Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Radiohead: I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings

The approach of the holidays generally signals the onset of the year's least inviting stretch of new music releases, with unenticing 800-pound gorillas (Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Creed) coexisting with cash-in hits packages and live toss-offs, followed by a dry spell that lasts well into February. Unless next week's big O-Town live disc bears a surprise of cosmic proportions, the season's most compelling concert souvenir belongs to Radiohead. Though marred by characteristically unrevealing packaging and inexplicable brevity—a paltry eight songs in a paltrier 40 minutes—I Might Be Wrong casts new light on the band's much-examined recent material. Drawn almost entirely from Kid A and the underrated Amnesiac, the disc strips down and opens up an ambitious and frequently obtuse portion of Radiohead's catalog, applying a welcome dose of direct emotion. "Everything In Its Right Place" doesn't deviate drastically from the twisty original, but tracks like "Morning Bell" benefit immeasurably from their emphasis on warmly understated instrumentation and Thom Yorke's front-and-center vocals. I Might Be Wrong's greatest asset arrives with the mesmerizing "True Love Waits," a concert favorite available commercially for the first time. Its instrumentation limited to an acoustic guitar, the track is a refreshing reminder of Radiohead's emotional generosity, a trait too often forgotten in discussions of its experimentation and alleged inaccessibility. Had that generosity been extended to the disc's length, I Might Be Wrong might have been a classic document instead of a merely worthwhile companion piece.


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