(on facebook? go to www.joshuavt.com for the full post)
So Radiohead launches another sneak attack on the completely suspecting public. There’s bound to be a million reviews in the next 24 hours or even 5 minutes, but I’ll put my 2 cents in now, because it’s my blog I suppose.
I have a interesting relationship with Radiohead, one that’s been going on since about 1993 when I first heard Creep played on the school bus tape deck heading to my first days of junior high. Was it love at first listen? Nope, but it was pretty exhilarating to hear the gigantic and ballsy “CHU CHUNK” of Johnny Greenwood’s guitar before Thom tells someone how fucking special they are. When you’re 13 and live in rural Nova Scotia, these things make an impression on you. Rural life also makes certain things not so easy to get, such as new music. Fast foward to when OK Computer came out, and I luckily had a friend heading into Halifax who agreed to pick it up and bring it home for me. I was unbelievably excited when he finally showed up that evening with it, and it didn’t disappoint. For the first time in my life I was listening to music that I knew had just changed my life. Kind of a bizarre experience. I had a date that night with a grade 11 girl, and I distinctly remember telling her I was sick and needed to stay home, and then listened to the album at least 7 times front to back. That was either really cool, or really, really stupid. Jury is still out.
As much Radiohead have changed my life, they’ve also completely underwhelmed me (Hail to the Thief), confused me for a few days (Kid A), and left me wanting more (In Rainbows). What they haven’t done is completely let me down, which is an admirable feat in an 8 album career. After a couple headphone listens today, I think the music on this new album is really, really good. It’s challenging, exciting, and sonically detailed like crazy. Haven’t gotten fully into the song writing yet, but Thom Yorke is singing strong enough right out of the gates that it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and think less about the overall structure. Â My only little complaint is that it’s only 8 songs. Yes, I know you’re Radiohead, and I understand you do whatever you want, but when you release an 8 tune record that contains one tune that’s basically a crazy instrumental, and charge me $14 for the WAV files, expect me to want a little more. Â I think it’s good to leave your audience hungry for something else, but it feels like someone took my plate away as I was still eating my dinner.
To sum it all up, King Of Limbs is a weird, noisy, melodious avant garde rock album, and it gives me a hopeful feeling that music like this is popular.
On a slightly side note, it was really fascinating to watch twitter today as people 1) discovered that the record was available 2) tweeted their reviews in real time. The reactions were honest, to the point, and reactionary. It felt like you were at a giant listening party where everyone could make their comments without having to shout over the music. I gotta admit, I’m liking this whole twitter thing, and if you’re on it, I”m @j_v_t.