Sunday, October 28, 2007

Big Fish Eat The Little Ones

So has anyone actually listened to the new Radiohead album yet? For all the clammering and excitement over its distribution I have yet to see any ink shed on how the damn thing actually sounds. Granted this isn't particularly new considering the band we're talking about. After they hit their stride with The Bends, Radiohead has done a fantastic job of wrapping each of their album with a Gimmick that takes the lion's share of the attention. OK Computer was the return of the concept album, Kid A was a record made by robots, Amnesiac the lost album by the ancient robot-masters. By the time of Hail to the Thief (my favorite, if it matters), the act of making an album without program or protocol, essential sans Gimmick, was Gimmick itself. I'm not saying that these aren't great albums, I'm saying that this is where the press was spilled.

Usually I can depend on all my pretentious friends to tell me how the album sounds. Nothing. The only chatter amongst this crowd has taken a new sinister turn. It would not be inaccurate to call Radiohead fans partial to elitism, but now a new pecking order has been established amongst their own kind! "How much did you pay for it?" Now you can prove your devotion to your favorite band the same way lobbyists have been doing for years.

Of course there are more reasons than that why no one has discussed the album proper. Odds are I run in the wrong circles, where the future of music distribution is more on topic. Also the fact that this downloaded version is supposedly only half the album, and in 128k MP3 nonetheless. Any proper audiophile can you tell that's scarcely better than having your drunk friends hum it to you, so essentially you're paying for a trailer? If anyone can tell me whether it's the long-awaited return to their Pablo Honey sound, let me know.

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