Rainbow Sighting

in_rainbows.jpgRadiohead: In Rainbows (online edition)

Expectation can make you crazy. And with the release of their latest effort, via a unique pay-as-you-wish internet scheme, Radiohead announced in more ways than one that they know the stakes. In Rainbows popped into my inbox at 2:22 AM New York time (I had opted for the fixed price deluxe set, which will be delivered in December, including vinyl albums!, but still got my download access) and as soon as I unzipped it I was pulled in by a magnet of sound.Crackling -- the kind of five-person human energy that wasn't there on Yorke's solo album of last year. Beatles? Uh-huh. Not only, when these guys were on a label (they are still unsigned, digirati bomb-throwers at this point), it was Capitol. That other band knew a thing or two about expectations, and ambition. And Radiohead has met the enemy head on -- and while In Rainbows isn't a radical game-changer like Kid A, it is more than worthy. The playing, the sound, the beat, it sizzles like these guys know they're the best band in the world. The songs range from jerky rockers to melodic, pieces with George Martin-esque strings. They still are firmly rooted in psychedelia, Floyd, Beatles; but they are not imitators. Yorke's plaintive voice and their solid chunks of lyrics deliver. The guitar work, again, is superb throughout. These are songs. The work flows out of what they've done, and, as the best and only living rock übergroup in the world, that is something worth noticing. And celebrating. - Ken Krimstein

Radiohead - In Rainbows Ken.jpg

Mr. Krimstein is a writer, cartoonist, father, and grump who lives in New York City. So there.

Bonus Tracks Debacle

What is this bullshit?

Radiohead is now releasing a proper CD with bonus tracks not available via this internet release.

They better make things right and offer those of us who paid for these digital tracks with a free CD.

Why didn't they make that known from the get go? I would have waited for the CD. I'm old school.

And why wait to make the announcement after the fact?

Don't mess with your fans, especially in these days of diminishing CD and music sales.

Beside, as much as I dig this new release, it isn't as brilliant as OK Computer or as arresting and musically challenging as Kid A. So why would I buy it twice just for the bonus tracks?

I won't.

Well, perhaps in a few months on Amazon where I'll be able grab one used for about $3.