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Radiohead: In Rainbows

In RainbowsThe recent spate of music posts was undoubtedly inspired by this week’s release of Radiohead’s new album, In Rainbows. It’s funny how anticipation can creep into the fabric of your conscience and influence your being. Amidst a busy season at work and between a couple of midterms, I got excited about music and decided to start checking some new stuff out. Before making any decisions about an album I purchase I commit to listening to it three times through. After three times through In Rainbows, I can say that it is undeniably Radiohead. The oddly coherent mix of sounds and instruments coupled with Thom Yorke’s unmistakable vocals make for an enjoyable listen.

No songs stand out to me as instant favorites like Idioteque on Kid A, nearly every song on OK Computer but especially Let Down, (Nice Dream) on The Bends, Packt Like Sardines In A Crushed Tin Box on Amnesiac, etc, etc. Really though, this is immaterial. What is wonderful about Radiohead albums and I find it indelibly true on In Rainbows is how each song builds on its predecessor so the result is a collective whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This phenomenon may contribute to the songs at the end of the album, House of Cards and Videotape, being the candidates that will make the first sentence of the paragraph untrue.

When I wrote How much would you pay for your favorite album? I had not yet ordered In Rainbows. I paid £5. That night, however, I remembered that last year my Bank of America Visa charged me 30 USD each month I made an international transaction while I was traveling in Europe so that got me wondering if I will end up paying closer to 40 USD for the album which again got me wondering if that is too much if the album turns out to be a favorite. What a vicious cycle.

Also, I want to highlight an elegant comment left on the How much post left by my friend Bill who is the person who sparked the whole idea. Here it is, in its entirety.

Music is an art form that presents itself to us nearly everyday. Thanks to the person who decided to put radios into cars, any road trip we take most likely includes a sampling of either your own music collection, or a taste of what the record companies would like you to hear. Because music is with us almost everyday, it has a way of attaching instelf to feelings and events in our lives. Whether the feelings are negative or positive, hearing the first few notes of a song can incite a memory immediately.

Since music has such a powerful effect on my feelings, it has led me to think about how valuable a cd would be to me. I have many cds that I truly enjoy listening to, but there are a select few that when I listen to them, they make me feel happy, sad, strong, weak or a variety of other unique feelings. These cds are truly enjoyable because the entire cd captures a single mood. The feelings that I have when listening to these cds has made me think about how much I would pay for a cd, if I knew ahead of time it would offer these feelings while I listened to it. The catalist for this thought actually came from bands that had excellent debut albums and less impressive follow up albums. A band that I think had this problem was Matchbox 20. I enjoy Yourself or Someone Like You so much, yet I have been disapointed by proceding releases. It led me to think about how much I would pay today for a Matchbox 20 cd that offers me the same powerful feelings as Yourself or Someone Like You.

We all have the cds that we would consider the best, or our favorites. I invite you to think about much value you place on these cds.

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