Almost four years to the day of the release of Radiohead’s In Rainbows and approximately three years since the discovery of the cryptic code for engineering the easter egg soundtrack, prosthetic knowledge, I learned about it thanks to my buddy, Marc. Apparently, In Rainbows, originally titled 10 is supposed to act as a companion album to OK Computer which was originally titled 01 playing off of binary code. The tracks are meant to alternate beginning with “Airbag” and “15 Step” and ending with OK Computer‘s true finish as it is 12 tracks. The tracking is as follows:
2. 15 Step
3. Paranoid Android
4. Body Snatchers
5. Subterranean Homesick Alien
7. Exit Music (For A Film)
8. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
9. Let Down
10. All I Need
11. Karma Police
12. Faust Arp
13. Fitter Happier
16. House of Cards
17. Climbing Up the Walls
18. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
19. No Surprises
22. The Tourist
For the total experience, you’re supposed to add a 10-second cross-fade so the tracks blend together (though I think an 8 or 9 second cross-fade seems a little less choppy). Then take 10 shots and spin around 10 times while listening to it. If you notice, there’s even a “10″ on the cover of In Rainbows.
I have to say, the tracks do really blend well with one another and it made for an interesting revisit to an old favorite in OK Computer and a critical reevaluation of In Rainbows which, despite being critically well-received, I found to be a bit boring and unimpressive coming from an alt rock magnate like Radiohead.
Radiohead was at one time my favorite band (still probably top 10…again with the 10′s) with OK Computer as my favorite and most listened to album. Then Kid A was exciting, Amnesiac not so much (outside of singles), and a step back in the right direction with Hail to the Thief. It was after the release of Hail to the Thief that I was afforded the opportunity by my friend Jonny J to see them live at Madison Square Garden. It is still one of the best and most memorable concerts that I have ever attended.
For a band that was consistently innovative throughout the mid-90′s and early 2000′s, I figured they would try a few different things. Then In Rainbows in 2007. I did recognize a few of the tracks (“Nude” and “Reckoner”) as previously unreleased OK Computer era songs that I was so psyched to have copies of years ago when they were only played rarely at live shows. It just seemed like Radiohead “old hat” to me and left a taste in my mouth like seltzer: somewhat enjoyable, but otherwise bland. prosthetic knowledge now makes sense out of In Rainbows.
Unfortunately, I was immediately put out after seeing the music video for “Lotus Flower” on Radiohead’s latest album, King of Limbs. Even though it’s not a bad song, it doubled the boredom I found initially with In Rainbows. Maybe I owe the album a few more listens…maybe I don’t.
I seriously hope that Radiohead doesn’t fizzle into pop/rock mediocrity. One way or the other, they have come a long way since their alt rock shlock of the very early 90′s. Check out this little treat when they were still calling themselves On a Friday.
Give prosthetic knowledge a listen. It’s nostalgia and something new at the same time.