A link to an interesting and incendiary piece from Spin Magazine....Yet I find myself focused on #1...
I would like to find Chris Norris, pull him away from his peach chai and his laptop, pluck his one inch thick bi-focals from his head and bitch slap him with an oven mitt with a brick in it.
The best(read : worst) snippet from this Debunked Rock Myth is that Radiohead have turned into "a well dressed jam band that you can't even dance to." He calls them paralyzingly boring more than once. He says fans started drifting to Coldplay after Kid A was released in 2000. Have any of you out there known ANYONE who has "left one band for another"? Let alone Radiohead for Coldplay? Thats like switching from the NY Times Crossword to Connect the Dots...
Chris, maybe Radiohead simply got BORED, not boring. I don't believe that they felt some internal pressure to top OK Computer, I think they just kept going...away from a guitar based verse chorus verse, which in this article, is apparently a "form" fans were hoping they would return to. I also believe they weren't going to stylistically evolve into the electronic wave of maps that were Kid A and Amnesiac without believing in the work...and that alienating fans was the furthest thing from their minds..it is merely an evolution.
The internet(pay what you want) release of In Rainbows was not a gimmick, rather an experiment by a band with power and money, yes... who also grew tired of the stale and confining structure of a traditional record company and its relationship to artists and fans. They put it out later on a label anyway because many fans like to hold things in their hands(and not merely own a digital pile of files) and vinyl sales happen to be on an inexplicable upswing.
Radiohead don't suck, Chris. They push boundaries and buttons and evolve(albeit sideways at times). They refuse to be as good as their last release..and they don't want to be the future any more than they want to make music that means something now.