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View Poll Results: How do you Rate this Album out of 10?
0 - 3 5 12.50%
4 - 6 7 17.50%
7 - 9 11 27.50%
10! 17 42.50%
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Old 05-05-2006, 09:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Radiohead - OK Computer

Radiohead – OK Computer (Capitol - 1997)



Track Listing (53:21):

1. Airbag (4:44)
2. Paranoid Android (6:23)
3. Subterranean Homesick Alien (4:27)
4. Exit Music (For a Film) (4:24)
5. Let Down (4:59)
6. Karma Police (4:21)
7. Fitter Happier (1:57)
8. Electionnering (3:50)
9. Climbing up the Walls (4:45)
10. No Suprises (3:48)
11. Lucky (4:19)
12. The Tourist (5:24)

Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock, Britpop.

Moods: melancholy, earnest, eerie, nocturnal, theatrical, poignant, gloomy, paranoia, reflective, somber.

----------------------------

There's a lot of dispute as to whereas OK Computer should be classified as progressive rock or not, but I won't go into the dispute here because quite frankly – who cares?

With OK Computer, Radiohead have established themselves as one of the greatest rock bands of the modern era. How? Using the textured soundscapes from their previous album The Bends as a precursor, Radiohead have elevated their previous excellent effort with an almost masterful effort combining atonal, dissonant and memorable melodies, with a touch of subtle complexity. Radiohead have come a long way since their debut with Pablo Honey; the anthemic guitar and almost cringe-inducing choruses from that album are nowhere to be heard here.

Moreover, OK Computer signifies that Radiohead have leaned more towards progressive rock by stripping away many of the obvious elements of the relatively simple alternative rock, creating music that is subtle, textured and that which challenges the listener. But in saying that, OK Computer also contains the hit mainstream single “Karma Police.” In fact, "Karma Police" – despite containing catchy melodies - is actually more complex than one first might have apprehended; the structure is somewhat ominous - it doesn't seem to have a traditional chorus.

Moving on to the real highlight of the album; the complex, multi-segmented "Paranoid Android" is quite simply a masterpiece no matter how you look at it. The track is almost a prefect example of sheer beauty mixed with subtle complexities that take nothing away from the music. A good example of this is the way they introduce 7/4 time signatures almost furtively, and adding in brass amongst other layering. It also contains one of the most perfect changes in all of rock (at around the 3:30 mark) that sums up what Radiohead are all about in an instant; they're about beautiful melodies and harmonies that are elegantly constructed which hooks the listener in and doesn't let up.

Other highlights are the ambient “Exit Music (for a Film) with an uplifting epic finale (a great example of impeccable changes of dynamics and mood), the shimmering “Let Down,” and the brilliant “Lucky.”

Although some compare OK Computer with works like Pink Floyd’s psychedelic album Dark Side of the Moon, there are, of course, many dissimilarities, with the main one being that Radiohead's concepts are more captivating.

Two main recurrent themes present are neurasthenia and luddism. The album satirises technology and man's embrace of it in the information age. The lyrics speak volumes about the excesses of modern technology and how our inventions tend to threaten our essential humanity. This is why Radiohead’s work strikes a chord. The band taps into something distinctly unique to the post-modern condition. More importantly, they are trying to eek meaning out of what it is to live in the computer age, with all its chaos and requirements of the human psyche.

All in all, OK Computer is a thoroughly astonishing demonstration of musical brilliance and becomes even more impressive with repeated listens, revealing stratagems such as electronica rhythms, eerie keyboards, odd time signatures, and complex syncopations.

What makes OK Computer different from other similar-sounding albums that employ the same techniques in general is it contains lyrical as well as musical masterpieces displaying songwriting at near its best throughout. It also contains an intermission track “Fitter Happier,” which employs the famous Stephen Hawking computer voice and really makes Radiohead's intentions clear if all else fails.

As for the musicians: Thom Yorke's voice is amazing as it effortlessly shifts from a sweet falsetto to darker tones; and the Greenwood brothers are geniuses, enough said.

OK Computer is the album that establishes Radiohead as one of the most inventive and inspiring guitar rock bands of the modern era and has fittingly received a Grammy award as well as succumbing to a huge amount of appreciation both critically and commercially.

Rating: 9.5/10

------------------------------

Highlights (click to download):

Paranoid Android

Exit Music (For a Film)

Lucky
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Old 05-05-2006, 10:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i hope to god you havent just copied and pasted this from somewhere -because its a decent review with a very extensive and technically relevant vocabulary.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Now that's two people who have questioned my integrity - in just one day too!

But thanks for the eventual compliment.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Although some compare OK Computer with works like Pink Floyd’s psychedelic album Dark Side of the Moon, there are, of course, many dissimilarities, with the main one being that Radiohead's concepts are more captivating
I had to stop reading there.

Good album though.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I love Pink Floyd, don't get me wrong, I just admire Radiohead's lyrical content a lot more. But in saying that, I haven't exactly sat down and analysed Pink Floyd's lyrics or concepts for the most part. I guess what I meant by it, to give an inelaborate example, is that two of Pink Floyd's songs on The Dark Side of the Moon are about simple subsistences; namely "Money" and "Time."

Person A - Hey, what's that song "Money" about?

Person B - ...
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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OK computer is alot more complex. its logical. "Darkside..." came out in the 70s, "OK" in the 90s. the technological advances over 20 years are massive, so it makes sense to say Radiohead had a lot more at their disposal in making the album compared to when Floyd made theirs. whether that warrants saying OK Computer is a better album is based upon personal opinion. i do prefer Yorke's lyrics though.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I couldn't tell you which album I preferred. But don't you think saying "Radiohead had a lot more at their disposal in making the album compared to when Floyd made theirs" is a little naive? It seems as if you're suggesting that technological changes are the only changes in society that one endures through life.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i meant purely in terms of technology they had more at their disposal. i thought that was made perfectly clear in my post.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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But...the preamble was "the technological advances over 20 years are massive."

So no, it wasn't clear.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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what else could i be implying in saying "they had more at their disposal"? im not getting into an argument over something so trivial as this anyway, the fact is both albums are landmarks in the progressive rock genre.
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