In Rainbows

Common Sense Media says

Moody, thought-provoking music best for teens.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

One song touches on the fear that grips society today: "You can fight it like a dog/And it brought me to my knees/They got scared and they put me in…All their eyes wrapped around my face/Although everybody else can see." Also, a few tracks have a tinge of depressing lyrics such as "Your eyes/They turn me/Turn me on to phantoms/I follow to the edge of the earth/And fall off/Everybody leaves/If they get the chance" and "You only stick with me/Because there are no others."

Violence

A few poetic references such as "words are a sawed off shotgun." The last track is open to interpretation: Is the subject of the song contemplating suicide ("This is my way of saying goodbye/Because I can't do it face to face")?

Sex

"I don't wanna be your friend/I just wanna be your lover" is about as sexual as it gets.

Language

One mention of "hell."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although the music and vocals on this CD are haunting and sound depressing, the lyrics really aren't. Most of the songs are obscure, but don't talk about anything that's not safe for teens. "Videotape," however, is the one track that is open to interpretation: Is the subject of the song contemplating suicide or does he just realize that he's just had the most perfect day and couldn't imagine another one like it?

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Radiohead does so many things well. They write wonderful poetic lyrics. They transform listeners into a powerful mood with every ebb and flow of their instruments. They're fronted by a haunting, yet somehow welcoming voice. And, they never just throw an album together to get something on the airwaves. All this remains true for the band's latest release, IN RAINBOWS, which fans were allowed to buy on the band's Web site for how ever much they wanted. No doubt the tracks will captivate diehard fans -- even if they can't decipher the mostly obscure lyrics ("Make a sound/Move back home/Get an invitation/With the edges/Sawn off").

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Each song is as intense as the next, both lyrically ("Your eyes/They turn me/Turn me on to phantoms/I follow to the edge of the earth/And fall off/Everybody leaves/If they get the chance") and musically (songs build force with guitar riffs, poignant string instrument solos appear with perfect timing, and Thom Yorke doesn't just sing, he pleads). Listeners will be left with a sense of calm, creativity, and contemplation.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the marketing behind Radiohead's new CD. Why do you think they allowed people to pay what they wanted for the songs? Do you think most people will pay as much as they would if they bought it somewhere that had it at a set price? Why was it only available through their Web site? Did all this create more of a buzz around the release? Was that intentional? Families can also talk about making something different. Why does Radiohead's music and songwriting stand out from other music out there? What is it about popular culture that makes so many artists try to sound the same? Do you think it's hard to be different?

Music details

Artist:Radiohead
Release date:October 10, 2007
Label:_Xurbia_Xendless Limited
Genre:Indie Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of In Rainbows was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMusicSavesLives January 26, 2009
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Beautiful Beyond Expression.

Radiohead is a brilliant band, and this album really demonstrates this. This band is just... Breath-taking. The music is beautiful and thought-provoking and it is ORIGINAL. You just can't help but to love it!
Kid, 11 years old June 23, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

A kid

I may be a kid but music is one of my favorite things ever. This is a great album. Not as good as Kid A, OK Computer, The Bends, or Hail To The Thief in my opinion. A little bit off violance in "15 Step" when Thom Yorke says "you cut the string" witch means you killed me. Great album, i recommend.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byMiddleAgedGeek March 21, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Gorgeous classic from the best band in the world right now

Gorgeous, thoughtful, innovative music. Radiohead are a bunch of geeky geniuses, prodigious skills on their instruments and with their songwriting. Very sharp, intelligent lyrics. Pretty songs and beautiful melodies mask strange time signatures and sometimes an improv-jazz feel -- very few of their songs are easy to learn to play. Radiohead tends to be on the cynical side, but it is cynicism mixed with hope. The over-arching theme of their music is to experience the range of human emotions and human experience without losing identity, sense of self, humanity. Many of their songs are very sad, and deeply cynical. The speaker in some of the songs is unhinged with fear, but on other songs, deeply appreciates the small, perfect moments that pepper our lives. On record the band can come off as chilly and mathematical. What is amazing is, the most chilly songs on their record are the most emotional and deep songs live. The band is even better live than on record. These guys are truly geniuses and the band is probably the best band in the world today. The music can be difficult and challenging but consistently rewards adventurous listeners. They have an almost cult like following -- good luck getting concert tickets. Live, they don't interact very much with the audience, forgoing even spotlights on the members, for disambiguated video images of their hands, faces, and other closeups, and abstracted free form computerized doodlings on the video screens, and LED light shows that are "green friendly" and low carbon footprints. The songs almost always transform live, and there are always two or three songs during a concert that will gut the entire audience and leave them in tears. In Rainbows is one of their most listener friendly and immediate records, with lush melodies for the ballads and thrashing fury for the barnstormers. What is freaky scary is how if you alternate the songs from 1997's OK computer with 2008's In Rainbows, and if you do the cross fade just right, you will notice that the two albums are very obviously meant to be played as one piece. The end of a OK Computer song being the lead in to an In Rainbows song. It's pretty jaw dropping and takes Radiohead to an entirely different level. They are scary good at what they do.

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