I don't think that I've ever had to write a music review quite like this before.
You see, first there we're records. Twelve-inch slabs of vinyl that you put on a turntable, and then laid back in your "stereo chair" — conveniently centered between a pair of speakers of course. From there, you usually cracked a cold one, lit up a fat one — or whatever your chosen mode of attitude adjustment might be — and then flipped open the jacket to pour over the lyric sheet and the liner notes.
Then there was the CD. Smaller, cleaner — if not exactly warmer sounding. But pretty much the same deal, even though you might need a pair of glasses to read the lyrics cause the print was so much tinier on those damn little booklets.
The thing is, writing a review was something made easy because what you were writing about was something tangible. Something you could actually hold in your hands. You could look at the artwork, read about who played what on which track, and take down your necessary notes while going about the joyful task of giving your chosen subject a critical listen.
So at this point, I should probably interject that it is not my intention to open up a debate about the merits — or lack thereof — of today's music delivery systems. The MP3 download is here to stay whether I personally like it or not — and there are a number of reasons that I don't, which I won't go into here. It has its obvious advantages — the most notable of which are accessibility and mobility in use. It also has its drawbacks, which include the ability to hold a piece of art in your hands the same way you would hold the Mona Lisa, or say, a copy of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Another drawback though, would be making writing a review the simple, enjoyable task that it used to be. But here goes anyway. The new Radiohead album, In Rainbows, is the first album I have ever written about that — at least at this moment — is available only as a download.
So here is the story so far.