My first proper introduction to In Rainbows and in fact Radiohead was, as disappointingly as I care to admit, whilst watching the first instalment to the disaster that people now refer to as ‘Twishite’. My eleven year old self could barely contain herself watching Twilight, and shockingly this wasn’t due to Robert Pattinson’s constipated face or Kristen Stewart’s awful acting. In fact it was the ending, the iconic In Rainbows song that was ’15 Steps’, and would be played on repeat in my bedroom for the next several weeks.
Even as the seventh album of a decidedly iconic band, it is evident that In Rainbows was always a game changer for Radiohead fans and anyone else with the ability to hear. Anyone with even a modicum of taste is sure to sigh in satisfaction at even the mention of ‘Weird Fishes/ Arpeggi’. Thom Yorke’s vocals remain both beautiful and broody, essential for the average teenage listener. However, there was always something different. Each song remains a standalone success, and a standalone sound, unlike many of the current indie factory productions.
The surprising thing about this album was undoubtably the changes in sound. At the height of their success, it is clear that the band didn’t try to shy away from any chance to experiment. Whether it was the strange electronic thrum of ‘House of Cards’ or the lethargy of ‘Videotape,’ every song carries a spirit and a sense of admiration in every producer in the industry. The album manages to completely meet your expectations, while knocking them right over with a 1974 Fender Telecaster at the same time.
every song carries a spirit
Despite the enigmatic and sometimes unintelligible lyrics of pretty much every song, it is evident that the beauty is in the ear of the listener. Take ‘Reckoner,’ a personal favourite of mine. With only three interchangeable, intertwining verses, the song is both simplistic and poignant: “Because we separate/Like ripples on a blank shore”. Everyone who appreciated this album always had a different song that was their favourite, a different lyric that spoke to them, proving that for each person, there was a message in the madness.
People will always argue that one album over the other has more merit. In Rainbows will always have people at odds with why it was such a great album. Whether it was Yorke’s magnetic vocals, or the ability of ‘Nude’ to make you feel deflated even in the happiest of circumstances, people will always hold a special place in their Spotify playlists for this feat in music.