It obviously fucking rocks. No doubt I’ll only have to listen to it a million more times before I fully appreciate it but obviously it’s really really really good. My favorite msn name response to it (and there are several) was “Radiohead please stop being so good-it’s unfair to other bands”. Anyways, here’s my review of the album.

Album opens up with beat-based “15 Steps”. York’s falsetto is fully intact and melodically Michael Flatleys all over before it’s invaded by a haunted house-full of weird and wonderful sounds. Typically a-typical Radiohead and it’s great as the momentum builds up and the kaliedascope of weird sounds culminates in an ending to a great opener. Next song.

Bodysnatchers rides on the momentum build up by the first track and then runs with it. Yorks vocals take a backseat to fuzzy guitars and eerie keyboards which zip across the sonic landscape, riffing it up like a swarm of locusts. Again everything builds up until York takes it out screaming “I SEE IT COMIN’, I SEE IT COMIN'”

Nude is the comedown after the rush of the first two tracks. York’s auditorium-verb vocals are as ghostly as ever, singing “now that you’ve found it/it’s gone/now that you feel it/you don’t”. The cavernous strings that shine in like sunlight are so perfect it’s crazy. York then proceeds to ride the song to it’s gorgeous conclusion with some lovely “ooooooo”ing.

Weird Fishes/Arpeggi starts with a great drum beat and some lovely guitar before York gets in on the action. Again we see Radiohead’s incredible talent of building a song up slowly but super-steadily. And what’s more incredible is that it seems as though York’s vocals lead the way and everything just follows them.

Radiohead’s song construction is fantastic. Every song seems to build up to a point, then has it’s breakdown, then rides out a stunning climax. The mathematics of it are an absolute wonder to any composer.

All I Need is based around some very low keyboards giving York’s higher range vocals plenty of space-you can actually hear the vocals now without any effort. The lyrics metaphor it up as York lays it on thick with lines “I am all the days that you choose to ignore” and “I’m just an insect trying to get out of your eye”. Charming, no doubt the girl for whom it was written was thrilled (eerrrrrr….).

In Faust Arp a string crew (heavy on the chellos) chases Thom York’s vocals around. At 2 minutes it feels really short, still a nice little song.

Reckoner works around some shaking and banging things. York’s vocals dance around the soundscape before the shakers depart because it’s the strings’ turn to back up the man of the hour. York as always sounds fantastic. That’s kind of a waste of space in a Radiohead review though I suppose. At the end of the songs the strings and the shakers team up and all is groovy. Again, York leads the song out with some “awwwww”ing. This is probably one of the lesser songs on the album.

In House of Cards York sings “I don’t wanna be you’re friend/I just wanna be your lover”. Johnny’s guitar picks out “do do, do, do do” lazily while treble-heavy violins fill out the speakers. “Forget about your house of cards/ and I’ll do mine”, York repeats as a chorus. This song has a beautiful lazy feel to it. It’s probably the most chilled out Radiohead song ever. Almost like a Feel Good Lost-Broken Social Scene song but with Thom York singing over it and creepy strings in the background.

Jigsaw Falling into Place is a bit more of a rocker but nothing on this album approaches anything on the level of “Electioneering”. Thom’s ghostly vocals fill out the background before being replaced by a synth or something…it’s cool though. The changes in this song are often very awesome with crashes coming down at every one- just like a normal rock band!

The closer, Videotape, is a piano based ballad. The line that caught me was “You are my center when I spin away/out of control on videotape/on vide-o-tape…” The song fades away as the piano hits those same 3 notes, do, do do,, do do, do…do, do do, do…A fittingly somber end to another great Radiohead album.

So of course, is it Radiohead’s best? Another classic? Greatest album of the year? The decade? Our time? Who know. We’re all going to listen to it a million more times before we decide where it stands. It’s definitly no stinker though. We all just have to take the time now to determine exactly how great it is. Better get going.

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  1. Terrific, this information is exactly what I was searching for.

  2. spud says:

    Radiohead sucks

  3. PorscheBob says:

    Radiohead blows. Now, you’ve probably read that a million times, but unlike those first 999,999 times, this time around I am going to explain exactly why.

    I have a huge music collection built over 40 years. 10,000+ albums. All genres…the only qualification to be included is unmistakable talent, indisputable originality (and thereby importance to that genre) or the most important factor, whether or not I like the music. And I have become very, VERY open minded. I NEVER dismiss a band on a single listen. If they are critically acclaimed or have a large following, rather than assume there are a lot of morons listening to them, I go back and always do a second, third and sometimes a fourth critical listen before making a decision. With Radiohead I saw their albums at the tops of these “Best 1000 Albums of All Times” lists for nearly two decades…so I figured…what the f**k am I missing here? Fifth, sixth, seventh, ad nauseam listens. Evaluating myself as much as the music toward the end. I’ve heard them live; I’ve listened to OK Computer 25 times. Bad news sports fans…Radiohead eats dogazz. They just friggin suck…and no amount of whining, angst ridden hand wringing from suicidal teen emo wastoids is going to change my mind. They blow.

    What you have here, is a bunch of people who first experienced an OD at a rave listening to them and had the whining, pretentious, “gawd I feel EXACTLY the way you do!”, syrupy synth dreck imprinted permanently on what was left of their brain ingrams. Then they got wind of what that little gnomey, lazy eyed front man dwarf looked liked and it was puppy love compounded. I watched Keith Emerson fall off a stage onto his Moog once at a 1974 concert and remember the resultant cacophony of synthetic sound being at once infinitely and definitively far more musical than anything Radiohead has ever produced. They make a repetitive, whining sound to trance out to. That’s it…come on just admit it. There is nothing here or I would acknowledge it. No talent. No creative drive. No musicianship. No originality. No message (besides “feel free to open a vein while you’re out there listening to our rhythmic, thumping crap”). Nothing. I put in my 100 hours or more…and I am here to tell you from someone who owns everything from Blur to Blind Willie McTell…Ornette Coleman to Frank Zappa….Radiohead sucks.

    Now…if you are out there and anywhere near being a) musically experienced and b) not tone deaf you KNOW I’m correct. If you want to do a lot of drugs and listen to something that passes for monotonically soothing while you are in a state of semi-consciousness, by gawd…Radiohead might just be your band. Either them or one of the other interchangeable angst-synth cookie cutter pile of s**t “bands” out there that have piled on the “life is f**king TERRIBLE, I want to f**king DIE, and it’s all my PARENT’S FAULT” crescendo of morbid fascination teeny bandwagon since the late 80s. But know this…you had your time in the sun. It’s over. The Radiohead curtain is coming down and the wannabe wizards behind it are exposed. Radiohead SUCKS. That’s right…they SUCK. And they always have….

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