Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Radiohead ~ In Rainbows

I got around to listening to this recently, preferring to wait for the physical CD issue rather than go for the download. I prefer to handle my music and to link a visual aspect to the aural experience. Anyway, it is a very good album and as good as anything they have produced in the past. The multiple rave reviews that have appeared in its wake would support this. However, when I listen to it and I had the same feeling with Arcade Fires “Neon Bible”, which also got huge positive reviews and I liked, I am left thinking that, yes it is good but I have heard so much more that is so much better. Over the last year, albums by the likes of Carptree, Porcupine Tree, Riverside and Phideaux have mined similar seams of modern rock, but with more flair, imagination and to be honest songwriting ability. But the likes of Radiohead and Arcade Fire are set as being at the forefront of modern rock music, while the others I have listed are at best ignored. Why is that?

Radiohead have long been termed prog revivalists, which I have never understood. I don’t hear much that is prog in their music. I think they owe more to the Bowie/Eno/Sylvian school of art rock and maybe even U2 in their more experimental mode.

I know music is such a subjective, personal thing, but I seem to be getting more exasperated that there is so much good music out there, as good if not better than Radiohead, yet they don’t get anywhere near the recognition they deserve. Yes, I admit I am a probably a grumpy old prog head who should stick to their dreary old muso stuff! Whatever!

Maybe I should be thankful that a group like Radiohead, in these days of contrived, manufactured talent can have a number 1 album. It’s a funny old world!


Blogger alcockrj said...

Funny you should mention this today. I never managed to get into Radiohead. However, this weekend I was round at a friend's house and I started listening to the music in the background. I asked what it was and they told me that it was the new Radiohead album. I was very pleasantly surprised. The tracks sounded quite progressive to me. Maybe it is just that I am not used to hearing anything remotely progressive on visits to friends' houses.

I have never heard any Arcade Fire but yesterday I read the name in the emusic top album downloads list.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Fight Club said...

I actually agree with everything you've said here. You can also read my review in my blog.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Barrie Sillars said...

Thanks for the comments and excellent blog "fight club" I will now be a regular reader.

My feelings about the likes of Radiohead are that they are a good band and they have done a lot to have boundary pushing rock made popular in the mainstream. It's just that coming to thsi music from another angle, i.e prog i see so much good music which is criminally ignored in comparison. A lot of the bands I hear are really exploring new areas of music while still maintaining good songwriting, but don't get anywhere near the recognition they deserve. Maybe the prog tag is still poison for many people.

11:44 AM  

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