Monday, December 3, 2007

Radiohead: In Rainbows Bonus Disc

I'm not your typical Radiohead fanboy. I mean, I enjoy the band very much, I will even claim them as one of my favorite bands. However, I don't find it necessary to worship the ground Thom Yorke walks on. I was perfectly satisfied with the majesty that was In Rainbows, the band's latest release and one of their finest records to date. Everyone already knows about the "pay-your-own-price" sales model the band used to release their latest album. Part of that model was the option to purchase a discbox, an expanded version of the record with a bonus disc and some cool posters and stuff. Well, the release date of the discbox is today, December 3rd, and the Radiohead Nation is shitting themselves listening to it, I'm sure. I just happened to get my hands on a copy of the In Rainbows bonus disc, and I am here to give you my objective analysis.

After about two and a half full listens, I can safely say that this bonus disc is solid. It makes for a great accompaniment to In Rainbows. I'm pretty sure that this is intentional, because the first bonus disc track, MK 1, is essentially Videotape rehashed for 64 seconds. This then flows into Down Is the New Up, a fantastic performance that easily rivals most tracks on In Rainbows. We then get Go Slowly, a slower number which I honestly found to be a little boring. Nothing really happens to develop the song, but if you like that dramatic, sparse sound, then you'll probably enjoy the track. MK 2 is next, basically a segue which brings us to the best song on the bonus disc, Last Flowers. It is a beautiful ballad, and dare I say, perhaps one of Thom Yorke's finest moments of recent memory. Essentially it is composed of just Thom and his piano, with some acoustic guitar added in the chorus. I have no idea what he's singing about (I see the lyrical pun here now, but I swear, it was not intended), something about appliances taking over and houses talking, but it's so damn dramatic that I can't stop listening to it. So goes the first half of the bonus disc.

We start off the second half with Up on the Ladder, a decent rocker that seemed to have potential, but ended up sounding like a Hail to the Thief b-side. It's not bad though, I'm only being so critical cause this is Radiohead we're talking about here. Bangers and Mash is another rocker, coming across to me as Bodysnatchers' younger brother. The songs are very similar in style. I enjoyed that track more the second time I heard it. The final song of the bonus disc, 4 Minute Warning, was one of the most anticipated tracks on this bonus disc. And's slightly changed. It's the same song and everything, but something about it sounds different. Regardless, it is certainly enjoyable, and it closes out a solid bonus disc. Taken together, the total In Rainbows package is a fantastic record that, in my opinion, rivals anything Radiohead has done since Kid A, or dare I even say - Kid A itself. Radiohead are probably the only band that I can think of that is still getting better after a solid 15 years of recording music, and that fact continues to amaze me.

Addition: My friend tells me of a rumor that the In Rainbows/bonus disc combo is a concept album in which Thom Yorke tells of his love for a woman in a coma. This just sounds like a ridiculous rumor to me, but the increased output of love songs on this album allows for the validity of this theory to be possible. I just wanted to give that as a little side note.
Radiohead - Down Is The New Up
Radiohead - Last Flowers


NorthShore said...

I love Radiohead and disc 2 does not dissapoint. The sound of 4 minute warning is completely different from the live version they played in 06. None the less it is spectacular

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