The Album That Destroyed the Music Industry is a Double Disc?!

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In Rainbows–a frequenter on this year’s top ten lists–is now complete with the release of Disc 2 about a week ago. Bwog’s newest music critic Michael Molina provides his assessment.

As of December 10th, Radiohead’s In Rainbows is no longer available to download online, but will be sold on CD and vinyl starting January 1st – a good way to spend all of your holiday Barnes & Nobles gift cards. However, you might also want to consider buying the discbox from the w.a.s.t.e. site or just illegally downloading the two discs online (a second disc comes in the box set). Whatever you do, just be sure to get both albums.

Disc 2, leaked onto the internet after the discbox was delivered to honest shoppers on December 4th, is a collection of eight songs that are either completely new or have only been played in concerts. Because the first song, “MK 1”, begins with the final chords of “Videotape” (the last track off of the first CD), it’s hard not to separate the two albums from each other. The choice to create a second CD that is more of a continuation of the first raises the question of why Radiohead chose the songs they did for either album. The 10 tracks of the first disc seem to be the best rep-resentation of the idea behind In Rainbows whereas the eight tracks of the other are songs that fit into the style of the album as well but are not necessary for a collective understanding of the album. None of these songs are stylistically unsuitable for the album, different/mediocre versions, live versions, covers nor any other type of song that tends to appear on the B-side of an album. If anything, the eight songs on disc 2 are the complete opposite.

Though comparisons can be made of certain songs to earlier albums, all of the songs on the disc represent a user-friendly and simply beautiful orchestration that both innovates and calls forth the classic style of Radiohead. “Down is the New Up” exemplifies the simple yet chilling lyrics of previous albums while warming the listener up with the frequencies of Thom Yorke’s unique voice. Although the majority of the CD invokes a slow-moving somber tone, “Up on the Ladder” introduces a gripping pulse that mostly carries through to the fanatic guitar riffs of “Bangers & Mash.” The entire disc, if not the album as whole, seems to be leading up to this angry and cut-ting song, with the majority of disc 2 behaving as an ominous prelude to this explosion of emotion and raw instrumentals. Unfortunately, the song does not completely deliver and the only place for In Rainbows to conclude has at least been perfectly chosen with “4 Minute Warning,” an allusion to the 4-minute warning the British government would sound during World War II bomb raids. Interestingly enough, the song cuts off “Bangers & Mash” as if to imply In Rain-bows never truly finished but was purposefully stopped in mid-ecstasy by the harrowing melodies and message of this closing song.

Still, the second disc cannot exist without the first, which presents the album fully and clearly while the second disc just reiterates the various themes and compositions. Just as the discbox contains other artwork for the In Rainbows album, so too is the second disc an additional form of art of In Rainbows. But, whether you are a die hard Radiohead fan or have only recently placed the Kid A bear logo on the top of your MacBook, obtaining the second disc is a smart choice for anyone who wants to get the full experience of the masterfully composed In Rainbows album.

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  1. why  

    all the random hy-phens?

  2. hmmm  

    the second disc actually is pretty much a b-side set. those songs are not a continuation of in rainbows, the majority have been around for years and years. and most of them are not so hot.

  3. radiohead obsessive

    in sharp contrast to what this post said, these songs were omitted from the album purely because they ARE songs that don't fit into the style of the album. while its hard to argue that down is the new up, go slowly, and last flowers don't lyrically jive with the tracks that made the cut, none share the lush soundscapes that characterized each of in rainbows 40-odd minutes. ditnu, which is almost certainly one of the band's very best songs, comes complete with a carnivalesque vibe that would have been jarringly out of place anywhere on the album proper (thom has said as much in interviews), whereas many of the others are simply too stark or thematically grandiose for an album that cleaves to the (royal) personal. in other news, i'm a nerd.

  4. Frank Zappa:

    "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."

  5. but  

    seriously. bwog this motherfucker cant write for shit.

  6. lame  

    we've heard this kid sing. why is someone who's tone deaf reviewing music?

  7. dear mr. molina  

    you can has my babies?

  8. in fact  

    molina is neither tone deaf nor a bad writer. and he can throw some mean shapes on the dancefloor

  9. whyyy  

    why is bwog being taken over by lameos. how is he a music critic?

  10. Bethmann-Hollweg  

    They've been playing "Bangers and Mash" at their concerts for ages.

    It's a decent song.

  11. WTF  

    "The 10 tracks of the first disc seem to be the best rep-resentation of the idea behind In Rainbows whereas the eight tracks of the other are songs that fit into the style of the album as well but are not necessary for a collective understanding of the album."


  12. meanie  

    he is an excellent musician, a fine member of the kitchen cabinet, and an all-around good person, and none of that has anything to do with this article, which admittedly is not very well written.

  13. seriously

    reading this word vomit molted with hyphens is giving me a headache.

  14. ahhhh  

    viva el Kitchen Cabinet!!

  15. Joseph  

    bwog, you are so white that I can barely look at you directly or it'll hurt my eyes. So, so white.

  16. michael marlin  

    yeah! micheal is molina stupid!

    what's a radiohead?

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