Thursday, October 11, 2007

There will be millions and millions of words written about Radiohead's In Rainbows. But a day after listening to the album for the first time (and many more times after that), I feel like this is an album of joyful paranoia (para-joy-a?) -- the culmination of a paranoid (android) journey from apocalypse (OK Computer), to the words that come after from a digital grave (Kid A & Amnesiac), to a tremulous re-engagement with a broken world (Hail to the Thief), to this: A transcendent acceptance of brokenness and a desire to find love and happiness in the ruins. I can imagine this album being the soundtrack to the lives of those lonely few that we meet at the end of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, loving and living in the midst of post-apocalyptic horrors. This is the album you listen to while contemplating bringing a child into this world (or conceiving that child) in the face of everything that's so undeniably fucked. For these reasons, this album might be the most necessary Radiohead album; there is no way forward without the thesis that there is a good life to be lived in the face of (or shortly after) catastrophe.