Thom Yorke. Laughing?
The b-sides for In Rainbows features two moments where we hear Radiohead laugh. “Bangers & Mash” (at approx. 2:32 in) and “4 Minute Warning” (at approx. 0:58 in). Radiohead, in and since Meeting People Is Easy, has been the band that doesn’t laugh. That’s not so true. As Samuel JP Shaw put it, “Radiohead – good humoured? You’re having a laugh.” Um, yes. Another quote:
I believe that to dismiss the band as merely despondent is to miss a trick. Hail To The Thief as an album clearly doesn’t intend to present its listeners with a positive view of the world. However, the way that Radiohead present their manifesto of woe is not without a sense of fun.
Shaw has it right. Just listen to Yorke’s laugh. In Rainbows is less funny than Radiohead having fun. The songs are sexy, languorous–think of “Nude.” It’s fun, the band is having fun, and the song is funny: “You’ll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking.”
Now, that’s funny.