‘In Rainbows’ Bonus CD – a review

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By now people should know that I love Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’. For the record I was among the 40% who actually paid for the download. Of course GBP 1.45 is way lower than what I would have to fork out for the-soon-to-released discbox. Today I want to talk about the material on the bonus 2nd cd that will come in the box.

Out-takes are out-takes for a reason. They are usually bad ideas which seemed half-way decent after that 5th beer but do not stand up to the harsh light of reason the morning after. However we are talking about Radiohead here. Some lesser bands’ careers are based on songs of the same quality as Radiohead’s most throwaway tracks. For a bunch of stuff rescued from the editing room’s floor the bonus cd stands up respectably well to repeated listening.

“Banger & Mash” is a cantankerous call to arms. Fueled by a funky bass line, the song bursts out of the starter’s block, all chrome and gleaming steel. “Down Is The New Up” slows things down with a fluid piano coda followed by its morose elder brother “Go Slowly” which moves at a glacial pace with the trademark Yorke falsetto hovering over proceedings like an angel in heat. “Last Flowers” opens with a traditional piano passage framing a simple melody fleshed out by some beautiful singing again courtesy of Major Thom.

“MK 1” and “MK 2” are short sonic interludes san vocals culled from tracks in CD1, positioned as a bridge between the 2 discs. “Up On The Ladder” is a welcome tip-of-the-hat to the progrock of “OK Computer”. Whether knowingly or otherwise “4 Minute Warning” which closes the disc, sounds amusingly like a Christmas song replete with tambourines and a mutated strain of jauntiness shot through with custom-made Radiohead foreboding. How about that folks? We just heard the followup to “In Rainbows”!

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