October 10, 2007 15:31
Radiohead new album: 'In Rainbows' track by track
Find out more about the songs on Thom Yorke and co's new record
Some of the songs on the album are brand new, some are up to ten years old, and many have been played live before. Here’s a breakdown of the songs included on ‘In Rainbows’.
A regular part of the band’s recent setlists, the opener has heavy rhythms, syncopated drumming and handclaps and is minimal and sparse, with Jonny Greenwood’s trademark mournful guitar sliding through the song. The lyrics are cryptic: “You used to be alright/What happened?/Etcetera, etcetera/Facts for whatever/15 steps/Then a sheer drop”.
First played live in 2006, the song title was a permanent fixture on the blackboard lists posted by the band on their blog during the run up to the album release. A shift closer to Radiohead’s original guitar sound, the song features a driving rhythm and gnarly blues guitar.
First written ten years ago, ‘Nude’ was considered a forgotten classic until now. The song, which used to be titled ‘Big Ideas (Don’t Get Any)’, was first played live in 1998, and has not appeared on albums before ‘In Rainbows’ due to the band being unable to agree on how to approach its recording. The song opens with an orchestral flurry cut through by Thom Yorke’s driving croon. It’s a slow, ethereal song underpinned by Phil Selway’s trademark patter and tish drumming, not unlike the work he did on ‘Pyramid Song’.
This song was premiered by Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood when they played a one-off gig at London’s Royal Festival Hall in 2005, and the band have played it on tour since. Mid-paced and relaxed but with a dancey drum pattern, Thom Yorke croons about being eaten by worms and the aforementioned weird fishes.
‘All I Need’
This song was debuted live in June last year. Swathed in cello effects and cut through by a melodic, electronic pulse melody, it’s a semi-love song. Lyrics: “I’m a cloud of moths/Who just wants to share your light/I’m just an insect/Trying to get out of the night”, “You only stick with me/Because there are no others.”
This song has never been played live before, although the song title did crop up on messageboards previous to its release. Moody and orchestral while at the same time catchy and jerky, unmistakably Radiohead-style acoustic guitar picking defines this song, hinting at the guitar lines we heard on ‘Paranoid Android’.
Another highly orchestral number, this song pre-dates the ‘Hail To The Thief’ sessions and has been played live before. Thom Yorke’s voice sounds choir-like. A fan favourite, messageboards have already been humming with praise for the song, which is being cited as a standout track on ‘In Rainbows’.
‘House Of Cards’
Debuted in 2005 by Thom on just acoustic guitar, the song is minimal, reggae-ish and lighter in tone to the more orchestral moments on ‘In Rainbows’. The guitar picking is almost jolly.
‘Jigsaw Falling Into Place’
This song was known as ‘Open Pick’ previously, and was debuted on Radiohead’s 2006 tour. A Spanish-style guitar intro gives way to a driving acoustic guitar loop and ratatat drums, then an ascending electic riff. Thom Yorke chants, “Come on and let it out” repeatedly.
The most highly anticipated new song. First played live in 2006, the song is minimal and sparse, build around Thom Yorke’s sombre guitar. Juddery drums and swirly effects kick in later in the song, but overall it remains an understated, tender number. Another song picked out by fans as a highlight.
Have your say on the new record, by commenting on MyNME below.
As previously reported on NME.COM, the band have shocked the music industry by releasing the album as a download, with fans choosing how much to pay for the album.
Radiohead say they are planning a traditional CD release of ’In Rainbows’ for early next year.
Read NME.COM's first review of 'In Rainbows' online now.
Plus send us your reviews of the album. Email you 60 word mini-review of 'In Rainbows' to firstname.lastname@example.org with Radiohead in the subject line. We'll publish the best later.
Also as there is current no artwork to go with 'In Rainbows' NME.COM has created some to fill in the gap. Head to the NME Office blog now and get some free MP3 player/ CD-R friendly artwork.
Read NME.COM’s brief history of Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Phil Selway, Colin Greenwood and Ed O’Brien from their days as On A Friday to Radiohead’s release of 'In Rainbows' now.
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