Radiohead doesn’t know when to take a break. This latest offering is their third major release in 13 months, coming only five months after Amnesiac and barely a year since Kid A. Not that we mind.
The album is a fusion of eight live tracks taken from their international Amnesiac tour. Nothing replaces actually seeing Radiohead, but this album does capture the mutual respect and shared risk transferred across the stage. It also surpasses any bootleg with a deceivingly clean continuity.
Radiohead’s musical advance has defined a new zeitgeist. What they produce in studio is extraordinary and achieving the same impact in concert proves miraculous.
Aptly opening with “The National Anthem,” you immediately detect a different approach. Jonny and Colin Greenwood, Ed O’Brien, and Phil Selway use a repertoire of effects to back up Thom Yorke’s amazing lead.
Maintaining the energy, they break into “I Might Be Wrong.” The mixers were delicate in utilizing the crowd responses to complete the musical spectrum and not interfere with the songs. “Morning Bell” and “Like Spinning Plates” softly bridge the album.
Pandemonium unleashes during “Idioteque,” while Thom performs his customary breakdown dance; picture a lazy-eyed schizophrenic midget having an epileptic seizure. “Everything in its Right Place” presents a technical artistry; Thom’s voice is sampled and tweaked into elaborate variations. The concert relaxes into “Dollars and Cents” and concludes with Thom Yorke, alone, singing “True Love Waits.”
Listening to this, you might begin to envy everyone at their shows, but it does reinforce that, yes, they are that damn good.