Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. The most heartening thing about In Rainbows, besides the fact that it may represent the strongest collection of songs Radiohead have assembled for a decade, is that it ventures into new emotional territories.
  2. Rainbows may be the gentlest, prettiest Radiohead set yet.
  3. It's true that we've come to expect a certain level of genius from this band, but when they actually exceed expectations, as they do here, it's a clear sign that Radiohead will continue to reinvent themselves and drop more jaws along the way.
  4. Q Magazine
    Once again, Radiohead have proven themselves priceless. [Dec 2007, p.107]
  5. The brilliant In Rainbows represents no such thing [downshift]. Nonetheless, it's a very different kind of Radiohead record. Liberated from their self-imposed pressure to innovate, they sound--for the first time in ages--user-friendly.
  6. Excluding the established Radiohead franchise from consideration of In Rainbows, it is still one of the most compelling recent releases, and should be considered for 2007's Album of the Year in any context.
  7. Elsewhere, it's business as usual--mostly amazing business, to be sure, but never entirely unexpected.
  8. In Rainbows, then, is Radiohead as straight and lean as they’ve ever sounded.
  9. In Rainbows really does present Radiohead at their most full-blooded and confident.
  10. All of it rocks; none of it sounds like any other band on earth; it delivers an emotional punch that proves all other rock stars owe us an apology.
  11. The first time I listened to Radiohead's In Rainbows, I loved it, no holds barred.
  12. By turns danceable, blissed out romantic, familiar and new, it's technologically and musically fascinating. Its juxtaposition of orga and mecha is one of its many well executed contradictions. Packed but sparse, thrilling, complex, innovative, simple. Without even a dud bar never mind a filler track, In Rainbows is more than any fan could hope for.
  13. It’s as brazen, bold and brilliant as anything it’s done thus far. It is, as Thom Yorke claimed, very minimal. Yet, the album never sounds half-finished, but instead focused and refined. It’s as vital as anything the band has done.
  14. The album proves itself to be what we all thought Radiohead couldn’t make again: a masterpiece.
  15. This album is more a statement of where they're going. It feels big, open, and alone, like you are listening in on something you shouldn't hear.
  16. In Rainbows will hopefully be remembered as Radiohead's most stimulating synthesis of accessible songs and abstract sounds, rather than their first pick-your-price download.
  17. Maybe In Rainbows is their life--settling into things, creating permanence. If so, we may grow to miss the anger and the striving and the discovery that comes as a result. But for now, we can enjoy the beauty of Radiohead understanding their identity and the craftsmanship that lies in comfort.
  18. First impressions are pretty damn good. It’s dreamy, eerie, epic, soaring, soothing, very occasionally manic... and more.
  19. This is a grownup album, made for grownups.
  20. Radiohead sound as ephemeral and variegated as ever, flowering and streaming and as big as the light our eyes can catch.
  21. Overall, the material feels more human, more honest, more assured.
  22. Happily, In Rainbows is pretty, pretty good.
  23. 'Videotape' closes off the album peacefully, like a peck kiss goodbye, and it fittingly finishes the sparse emptiness of the record. However, the entire album lacks a climax.
  24. In Rainbows, the band's seventh studio album and first since 2003's "Hail to the Thief," is dense and thorny, complex and beautiful.
  25. In Rainbows is a wonderful, absorbing album.
  26. Amazingly, it lacks any pretense: their aesthetic is organic and fluid, indicating a band that responds honestly and artistically to circumstance, rather than one that imposes a rigid, stagnant aesthetic for more idealistic purposes.
  27. Rhythmic layers crackle and coil, percussion spatters prettiness, and noise sometimes looms from murky corners....Radiohead has also reclaimed its tunefulness. Its new songs take care to string long-lined melodies across the rigorous counterpoint.
  28. In Rainbows, its first new album in four years, is a gorgeous, if understated return to form.
  29. Not only is this Radiohead’s most straightforward, organic-sounding album since The Bends, it finds the band shedding the bulk of its trademark anxiety while remaining indomitably themselves.
  30. 80
    Radiohead have made their most well-behaved, classically structured album since "OK Computer."
  31. 80
    In Rainbows is far more pensive and reflective than its predecessor.
  32. 80
    The album succeeds because all that cold, clinical lab work hasn't eliminated the warmth from their music. [Dec 2007, p.111]
  33. Mojo
    Both artistically and in terms of a new business model, In Rainbows is a necesary masterstroke. [Dec 2007, p.96]
  34. In Rainbows is a richly textured and resonant record. In a career marked by dramatic reinvention, Radiohead’s latest phase — growing old gracefully--is going quite well.
  35. The music within the album has many sides to it, and the execution gives each aspect enough emphasis to add to the sound without creating clutter or over saturation.
  36. 'Bodysnatchers' exhibits the electioneering energy of The Bends with a monstrous riff that explodes into a spiral galaxy of guitar, but the remainder of the album flows like an extended Soma holiday.
  37. In Rainbows with the all-too-familiar stiff, programmed beats and strategically placed effects of '15 Steps,' but soon more organic elements (spare bass and leftfield guitar--literally, coming out of the left speaker) take center stage, rendering it one of the band's best hybrids in years.
  38. It's certainly pretty, and definitely has its moments, but it simply lacks the vitality of past work.
  39. It feels like vital parts are gone, missed somewhere in Radiohead’s search through their own oeuvre for something more and more facilely universal, something that draws lines within lines of song types and not the larger methodology, something that can be "important" without being challenging.
  40. The Wire
    There is still a sense here of a group magisterially marking time, shying away this time round from any grand, rhetorical, countercultural purpose. [Dec 2007, p.63]
  41. I can sense that there's something pretty great going on and even briefly catch glimpses of it. But as an experience, it's a little bit maddening, and eventually I'll want to throw away the glasses and pick up a book.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 1996 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. j30
    Aug 11, 2011
    A perfect album and one of the best albums of the decade. This is one of those albums you'll look back on and remember the exact time andA perfect album and one of the best albums of the decade. This is one of those albums you'll look back on and remember the exact time and place you first listened to it. It's a record that changed the music industry forever by asking consumers how much their music meant to them. Apparently a lot, because the album went number 1 on music charts when the cd copy came out. It's kind of funny to think that this album didn't win "Album of the Year" at the Grammy's. Full Review »
  2. VinnyP
    Oct 12, 2007
    This album is stunning and achingly beautiful. There is absolutely no filler here, and the band sounds the most genuine that they've This album is stunning and achingly beautiful. There is absolutely no filler here, and the band sounds the most genuine that they've sounded in years. I keep changing my mind on what the best songs are, because they really are all that good. Listening to In Rainbows takes you ona journey that is a bit of a rollercoaster, a bit of sonic orgasm, all with an undercurrent infused with a dark sense of love. I know I'm talking crazy here but the music has just captivated me that much. By the time the journey ends with "Videotape," you'll want to revisit it right away. As a fan I not only love the album but am happy for the band, for them to continue to reach new levels and to continue to put out music that matters. Hands down the best album of the year so far, possibly my favorite of the decade. Full Review »
  3. Tom
    Oct 13, 2007
    Makes me realize there are true artist still left in this world.