's late-night on a college radio station. ... I'm imaging some foreign exchange student hearing "Videotape" for the first time in the dorms. ... Fresh ears. ... The student being like, "What the fuck is this moaning and knuckle-rapping drum beat, and crushing piano melody?"

It's enough to make you jump out of window. Or to stop you from doing so. Which might be the point.

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David Downs

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