Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Song of the Day - Radiohead: "House of Cards"

Yes, it is "All Radiohead, All The Time" (at least today) over here at The Fertile Crescent and I make no apologies. It's been four long years since the release of Hail to the Thief and today's watershed release of In Rainbows feels like a holiday to me. Today's Song of the Day continues that celebration as it is one of my personal favorites on the new album.

"House of Cards" may be familiar to those who had the chance to see Radiohead during their most recent tour (which, due to my lack of money and tickets selling out in less than five minutes, doesn't include me), but even if it isn't it does sound as if you've heard it before. Not because it is derivative of Radiohead's earlier work, but because it is (for lack of a better word) catchy. That may be a weird adjective to attribute to a Radiohead song, but I think it applies even if 'catchy' in this instance doesn't equal 'poppy', which this song certainly is not. Johnny Greenwood's simple guitar hook is mostly to blame, as it serves as the foundation for Thom Yorke's plea to a would-be lover. This combination, along with the swirling string atmospherics in the background, give this track a graceful flow that is beautiful to listen to. Usually when Radiohead attempts songs like this they are laden with wailing vocals and abstract lyrical imagery, but this seem much less overwrought this time around. While I love those songs too, it is nice to see the band take an approach that is a departure from the past and succeed flawlessly.

*Photo credit: Radiohead's Dead Air Space blog.

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