#7. Radiohead, In Rainbows (2007): Despite this album being the band’s most concise since Ok Computer, they did go out on a limb in one respect: it was initially available, only as a digital download. Hardly a novel concept, I know. Except for the fact that consumers were able to purchase this album at their own price! No doubt its difficult to say how this all worked out for them financially. What can be said however is that musically, the album shines; but then that’s hardly anything new for these guys.
Whether it was appealing to the sentiments of pimple-faced teenage angst in the 90’s with their breakout hit “Creep,” or turning the misguided quasi-U2 moniker on its head with the landmark record Kid A, they’ve managed to keep their music fresh yet honest with every release. 2007’s In Rainbows stays on the same path. To be sure, arguments over which of their great albums is the best have persisted for years; well….add this one to the list. Indeed, there is something on here for hipsters and the purists alike. While the upbeat rocker “Bodysnatchers” would probably fit at home on most of their other releases, the closer “Videotape” sounds like an outtake from Ok Computer. Still, the gem “House of Cards,” a fun yet understated tune about lovers without love is a step in a different direction. Take away the chilling sounds in the background and the song could be used in a Corona commercial. In the end, In Rainbows is another stroke of brilliance from a band that knows no other way to make an album.
Faves: 15 Steps, All I Need, Reckoner, House of Cards