As I watch the sky wildly falling outside in yet another one of those Canadian white-out blizzards, all I can think about are the simple comforts like a Bailey's and coffee, a bowl of hot chili, and a cozy fire..that is, if I had a fireplace of course. So since I can't invite you all over for a round of hot cocoa and a pot of stick-to-your-ribs chili, let me give you the next best thing--a book and an album you can depend on during your own lazy Sunday....
Assuming that Radiohead does not need much of an intro, I'll just tell you straight-up--I'm completely addicted to their latest album, In Rainbows (single-disc release). While the actual merits of the record could have been lost in the hype of the band's "download-by-donation" marketing campaign, it obviously stood its ground because let's face it, it's a damn good album!
Unable to deny my penchant for cheesy analogies, I have to say that In Rainbows is like the musical equivalent of Momma's homemade apple pie: well-crafted and hugely satisfying. The album echoes the same pop rock fabric reminiscent of Radiohead's critically-acclaimed OK Computer, a sound the band consciously meandered away from in the form of surrealistic electronic rock by way of their 2000 release of Kid A and Amnesiac, which they put out the following year. As usual, Thom Yorke's characteristic falsetto and spot-on tone gives each song its Radiohead signature, however, In Rainbows equally showcases the extraordinary musicianship of multi-instrumentalist bros, Jonny (lead guitar) and Colin (bass) Greenwood, and Phil Selway's solid percussions.
While the band replaces their desire for innovation with that of listenability, their 7th album is anything but simple. "15 Steps" intricately layers a complex jungle-like drumbeat with an ultra smooth guitar progression, "Nude" is a dream-like lullaby in which Thom's wistful vocals say it all, and "Jigsaw Falling into Place" is beautifully crafted as that special chemistry shared by Thom, Jonny, Colin, and Phil takes the song to a perfect climax.
Needless to say, I'm probably going to crank-up In Rainbows on the old stereo, free pour some Bailey's into my coffee, and curl-up on the couch as I watch the dizzying flurries touch down outside my window.
"15 Steps" (Scotch Mist Version)