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Melody Makers: Radiohead - In Rainbows (XL)

Review by Dylan Strain

It's eleven years since Radiohead found themselves elevated into rock's hall of fame with their 3rd album, Ok Computer. Now on their seventh release and music fans seem to be no less keen on the band, a rock national treasure of sorts. It's not very difficult to hear why. Eleven years separate the two albums, a long time, but here, ten tracks manage to stand alone from the family but, if it's not a brother of Ok Computer or subsequent offspring, then it's a close cousin.

RadioHeadThere's a themic sound linking the ten tracks. It's like the band are playing at one end of a beautiful ice house and we are sitting at the other, the cold, chilly, meandering melodies echoing through the corridors to move and warm us at the other end. 

The musicianship of their studio work here is stunning. Their collective ear as discerning as ever, the dedication to each nuance of sound, apparent. The percussion, the voice, the sensitive guitar work, the synths n' strings and pretty things all laden into a mix of bliss. Thom and the lads have never sounded happier either.

The gentle drum n' bass, upbeat rock electronica of 15 Stop, Weird Fishes Arpeggi and Jigsaw falling into place are the tracks for me, along with the slower beauty of Faust Arp. McCartney Blackbird -like guitar combining strongly with Page and Plant style, North African strings.

Videotape brings the album to a perhaps reflective end; “Meet you at The Pearly Gates” sings Yorke, clearly the deepest track of the lot and a neat closer. With ten individual tracks all with a linking, chilly echo, laden with melodic moments, I'm surprised (apart from the odd track) that the band don't make more forays into the world of film sound.

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