Radiohead's new "In Rainbows" album is finally available online from Radiohead.com today (Oct. 10), with thousands of fans downloading the 10 new tracks early this morning. Billboard's unique download
Radiohead's new "In Rainbows" album is finally available online from Radiohead.com today (Oct. 10), with thousands of fans downloading the 10 new tracks early this morning.
Billboard's unique download activation code arrived at 7:38 a.m. British Summer Time and -- in contrast to ordering, which was slowed by Web site failures and a clunky interface -- the downloading process was swift and glitch-free.
Within two minutes, the first track, "15 Step," was flickering into life, a minimalist-yet-funky throwback to Thom Yorke's recent solo record, "The Eraser."
Forty-two-and-a-half minutes later, it's clear that while the business model may have shocked the music industry, the album represents solid progression, rather than radical departure, from previous Radiohead albums.
The trademarks of Radiohead's post-"OK Computer" sound -- electronic effects, intricate guitar work and Yorke's eerie falsetto -- are all present on songs like "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" and "Nude."
Yorke's vocals and lyrics are more prominent than on the likes of "Kid A," and there is a more accessible edge to songs like "Faust ARP," "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" and "House of Cards," which features the unusually direct Yorke lyric "I don't wanna be your friend, I just wanna be your lover."
No figures are yet available for how many downloads have been sold, or the average amount paid under the band's "honesty box" pricing policy. However, unofficial sources suggest most customers have chosen to pay around £5 ($10.17) for the download edition. The album will not be U.K. chart eligible, according to the Official U.K. Charts Co.
Share your thoughts about "In Rainbows" on the Billboard blog at JadedInsider.com .
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