Pitchfork's Chris Dahlen wraps his brain around Radiolab's sonic storytelling in his "Get That Out Of Your Mouth" column:
“...every episode is incredibly listenable-- mellifluous and intricately produced, with a gentle, steady rhythm. Abumrad calls each show "a kind of hour-long composition," and if you squint your ears, that's what it sounds like. The voices sound musical, and the music is twisted and manipulate-- like when a couple seconds of Beethoven's Ninth are stretched infinitely to make a point about the passage of time. Dramatizations and funny sound effects elaborate on a point-- they're especially fond of the noises for the brain scans-- and ambient backdrops illustrate, say, a jet pilot having an out-of-body experience.”
Hear Beethoven's Ninth stretched in "Musical Language."
Listen to a pilot's out-of-body experience in "Where Am I."