It's been a long time coming but finally I have a cool blog that I can call my own. Most people reading will already know who I am. Discussions of hip hop and life will usually take place here when I have things to talk about.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The List this Week......Radiohead Albums

Looking from Pablo Honey to In Rainbows, it is hard to find another band over the past twenty years that has consistently defined how pop/rock is composed. A note on all these Frosted Flakes They're Grrrreat.

Pablo Honey

The first uneasy steps. One killer song that got lumped in with the grunge wave at the time largely because of the self depreciating chorus "I'm a Creep". Radiohead and a lot of their fans have regarded Creep and Pablo Honey as the black sheep in the catalogue, the one you lock away in the closet when the guests are over. However, Pablo Honey does have some catchy tunes like the aformentioned "Creep", "You", and "Anyone can Play Guitar". A few half baked ideas fall in the cracks which is really something you don't get on most Radiohead albums. Then the closer "Blow Out" points the way to future greatness.

The Bends

The songwriting is better and instead of playing lip service to grunge, they tackle a number of interesting textures. The anthemic stadium rock of U2 is here in loads, the emerging Brit Pop scene is an influence (although Radiohead will never fully get lumped in with the like of Blur, Pulp, and Oasis). Twelve tracks, zero filler, and still regarded by many as the best Radiohead album ever.

Ok Computer

The Srgt Pepper for Gen X. Radiohead keep the songwriting up. Anthemic choruses and hook laden guitars are prevalent but are added to with strings and synths and off kilter sounds to create a wall of sound for the entire journey. I'm not gonna go too much into the songs because you've heard it all before, this record is a masterpiece.

Kid A

With Ok Computer an stylistic high point, they go in a totally different direction and confuse a lot of fans in the process. Kid A drops the hooks and moves into minimalist techno grooves that end up being quite interesting (if that's your thing). The vocals are stripped down and buried in the mix and, in the case of the title track, unrecognizble. Pretty songs about here, but not what you'd expect from Radiohead up to this point. Over the years it has drawn considerable acclaim.


When Kid A came out, there was the original intent to make it a double album and instead the leftovers got held over to Kid B or Amnesiac. It is easy to dismiss this record as Kid A's B sides, but it really is a cohesive work on it's own. Pyramid Song is a fantastic ballad with shifting time signatures common in jazz. Glass House is a mournful New Orleans style Jazz ballad with horns. Dollars and Cents is an amazing bass led groove (much like the National Anthem on Kid A).

Hail to the Thief

Hailed as a return to their guitar sound, it more a half assed return with their finger still on the electronic pulse. 2+2=5 is about as guitar heavy as it gets. Piano led ballads, mixed in with some funky electro make this the most eclectic of all their records.

In Rainbows

Really a little over-rated. Honestly, I heard reviewers give it raving reviews simply for the way it was initially released and distributed rather than for any content on the record. Still "In Rainbows" is a good album and more of a return to their early sound than anything off Hail to the Thief. Though minimilistic structures still rule the day, everything here sounds like it was recorded by a band instead of a sampler, which is nice to have in the end anyways.


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