First the album. It's very listenable to although hardly ground-breaking but it is far more accessible than Kid A and certainly more tuneful than Hail to the Thief.
But, and here's the big BUT, I liked it on first hearing, in fact I loved it. This is always a danger sign as the albums that I loved straight away, Coldplay's X&Y for example, now rarely get taken out of the case. Albums that take more listening to, that were hard work to begin with (Kid A) go on to become firm favourites and will always make it onto the CD player. So will I be listening to it in a year's time? Probably not.
Now to the Business Model. The Internet has spawned a change in the way we buy and listen to music and the way that Radiohead sold this album is new, but is in fact a variation of an older idea.
A few years ago Marillion (yes, they are still going!) asked their fanbase to buy the album first, prior to writing it, in order that they could finance the recording of it. This was after the US tour was cancelled resulting in one visionary American fan drumming up enough support via email from the Stateside fans which led to the band being able to complete the American tour. There was agreat article in Q earlier this year about the 'Marillion Model' and no, the Arctic Monkeys were not there first!
Now, if you want to hear a really great album, look no further than Someplace Else or Marbles by Marillion. Kayleigh? No, not quite, just fantastic music by musicians who can play and are still passionate about it. Modern Marillion has more in common with Radiohead than it does with Jesters and ten minute keyboard solos. Have a listen, I'll bet you like it!
But back to Radiohead, In Rainbows is still on in the background and yes, it's very, very good...... for now.