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Old 05-12-2016, 01:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Radiohead - Hail to the Thief

This was the last Radiohead album I needed to hear before I could say I've heard all the studio albums. I'm listening to it so I can compare the new Moon Shaped Pool.

Let's break down Radiohead's discography a little, leading up to Hail to the Thief. They started out as your average everyday alternative rock band attempting to get in with their alternative and grunge scenes. With the light-hearted The Bends, they began making a name for themselves. OK Computer was a huge hit, and Radiohead had been leaning towards more "art rock" influences while experimenting with total production, and greatly opening up Thom's vocal talents. This gave way to the production heavy, art rock/electronic Kid A, which takes a hundred listens to fully understand. After the heavily experimental Kid A, Radiohead enjoyed more success as one of the "greatest bands ever" with Amnesiac, which heavily followed in Kid A's style but took less time to understand as it was less production and experimentation based.

Hail to the Thief takes a little from everything they've done so far, but is in its own way different. How so? Every Radiohead album is a new experience. Whereas, Hail to the Thief seems more focused on constructing songs fit for the radio while fans get a serious taste of nostalgia on every turn, no matter how heavy or light the influence from Radiohead's past albums might have been. There's a little of that Electronic Kid A in there, a lot of the lightheartedness of OK Computer combined with the bleak but soothing vibes of Amnesiac. Backsliding is a very good example of the way they keep their experimental influences but remain conventional in terms of song structure. In fact, they still retain the alternative sound from their first three albums, still making the album relatable.

I would not say Hail to the Thief is one of there absolute best, but it's completely worth it for any Radiohead fan. It's like a look into the past of Radiohead, and how the past made them so great and how they use those experiences to teach new albums old tricks for the better.

9/10
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGuy Grungeman View Post
This was the last Radiohead album I needed to hear before I could say I've heard all the studio albums. I'm listening to it so I can compare the new Moon Shaped Pool.

Let's break down Radiohead's discography a little, leading up to Hail to the Thief. They started out as your average everyday alternative rock band attempting to get in with their alternative and grunge scenes. With the light-hearted The Bends, they began making a name for themselves. OK Computer was a huge hit, and Radiohead had been leaning towards more "art rock" influences while experimenting with total production, and greatly opening up Thom's vocal talents. This gave way to the production heavy, art rock/electronic Kid A, which takes a hundred listens to fully understand. After the heavily experimental Kid A, Radiohead enjoyed more success as one of the "greatest bands ever" with Amnesiac, which heavily followed in Kid A's style but took less time to understand as it was less production and experimentation based.

Hail to the Thief takes a little from everything they've done so far, but is in its own way different. How so? Every Radiohead album is a new experience. Whereas, Hail to the Thief seems more focused on constructing songs fit for the radio while fans get a serious taste of nostalgia on every turn, no matter how heavy or light the influence from Radiohead's past albums might have been. There's a little of that Electronic Kid A in there, a lot of the lightheartedness of OK Computer combined with the bleak but soothing vibes of Amnesiac. Backsliding is a very good example of the way they keep their experimental influences but remain conventional in terms of song structure. In fact, they still retain the alternative sound from their first three albums, still making the album relatable.

I would not say Hail to the Thief is one of there absolute best, but it's completely worth it for any Radiohead fan. It's like a look into the past of Radiohead, and how the past made them so great and how they use those experiences to teach new albums old tricks for the better.

9/10
Favorite song? Punchup At A Wedding not only is the best track on here but seriously contends with any Radiohead song I've ever heard.
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Pretty Much the first 5 tracks.
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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**** I haven't heard hail to the theif in 10 years.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Radiohead's albums really are a mixed bag. I really liked The Bends and OK Computer, but Kid A was a bit too "experimental" for me, and I did not have the patience for repeated listens in the hope of receiving the epiphany that some people seem to have got from the album.

I did hear Hail to the Thief right through once, but the only track I liked - liked quite a lot in fact - was the single, "There There". "Thief" does however have one of the more interesting album covers from a band that is noted for having really lame cover "art" over the years. At least that one looks like a bit of thought went into it.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Heck, at first I couldn't get into OKC. That took a while too.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've been reading about OK Computer since it was released and this is the first time I've seen it referred to as lighthearted. Also, you refer to The Bends as lighthearted.

What exactly do you mean by lighthearted? These albums are hardly S Club 7 or Steps, now are they?
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Old 08-16-2016, 04:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah his descriptions makes no sense. Radiohead is a melancholy band from past to present.


HTTT is way underrated though track for track it's among RH's best work combining outright rockers with folk songs and electronic trips

It's sort of their most overtly DARK album where it can be kind of camp but there's a real atmosphere to it that I enjoy.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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By light-hearted, I meant more free to work with the music and less edgy than Pablo Honey.
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Old 08-21-2016, 02:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Free to work with the music? I haven't a clue what that means, either. Sorry.
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