The two interesting things about In Rainbows: 1) it’s a return to a more accessible sound, and 2) released it from their web-site without a record company. Both items are about rebellion. As I’ve mentioned before, I like The Bends and the first half of O.K. Computer. If you’re a band trying to be cool, you have to avoid becoming a band that the uncool listen to while trying to be cool. You don’t want some jock saying he put your song on a mix tape between and . (I show my age.) You don’t want to be played during half time of a sporting event. You don’t want the President of the United States to quote you. To avoid that, you make albums that are really difficult to listen to. Only your true fans will make the effort to listen.
The record company thing is obvious. You always have to have “the man” to “stick it to.” It’s a limited concept because eventually you have to become your own man. released the album on their own, but who handles the on-line orders? Who sent out the press release to all the critics? Who made a household name in the first place? The man. But that’s what I love about . They are clinging to the last size area of cool. Who cares about contradictions? Maybe in 10 years their stuff will sound really dated. Who came first, or ? Its that 2000s sound.
Anyway, it’s on to something new.