Not quite on the level of Dark Side and Dorothy, but there are a few outside-the-bong schools of thought on Radiohead’s latest release circulating that you might wanna know about.
#1 – The Binary Theory
This comes by way of Puddlegum, and it’s all about the mystical connection of 1N RA1NB0WS and the number 10. The facts are these:
In Rainbows came out 10 years after the landmark OK Computer, with only 10 days advance notice, on 10/10.
In Rainbows was preceded by 10 cryptic messages on deadairspace: nine featuring lots of the letter X (Roman numeral 10 — e.g. “Xendless Xurbia”), and a tenth of the boys drinking some tea. Which we’re pretty sure even puddlegum agrees is random.
In Rainbows has 10 letters, 10 tracks, and was rumored to be available for download on 10 servers.
PG says that “someone associated with Thom Yorke” wrote them after reading the article, and offered Thom’s response:
?The meaning behind all of this is right in front of our faces, we?re just overlooking it. [Thom] has been expecting an article much like this one for a couple of years, as have I. But I?m willing to wager he?ll have fun waiting a few more. On the other hand, it seems to annoy him that no one ?gets it? yet, given the mountain of clues.?
They go on to draw out a tracklist which they claim proves the intentional connection of OK Computer and In Rainbows, but that’s where we’ll leave it. No dilly dallying when there’s more speculative fun to have…
#2 – The Golden Section
According to a post on Mortigi Tempo, you can hear Thom sing the album’s title, along with those blissful strings, right when In Rainbows enters The Golden Section (or Golden Ratio), the old Renaissance-era theory that 1.6180339887 (or 61.8%) is an aesthetically pleasing “sweet spot” in a work of art. How it applies here:
In Rainbows is 42m 34s, or 2554 seconds long. 2554/1.618 is the 1578th or so second of the album, which is 2m49s into Reckoner, precisely when the strings come in with the album title.
It’s Golden, Jerry! Golden, I tell ya.
#3 – In Rainbows To Be Released In The U.S. Via Dave Matthews’s Label ATO
Far out, right? Best part about this one — it’s true!
Thanks to reader Brian K. for filling us in on the first two. And thanks to those burnouts at New York Times for the DMB connection.