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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

What is the monetary value of music? How much are you willing to pay?

Radiohead lets you decide with their long-anticipated seventh LP, "In Rainbows." The label-less British band with a massive following released their album digitally on its Web site Oct. 10, allowing visitors to choose how much they want to pay for the download (including nothing).

Luckily for us, "In Rainbows" is yet another exemplary Radiohead album, worth every penny of whatever you choose to pay. Musically, the group ditches much of the electronic influence heard in "Kid A" and "Amnesiac," settling for an ambient, minimalist, organic sound that blasts lushness only at the most critical times. Lyrically, Thom Yorke is as anxious as ever, crooning away the pains of life with his falsetto.

"All I Need" is the standout track, pairing a desperate Yorke with hip-hop drums and a trunk-rattling synthesizer bass line, slowly building to an atmospheric rock orchestra of chimes, pianos, crashing cymbals, guitars and strings. Meanwhile, the appropriately titled "Nude" is a sparse, moody symphony that would blend in perfectly on "OK Computer."

Radiohead evolves with every release, and "In Rainbows" is no exception. While Yorke is as paranoid as ever, the music is some of the band's most relaxed and melancholy yet. This dichotomy works perfectly, though, and will please both Radiohead fans and those seeking something refreshing, as well.

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