The Michigan Daily discovered in November 2004 that several articles written by arts editor Alex Wolsky did not meet the newspaper’s standard of ethical journalism. Parts of these stories had been plagiarized from other news sources. Although the article below has not been found to contain plagiarism, the Daily no longer stands by its content. For details, see the Daily’s editorial.
For most people, the only exposure to multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood they’d have is through the experimental rock quintet Radiohead. Greenwood, an indispensable aspect of the band’s success and progression towards varying sonic radicalism, used his downtime from the band to record the emotional soundtrack Bodysong.
Greenwood has always been a major part of Radiohead’s instrumental side, composing sections for horns and strings, as well as some conducting during the Amnesiac sessions with jazz trumpeter Humphrey Lyttleton. Thus, it’s only natural that Bodysong feels like an extension of his earlier work.
A series of interlaying strings open “Moon Trills,” the album’s first track, as electronic bursts scream from opposite channels before settling into a simple piano piece. Throughout the track, the opening segments hover above the piano falling in and out of one’s auditory range keeping the piano as a static point of return. It dances back and forth while remaining somewhat grounded before it carelessly ambulates into “Moon Mall,” a synthetic interlude to the raucous “Trench.”
The album coasts into its final climax, “Mily Drops from Heaven” along a path of strings and programmed analog transmissions. The track weaves in between chaotic horns and acoustic bass until it is abruptly sent into a flurry, crumbling like a mountain struck by the comet in the pre-dawn light. The album cascades into “Tehellet,” a string-laden coda that plays like ashes burn away into the sunrise.
Bodysong is a fantastic debut for Greenwood as a solo musician; however, the highlights of the album are few and far between. Amid the sporadic expositions of genius lie uninspired moments of a musician outside of his natural habitat.