The Album That Destroyed the Music Industry is a Double Disc?!
Written by Bwog Staff
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.