You know what....screw it. Its not even 2:30 in the afternoon and I'm already on my 5th listen, so I'll just go ahead and offer up a few comments on what I think of the album. This is not technically a review (because i'm horrible at that), even though if it was it would be like the 35,000th of such on these here internets. Just some rambling thoughts.
The thing is, I can't remember the last time I was this excited about an album, only I've only had like 6 days or something to build up anticipation. And what added to the excitement is the fact that I haven't seen Radiohead live since like 2003 and had never heard ANY of these songs. I've forced myself to stay away from them, just waiting to hear the final versions. So I'll just say that it is everything I didn't have time to anticipate it being. I love it. I think its an exceptionally beautiful album. So, I suppose I'll tell you why.
To me, this is the first time Radiohead have actually managed to mesh their need for computer-laden beats and music (Kid A and Amnesiac) with the old-school guitar Radiohead that a lot of us remember (The Bends and OK Computer). They hinted at attempting to mold the two in their last album, Hail to the Thief, but for whatever reason I always found that record a little lacking. In Rainbows marks a clear success at that attempt (if that truly was their intent, who knows). As the individual tracks go....here's my feeling on a few of them:
1. 15 Step: Probably the best example of what I meant above about mixing the two Radiohead "styles". I found this to be the perfect lead in track. It kicked off the album fantastically for me and was easily one of the highlights of the album.
2. Bodysnatchers: Easily the most rockingest song on the album, but also one of the weakest for me personally. I find that very surprising, actually.
3. Nude: Radiohead begin to outdo themselves here. The orchestral arrangements are everywhere on this album. Moreso than ever before. Its got a very "How to Disappear Completely" sound, except with maybe more purpose. Where "Disappear" was more wandering, this song seems more focused with the meandering arrangements.
5. All I Need: Through five listens my favorite track on the album. I love the beginning beat overlayed with the bass. I like it so much, that I'm just really getting into it when the bridge kicks in, and I get pissed. Well played Radiohead.
7. Reckoner: Every song on this album is good, but this song completes the trifecta of standout tracks in my mind. Thom has always done a good job of using his voice as another instrument on other Radiohead albums. That's what comes to my mind with this one. Simply great.
9. Jigsaw Falling Into Place: I can't help but to think of Death Cab's Soul Meets Body when I listen to this one. Similar acoustic guitar sounds, I suppose.
10. Videotape: A lot of other reviews are comparing this song to Motion Picture Soundtrack, the end song to Kid A. I'll agree they're both slow and the last song on their respective albums, but I'll end all comparisons there. I loved MPS. Its one of my favorite Radiohead songs of all time. Lets just say I don't think Videotape is there yet.
Overall, I love it. It was well worth the four year wait. The only thing that sucks about this album is it means we won't get another for quite a while. Oh well, I guess I shouldn't get too greedy.
I'd love to hear what you all think once you get a chance to listen....hit me up in the comments section.