I was reminded of this via a post over at Kottke this morning. I remembered reading it and trying it out shortly after In Rainbows was released, but I couldn\’t remember how it sounded. (Short version – urban legend has it that In Rainbows and OK Computer were designed to be companions, and that a playlist alternating tracks between the two is \’awesome\’.)
After listening to it, I\’m underwhelmed, and I probably was the first time too. Understand that I loved Radiohead up through OK Computer – I saw them on tour for that album, and it was an amazing show. I\’ve since come to love their next album, Kid A, as well, but it definitely marks a shift in the kind of music the band makes, and Thom Yorke in particular has changed his vocal style and melodies since then. They\’re no longer the same band that made those first three albums, and that\’s fine.
In Rainbows is a nice little album. (In much the same way that some of Pearl Jam\’s latest albums have been ok, but it\’s been all downhill since Vs.) But this playlist doesn\’t work for me. The musical style is somewhat similar, but it still just doesn\’t \’fit\’ right. I\’d be tempted to say that this idea of a companion album was leaked out there to encourage sales, but if you\’ll recall, In Rainbows was the album that Radiohead let you download for free and asked you to donate what you thought it was worth, which got them plenty of publicity as it was.
In any case, I think this is some wishful thinking on the part of the old-time Radiohead fans, who should be going out and buying Muse\’s albums instead.