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Thursday, January 22, 2009 

Looking back 2008: Radiohead

(In which Ian mostly avoids writing about any sort of 2008 best-of list in favour of writing up, in no particular order, ten (or so) albums from past years he spent time listening to, thinking about or discovering during 2008. An occasional series, but one which will hopefully be finished over the next few weeks rather than abandoned.)

Radiohead - In Rainbows (2007)

How come I end up where I started?
How come I end up where I went wrong?
Won't take my eyes off the ball again
You reel me out then you cut the string

["15 Step"]

I do not
Understand
What it is
I've done wrong

["Bodysnatchers"]

You paint yourself white
And fill up with noise
But there'll be something missing

Now that you've found it
It's gone
Now that you feel it
You don't
You've gone off the rails

So don't get any big ideas
They're not going to happen
You'll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking


(and, from a bootleg of them playing it live years ago: She stands stark naked and she beckons you to bed / Don't go, you'll only want to come back again)
["Nude"]

I'd be crazy not to follow
Follow where you lead
Your eyes
They turn me
Turn me on to phantoms
I follow to the edge of the earth
And fall off
Everybody leaves
If they get the chance
And this is my chance

["Weird Fishes/Arpeggi"]

I'm the next act
Waiting in the wings
I'm an animal
Trapped in your hot car
I am all the days
That you choose to ignore

["All I Need"]

It's on again, off again, on again
Watch me fall
Like dominos
In pretty patterns...

An elephant that's in the room is
Tumbling, tumbling, tumbling

["Faust ARP"]

You are not to blame for
Bittersweet distractor
Dare not speak its name

["Reckoner"]

I don't want to be your friend
I just want to be your lover
No matter how it ends
No matter how it starts...

Throw your keys in the bowl
Kiss your husband goodnight

["House of Cards"]

I never really got there
I just pretended that I had
Words are blunt instruments
Words are sawn off shotguns

Come on and let it out
Come on and let it out
Come on and let it out
Come on and let it out

Before you run away from me
Before you're lost between the notes
Just as you take the mic
Just as you dance, dance, dance

A jigsaw falling into place
So there is nothing to explain
You eye each other as you pass
She looks back and you look back
Not just once
and not just twice

["Jigsaw Falling Into Place"]

This is my way of saying goodbye
Because I can't do it face to face

["Videotape"]

I'm not accusing Thom Yorke or anyone else in Radiohead of anything, but you will never convince me that In Rainbows isn't 'about' adultery.

Previously on looking back 2008:
Burial

Labels:

That's an interesting interpretation. Maybe that's why I always feel so dirty when I listen to it.

When it came out and we were playing it in the store, all my female coworkers agreed that it was definitely Radiohead's sexiest album (not that you're necessarily saying a lot there).

What finally convinced me that I maybe wasn't crazy was that I looked at the lyrics from the second disc of the deluxe edition - ah, so that's where they put all the political songs!

So wait, are you saying you don't like In Rainbows, or that you do?

i agree it's their sexiest album by far but about adultery? i don't know - seems to be more about every aspect of human relationships, including of course adultery.

I think you missed the point of the post, dude.

I love In Rainbows.

There's . . . There's a second disc?

Yeah, if you bought the special 'discbox,' you got two vinyl albums, two CDs, lots of pretty art.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Rainbows#Track_listing

They finally released "Last Flowers," which is still great, and there are some other good tracks there ("Down Is the New Up," "Up on the Ladder") but it's not world-changing or anything.

I'd never thought about it like that, but it certainly is pretty grubby. 'House Of Cards' is my favourite, so that would probably explain my overall impression.

I don't think I knew there was another disc either. Cheers for performing a great public service, Ian!

Really? Because "House of Cards" is the only that's definitely about cheating and the one that got me thinking all this in the first place. Pleased to be of service, though?

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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imathers at gmail dot com

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