Radiohead: OK Computer

MI0000036776ALBUM OF THE WEEK

Radiohead hit it big out of the gate with “Creep” from their first record Pablo Honey. But the rest of that album seemed to be just standard alternative rock circa 1993 and did not hint at what was to come.

With their second release, The Bends, Radiohead made great strides in finding their sound. The Bends did not yield another blockbuster hit, but from it came three impressive singles with equally impressive music videos that got the critics, if not the mainstream, excited.

Then in 1997 came OK Computer. Following the progression that they laid out in The Bends, Radiohead created another critical masterpiece, but this time they pulled the mainstream (kicking and screaming) along for the ride too. Each of these song creates a soundscape that allows for an escape into a waking dream. Lush atmospherics, percolating rhythms and haunting melodies wash over the listener. Thom Yorke’s unique vocals express vulnerability, earnestness and conviction. This music is custom made for hearing through headphones!

The lyrics while occasionally opaque, convey a sense of alienation and paranoia evident in their song titles. Perhaps no song better illustrates that Radiohead has reached the pinnacle of their musical mastery than “Paranoid Android” which was a template of sorts for Green Day’s “American Idiot” in structure if not sound. OK Computer is a must in any music collection.

[ review by Tom Stark ]

Track Listing (Favorites in Bold)

  1. Airbag
  2. Paranoid Android
  3. Subterranean Homesick Alien
  4. Exit Music (For A Film)
  5. Let Down
  6. Karma Police
  7. Fitter Happier
  8. Electioneering
  9. Climbing Up The Walls
  10. No Surprises
  11. Lucky
  12. The Tourist

Album Moods
Angst-Ridden Earnest Epic Gloomy Paranoid Plaintive Somber Theatrical Wintry Aggressive Brooding Eerie Melancholy Nocturnal Poignant Reflective

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