Monday, July 20, 2009

thom yorke - 'the present tense' (live at latitude)

if i could count the amount of times i've wondered if radiohead are angels/aliens, i'd be able to count myself to sleep for many nights. thom yorke, et al, have such dynamic musical abilities, i find it challenging to not sit in wonder if this will be the greatest band i will ever experience in my lifetime. this recording is from this year's altitude festival and thom plays a new song entitled 'the present tense' all by his lonesome.

breaking down the elements of the song, the guitar is something quite similar to 'reckoner', fingerpicked loosely in lopsided succession. yorke's vocals are restrained in the beginning, singing lightly of weapons and self-defense. implicitly, his soft vocals mirror the folky nature of the song and lyrics ("don't get heavy, keep it light, keep it moving"). following the second verse, he shifts into jeff buckley's vocal range with a fervent, yet calm demeanor. briefly, there is a definite feel of 'you and whose army' mixed with the break from 'reckoner' as the chord progression changes in a familiar sense. as the guitar shifts back, the bossa nova roots becoming more evident, as he coos, "in you i'm lost;" leaving just enough time to breathe deeply and it abruptly ends.

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