After 15 years of continual, radical transformation, Radiohead found themselves with time, freedom and acquired wisdom. In Rainbows is the result years of jumping into the unknown and pushing one another’s creativity.
From the crunching, fluttering drum machine intro to the opening track 15 Steps it was clear it was a fully fledged Radiohead classic. As 15 Steps transitions from an electro beat to a full band number, the currents drag you deep into Radiohead’s idiosyncrasies, by the time Bodysnatchers hits (and it doesn’t half hit) nothing else seems to matter but the burnt out kraut hook and Yorke’s pained whines.
Weird Fishes/ Arpeggi and Reckoner both appear to be the odd cousins of John Frusciante’s California funk, in which both the drums are mixed high, giving your heart something to worry about. The solitary moments with Thom Yorke on the backwardly twisted Nude, the serene Faust Arp and Videotape that dooms us all, turning the screw on our human psyche. At times it’s hard not wince in familiarity yet he is not wallowing in self-pity, he is human and articulate and unfortunately for us, we know where he’s coming from.
Previous experiments bleed all over the album, warped electronics, brazen hooks and maudlin melodies while Yorke turns the screw on the human psyche. In Rainbows is Radiohead’s perfect form. The jigsaw falling into place.