ALTERNATIVE ROCK/ GRUNGE/ INDIE / Radiohead

Hail to the Thief-RADIOHEAD-2003


Are you such a dreamer?
To put the world to rights?

I’ll stay home forever
Where two & two always
makes up five

There is nothing you can do to ward off the inevitable doom and facing that reality makes you want to cover up, buy a gun and sitRadiohead_-_Hail_to_the_Thief_-_album_cover (1) behind the door and watch the world burn on TV. Does it make you mad, this self destruction of the human race? Well you can be cynical or shout your heart out, or both, which is what Radiohead do. “2+2 = 5” opens the best album that Radiohead has ever recorded bar Kid A, maybe. They bring the guitars back to drive the songs forward, with greater force, and use the electronica elements displayed on Amnesiac and Kid A to support them, to add that quirkiness that is this unique freak of a band. It is not that they play notes that you have never heard, for example “Sit Down. Stand Up” uses a kick ass piano motif to propel the intro consisting of 4-5 notes, but it is the arrangement, atmosphere and the crushing weight of reality that make me listen to this album on repeat.

Oh, and look, there is the contemplative ballad which might just be the follow up to “High and Dry” from The Bends, the unsettling, but oh so pretty “Sail to the Moon”. Is ballad, the wrong word? Maybe not for a band with its roots as firmly planted in romanticism as Radiohead (which doesn’t only mean “love” as popularly understood, twerps). Happily on this album they use traditional song writing techniques to just give us one solid song after song, and while this lacks the cohesive atmosphere of Kid A or OK Computer, it maintains that unity of mood and pace, not to mention that the melodies and vocals of Thom Yorke are at their brilliant best. Are these songs about larger concepts like the whole human race or personal songs of grief, pain and loss? The best thing is, they are both and simultaneously are musically the peak of Radiohead. What a helluva of a rock’n’roll album. It is like they captured heartbreak, made it catchy and with a twisted smile said, “There, there.”

there’s always a siren
singing you to shipwreck.
steer away from these rocks,  we’d be a walking disaster.

Baba T

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