The newest release by Radiohead has already been picked apart all over the web, so there's probably not much I can add in terms of reviewing the album. Instead, I'll keep this short and simply add some of my intial reactions and observations. Enough is to say that I'm enjoying the album immensely.
In Rainbows is easily the most organic sounding Radiohead album since The Bends, but that doesn't mean it's the return of the "old" Radiohead that many still seem to be waiting for. If anything, the band confirms that there is no such thing as the old Radiohead anymore, as they approach these songs with a confident maturity that's never been as starkly demonstrated as it is here. It's fairly obvious that the band has little concern for trends or expectations and are simply making music that interests them. Apparently, these days that includes lush strings, understated arrangements, jazzy guitars, a mild touch of r&b, and yes, still the occasional skittering drum machine.
"Nude," a fan favourite that's been in the band's live repertoire for a decade finally makes an appearance on an album: it's beautiful. "Reckoner" also finally makes it onto an album; however, it isn't even the same song as what the band played live. I have no idea how the title became attached to a different song, but this one's good, too. Meanwhile, many people seem to be complaining about the album version of "Videotape," but I think it's gorgeous. Now... let's get to work on recording "Big Boots," shall we?
[YouTube] Reckoner (old version)
[YouTube] Nude (live, 1998)
[YouTube] Big Boots (choppy version from Meeting People is Easy)
[Official Site] In Rainbows