Radiohead - In Rainbows
After the fairly scattershot approach of "Hail To The Thief" and extreme introspection of Yorke's solo "Eraser", it's pretty awe-inspiring to hear the group in expansive mode again, creating an album that keeps their emotional core inact while pushing the boundaries of their sound outward.
The initial impression given by the album (and one that stays after listening repeatedly) is a band at the peak of their powers. From the moment the first song starts, it's clear that there's nothing tentative going on here. We're up to full speed within seconds, kids cheer, the beats hit you square in the gut, Thom Yorke begins to jabber in his inimitable fashion, and it's recognizably paranoid skittish Radiohead, but looser and fiercer and funkier all at once.
There's all the expected pretty Radiohead moments but not neccesarily in the places you expect. There's weird percussive things. And big guitar roars and little piano noises and slightly computerized jittery things that melt into a soaring melody so seamlessly that you never really stop to think about the transition.
In short, In Rainbows manages to showcase all of Radiohead's strengths and use them as a foundation for something fresh and new. Once again.
Radiohead-In Rainbows website