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Radiohead – Hail to the Thief

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With all the hype about the new album, you would think that the band would have reached god-like status. They just might have with Hail to the Thief; it’s an album of dark pop-noise that sucks the listener in and makes them forget the journey. After Ok Computer was named best album of all time, the band got tired of being ‘Radiohead’. They released the electronica-experiment Kid A and it’s brother Amnesiac to much critical acclaim and a confused public. The finest moments on those albums were the pop song leanings, and Hail to the Thief, finds Radiohead swimming in familiar territory.

The opener 2+2=5, starts with a guitar being plugged into an amp and follows into a catchy guitar line with Thom Yorke crooning. Radiohead seems to be trying to get across a message, and it’s up to the listener to decide what that message is. Is it a political attack on Bush and Blair? Is it a dark prophecy of the coming days of doom and gloom? No, it’s just damn fine music.

The radio single There There, is also catchy with its pulsing guitar and cryptic lyrics. Radiohead still keeps a finger in electronics with tracks such as Backdrifts and The Gloaming but it’s the songs Where I End and You Begin and Sail to the Moon that make HTTT a winner. The latter track is the best thing that the band has ever done period. It’s a beautiful opus in the same fashion as How to Disappear Completely and Life in a Glass House.

Are you confused by the all the song titles? Do yourself a favor and go buy all of the band’s albums to get up to speed. Maybe that’s what Radiohead is all about… the decision to either accept them or hate them. You either get them or you don’t. With HTTT, more people are going to jump on the Radiohead juggernaut and the band will continue to distance their musical peers.

The album ends with Thom Yorke singing like a hip hop star on the brilliant A Wolf at the Door, with it’s techno beat and funky bass line. I have had this album, way before it was released and I find like all Radiohead albums it grows better with constant listens. Don’t skip tracks and just relax. You will want to hit the stop button, but yet you’ll find yourself unable to stop listening. The Gloaming has got another victim.

Ben Matulich
www.buzzgrinder.comWith all the hype about the new album, you would think that the band would have reached god-like status. They just might have with Hail to the Thief; it’s an album of dark pop-noise that sucks the listener in and makes them forget the journey. After Ok Computer was named best album of all time, the band got tired of being Radiohead. They released the electronica-experiment Kid A and it’s brother Amnesiac to much critical acclaim and a confused public. The finest moments on those albums were the pop song leanings, and Hail to the Thief, finds Radiohead swimming in familiar territory.

The opener “2+2=5″, starts with a guitar being plugged into an amp and follows into a catchy guitar line with Thom Yorke crooning. Radiohead seems to be trying to get across a message, and it’s up to the listener to decide what that message is. Is it a political attack on Bush and Blair? Is it a dark prophecy of the coming days of doom and gloom? No, it’s just damn fine music.

The radio single “There There”, is also catchy with its pulsing guitar and cryptic lyrics. Radiohead still keep a finger in electronics with tracks such as Backdrifts and The Gloaming but it’s the songs Where I End and You Begin and Sail to the Moon that make HTTT a winner. The latter track is the best thing that the band has ever done period. It’s a beautiful opus in the same fashion as How to Disappear Completely and Life in a Glass House.

Are you confused by the all the song titles? Do yourself a favor and go buy all of the band’s albums to get up to speed. Maybe that’s what Radiohead is all about… the decision to either accept them or hate them. You either get them or you don’t. With HTTT, more people are going to jump on the Radiohead juggernaut and the band will continue to distance their musical peers.

The album ends with Thom Yorke singing like a hip hop star on the brilliant A Wolf at the Door, with it’s techno beat and funky bass line. I have had this album, way before it was released and I find like all Radiohead albums it grows better with constant listens. Don’t skip tracks and just relax. You will want to hit the stop button, but yet you’ll find yourself unable to stop listening. The Gloaming has got another victim.

Ben Matulich
www.buzzgrinder.com

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  • http://www.mobiusstreet.blogspot.com Hazy Dave

    Nice review. Another CD for the Shopping List…
    (BTW, you might want to Edit out the second appearance of your text on the page.)

  • http://www.hotmail.com Jack Abelott

    nice review, kick @$$

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    This is a great review. Kid A is one of my favorite albums of all time, and the reasons why are somewhat unclear to me. It just hits me on a certain level and when I’m in a certain mood or mode.

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    EB, I agree. Kid A is an underrated album. I don’t know that I can explain my affection for it either other than to say there was a long stretch when it dominated my listening.

    Push comes to shove I still take OK Computer ahead of it but I do love Kid A.

  • http://www.magicjunk.com/radio Mark Sahm

    I think Kid A stands out because of its digital soundscapes. In almost every track, you feel like you’re stuck inside a computer world. Whereas by comparison, OK Computer is like watching the machines perform a dramatic opera. Both are excellent in their own right.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Interesting take, Mark!