I’ve only listened to Radiohead’s new record 4 or 5 times at this point, but here are my thoughts, most of which are neutral (meaning, they are neither negative nor positive comments, just observations)…
1. This record sounds a lot like Thom Yorke’s solo record The Eraser.
2. The word is that Thom has been doing most of the drumming in the studio for the past 4 albums, and I think his feel is recognizable… meaning, I’m pretty sure he’s the drummer on this recording.
3. Also similar to the previous few records are the super tight and dry drum sounds.
4. The first track reminds me of Rufus Wainwright singing over a Steve Reich composition.
5. As a rock band, Radiohead doesn’t necessarily feel the need to “rock.”
6. Track 3 is a SUPER deceptive groove (also similar to Eraser). The snare notes ARE NOT the backbeats, but are rather the “& of 2” and “& of 4.” This becomes clear once the groove drops out in the bridge and you’re left with just the vocal/guitars/perc. The guitar line on the verses accents the upbeats, not the quarter notes.
7. Radiohead is always on the front lines of utilizing the possibilities that technology offers to the music world. Obviously an observation easily made from other records, but this one just reinforces it.