Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)

Radiohead was just getting started here. After the release of The Bends in 1995, people gave attention to the band seriously for the first time. This continued after OK Computer’s release.

Yes, here we go! This album is known to be one of the greatest albums of all time. There are many great tunes on this album. Let’s take a listen.

Airbag begins this album, sounding very eerie and creepy. Thom Yorke’s falsetto reigns high here. It’s an effective song about an airbag that stops people from dying in a car crash. Odd and eerie indeed. “In an interstellar burst, I am here to save the universe.”

Paranoid Android is a really great song. Although rather depressing, it is an interesting listen. The James Bond-like riff in the breakdowns is fantastic. There are some rather cynical lines throughout this piece, adding to this great song. Nirvana style quiet/loud dynamics are ever-present here as well. A well-structured exercise in intelligent and artistic listening.

The semi-psychedelic and otherworldly Subterranean Homesick Alien is here next, showing a depth of surreal sounds. It’s a little easier to listen to compared to the first two songs on the album. But still, about a disturbing subject, however.

The ode to Romeo and Juliet is here next is Exit Music (For A Film). It starts off with a clanging acoustic guitar. Thom Yorke’s voice then sets the scene, then it has a variety of instrumentation that builds up to a crescendo. A very close to the bone subject.

Let Down is next, and yes, it is very depressing. It shows the fragility of the human race and some people’s actions. Thom Yorke and the group pull this off perfectly.

Karma Police is a great piece driven by piano. There are some rather bizarre lyrics through this piece. It sounds as though we are talking about someone psychotic here. The ending is a great one, Very nice.

The robotic Apple computer voice-driven Fitter Happier has a strange set of poetry and scary sort of lifetime. It sounds mega depressing. But it is really good to hear this relatively short cut on the album.

The political, and honestly so, Electioneering arrives next. It talks about political direction. It’s a much more optimistic piece. Some phrases such as, “I trust I can rely on your vote.” Very intellectually inspiring. The main chorus makes sense 100%.

Climbing Up The Walls is likely inspired by a science fiction and horror sort of environment. It’s got some distorted drums, sound effects, and climactic chorus present. The lyrics are freaky as well. A good horror like a piece for everyone here. Enjoyable. The twist at the end is super freaky on a psychological basis.

No Surprises sounds like a song about suicide. It is a poetic and simple piece with acoustic guitar and glockenspiel, which sounds great together. It’s a good radio-style jingle. It sounds great, even today.

The next piece, Lucky is a bit lighter. It was recorded in 1995 but added to this album as an afterthought. It fits perfectly though. It is a slow, almost ballad-like piece. Very good though. The only thing is that there are lacking some really good riffs. Still, a very good listen.

The last one, The Tourist, is a slow and moving piece for the end of the album. It is very suited to the album itself. It is a good song, even if it is not a great one.

This album has received critical and commercial from all areas of the music world. In fact, it is a great listen, so ensure that you give this a whirl.

Unforgettable and not regrettable for a listen. In 2017, a remastered anniversary edition called OK NOT OK Computer with loads of unreleased songs were added to another CD. This will be reviewed at a later point, but this is one truly impressive album.

9/10

One thought on “Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)

  1. This is still my favourite album of all time. I can see why many would describe some of their songs as depressing (or maybe a lot!) but I don’t see it that way. If it’s a good song, I find it uplifting, regardless. Even if the content is dark and dealing with disturbing issues, I think the feeling that you’re not alone and fact that these issues are being dealt with in a beautiful art form is an amazing thing! I think build up and ending of Let Down sum this up well.

    Cheers for the article, enjoyed it!

    Like

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