Firstly where’s the cover art biatches …. Surely they could have emailed that through along with the download link … or at least some information on who’s played what … and lyrics!!!
Anyhoo, Blow by Blow:
15 steps .. lousy opener … same klattering percussion and biz-as-ush radiohead chord progressions … with his strangled yelp, its always a bit hard to hear what Thom is singing about … and the children’s shout outs at the end don’t really add anything to this … so moving along peops
Bodysnatchers … nice opening riffs …this should have been the opener I think … more strangled yelping from Thom. This sounds like early radiohead … Its actually a nice little rock-out in a fairly straightforward fashion …
Nude …. The album’s first slowey. Thom is developing a nice little vibrato on his falsetto. I am a little sick of this 6/8 time signature … but this is pleasant enough. There are some predictable but lovely chord resolutions. And the string like guitar passages help to flesh out the spare instrumentation on this track.
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi – ok triplets over a 4/4 beat …. This is typically radiohead … and a little passé …this is reminiscent of Thom’s solo effort Eraser … but the track does build up … which may seem obvious … but this is an experienced band … and its no mean feat … I suggest that you play this loud … and go with the cresecendoes …
All I need … ok midway through …. And this track makes me feel it … thankfully this is a short. I think this would work better live … lots of opportunities for Thom to emote … and lights to change … and the rest of the band rocks out till the finish.
Faust Arp …. Ok so far hands down my favourite track. Simple in execution … acoustic guitar and strings … almost beatlesque … but not quite. And best of all … it doesn’t outstay its welcome.
Reckoner … on first listen I felt I’ve been down this road so many times … but I think this will be the track that I will keep coming back to. I guess this makes sense … I liked the radiohead sound … which is why I Iove the band so much … and so why shouldn’t this radiohead-by-numbers track not appeal to me? My only real criticism of this track is that it just simply fades out … quite abruptly.
House of Cards – another mid-paced track … and it’s the most “happy” that I have heard Radiohead sound. There are no emotional peaks in the vocals … but the track is punctuated by swathes of synthesized sounds and distorted guitar passages that add a touch of nostalgia to this somehow … hard to explain but this is making me feel homesick … I do like it.
Jigsaw falling into place – this is pedestrian … not a lot I can say about this … but most likely the track that I will skip – there’s a pleasant enough key change towards the end … but not enough I’m afraid.
Videotape – phew! Last song … promising piano start. Nice off-kilter melody line … and curious but strangely addictive percussive riff playing underneath … and so it ends.
Another Radiohead release over and done with.
In summary, I don’t think this will win them any new fans … but I’m pretty sure that current fanbase will be happy enough with this release. On the plus side, I’m more likely to return to this album than I did Hail to the Thief … but I suspect that I will tire of this after a few listens like I did with Eraser. I guess we always hope for an Ok Computer or a KidA … but the band is getting older and a darnsight wealthier … but bowie still manages to pull it off … why can’t Thom and Co?? I think more effort has gone into the marketing (and peops lets pull the wool off our eyes … the pay what you want is a marketing strategy!!) of this than the music itself. Maybe they lived with these tracks for too long now … but it lacks the usual spark … maybe it’s the bit rate … maybe it’s the fact that I’m denied the physicality of a CD and the cover art and the credits … I have nothing to pour over and its left to the music in its entirety to move me … and so far so unmoved.