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Old 11-09-2010, 05:59 PM   #46
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ok...

there are a lot of people who hail it is some super amazing piece of art.

there's nothing special by the way the tracklist flows together, album-wise. i think it's got about 3 good songs on it, individual song-wise, and the rest are just alright/tolerable. "fitter happier" is not groundbreaking, it's annoying.

yet, like i said, there are a lot of people still who think it's the most amazing thing ever. i'd like to see them substantiate their opinions.

i can do the same for AB, if you'd like.
I don't expect a book on these things, but you can see how someone just saying "Radiohead is overrated" is not constructive or conducive to any kind of discussion. But thank you for elaborating.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:02 PM   #47
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i like books
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:42 PM   #48
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i hate creep. i think it's partly because i'm sick of hearing it, because i did used to listen to the radio at one point in my life and every now and then i get stuck somewhere where it's on, and i invariably hear the same shit over and over. like creep.

but skipping you, and starting with how do you and carrying through til blow out, it's an enjoyable rock album. nothing too spectacular, no sheer stroke of genius or masterpiece artwork album full of little electronic nuances that can't be comprehended fully without an expensive pair of headphones like a lot of fans swear the ok computer and after albums are, but oftentimes that's exactly what i like listening to.

well, ok. i don't know if i actually think this now. honestly, i haven't listened to radiohead in years. after amnesiac, i was pretty much done with them, but i bought hail to the thief when it came out anyway. i listened to it a couple times, didn't like it outside of "myxomatosis", and pretty much said ok i am done with this band. i checked the date on the cd, and apparently that was 7 years ago (it came out during the summer, right? because i vaguely remember buying it. i think it came out the same day as a couple other albums i had been looking forward to, and while i can't remember what those were, i have a very distinct memory of which sidewalk in northampton, ma i was walking down when i took it out of the plastic wrap. i have no idea why). i probably made one or two attempts since then to get back into the band, maybe discover something i previously wrote off to be crap to actually be good, but no such luck. i never even bothered with in rainbows.
In Rainbows is my favorite Radiohead album. It's a bit of back to the basics approach in that it's the most straightforward thing they've done since The Bends. I'd at least give it a shot.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:04 PM   #49
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yet, like i said, there are a lot of people still who think it's the most amazing thing ever. i'd like to see them substantiate their opinions.
Alright.

First off, I think the strongest aspect of OK Computer, the element that makes it the very special album so many purport it to be, is that it, an album that strove to capture the mood and pace of the era it was released, has held up so well. You often hear OKC referred to as "pretentious," "soulless," or "dull," but no one would ever refer to the record as dated. This is because its individual parts are of such high quality.

The production is one of the first things that people point to in a dated record, so let's start there. I will always, always refer to the album as among the warmest and most inviting records I've ever heard, which is an amazing feat when you take the narrative into consideration. Instead of alienating listeners, OKC ingratiates itself, enveloping you in warm haze you could cut with a knife (Subterranean Homesick Alien, Let Down, Climbing Up The Walls), while giving a human touch to the icy cold Fitter Happier through the use of field recordings. Even in the case of the latter, the record never stops feeling human. Again, that narrative is one of paranoia and isolation, but the characters always drive the action.

Which brings us to the lyrics. Another of OKC's greatest assets is the ambiguity of its narrative; you can read it as a tale of mankind's struggle with technology, you could read it as a series of character sketches, or you could just not bother (which works because the songwriting itself holds up to scrutiny outside the context of the record's narrative). No matter what, Thom paints a vivid picture of our society. He uses slogans, non-sequitur, physical observations...it's a kitchen sink approach that is effective because it reflects the sensory overload of its subject. And the best part is that it doesn't shy away from human emotion; because of their stark contrast to the steely tracks surrounding them, the sentiments of Let Down, No Surprises and Lucky feel all the more tender.

And then there's the music. Radiohead have indulged the avant garde and melodic sides of their sound at length throughout their career, but this record strikes a perfect balance. This does not cause the record to feel conservative the way In Rainbows often does either; Paranoid Android is everything that makes Radiohead great in under 7 minutes, and songs like Exit Music and Karma Police are positively cinematic. If you've ever doubted the strength of the Radiohead rhythm section, Electioneering tears away all doubt with the help of an inspired Selway performance that blows away much of his recorded output before or since.

I am a huge Radiohead fan, and it's all because of OK Computer. I heard it before all of their other records, and thanks to its sublime balance of classic songwriting, experimentation and raw ambition, all the rest of their discography was given context. It's the Radiohead album for all of these reasons and more, and because of its skill at capturing that feeling of numbness, indulgence and isolation so often attributed to the late '90s (and reflected in films of the time such as Fight Club and American Psycho), I consider it the defining '90s record, as well as my personal favorite.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:08 PM   #50
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one of these days i probably will. 'straightforward' was probably a more concise way of saying what i was trying to explain when i was trying to describe what i like about pablo honey. except then i said i liked myxatomaoes, so who the hell really knows what i'm talking about. at the time, when it came out, i was still fed up with HTTT and amnesiac that i wanted no part of any more radiohead. plus, if i'm not mistaken, it was after the thom yorke solo thing, right? what one or two songs i might have unavoidably heard from that i found to be the pretentious stupid bullshit i just assumed in rainbows is/was going to be. but one of these days, i'll feel compelled to listen to radiohead again for some reason. who knows, i might decide they're fucking awesome again and like them even more than i did when i was 17. 4a or 4b, i believe?
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:13 PM   #51
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Alright.

First off, I think the strongest aspect of OK Computer, the element that makes it the very special album so many purport it to be, is that it, an album that strove to capture the mood and pace of the era it was released, has held up so well. You often hear OKC referred to as "pretentious," "soulless," or "dull," but no one would ever refer to the record as dated. This is because its individual parts are of such high quality.

The production is one of the first things that people point to in a dated record, so let's start there. I will always, always refer to the album as among the warmest and most inviting records I've ever heard, which is an amazing feat when you take the narrative into consideration. Instead of alienating listeners, OKC ingratiates itself, enveloping you in warm haze you could cut with a knife (Subterranean Homesick Alien, Let Down, Climbing Up The Walls), while giving a human touch to the icy cold Fitter Happier through the use of field recordings. Even in the case of the latter, the record never stops feeling human. Again, that narrative is one of paranoia and isolation, but the characters always drive the action.

Which brings us to the lyrics. Another of OKC's greatest assets is the ambiguity of its narrative; you can read it as a tale of mankind's struggle with technology, you could read it as a series of character sketches, or you could just not bother (which works because the songwriting itself holds up to scrutiny outside the context of the record's narrative). No matter what, Thom paints a vivid picture of our society. He uses slogans, non-sequitur, physical observations...it's a kitchen sink approach that is effective because it reflects the sensor overload of its subject. And the best part is that it doesn't shy away from human emotion; because of their stark contrast to the steely tracks surrounding them, the sentiments of Let Down, No Surprises and Lucky feel all the more tender.

And then there's the music. Radiohead have indulged the avant garde and melodic sides of their sound at length throughout their career, but this record strikes a perfect balance. This does not cause the record to feel conservative the way In Rainbows often does either; Paranoid Android is everything that makes Radiohead great in under 7 minutes, and songs like Exit Music and Karma Police are positively cinematic. If you've ever doubted the strength of the Radiohead rhythm section, Electioneering tears away all doubt with the help of an inspired Selway performance that blows away much of his recorded output before or since.

I am a huge Radiohead fan, and it's all because of OK Computer. I heard it before all of their other records, and thanks to its sublime balance of classic songwriting, experimentation and raw ambition, all the rest of their discography was given context. It's the Radiohead album for all of these reasons and more, and because of its skill at capturing that feeling of numbness, indulgence and isolation so often attributed to the late '90s (and reflected in films of the time such as Fight Club and American Psycho), I consider it the defining '90s record, as well as my personal favorite.

i can respect this.

nah really, good post. i can't agree with you on its entirety, but i can't really disagree on much either because it's been too long since i've heard the album to point to any specifics to argue.

only thing i really have left to say on the matter of radiohead right now is shit, i totally forgot about electioneering. and even though i keep saying it's been ages since i've heard any of this stuff (save maybe changing the channel when creep came on the radio, or keeping it on karma police), that is based off such a strikingly memorable...i hate to call it a riff, but my limited musical vocabulary can't come up with much better right now...that it is now stuck in my head. the music is anyway, i can't recall any of the words.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:28 PM   #52
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one of these days i probably will. 'straightforward' was probably a more concise way of saying what i was trying to explain when i was trying to describe what i like about pablo honey. except then i said i liked myxatomaoes, so who the hell really knows what i'm talking about. at the time, when it came out, i was still fed up with HTTT and amnesiac that i wanted no part of any more radiohead. plus, if i'm not mistaken, it was after the thom yorke solo thing, right? what one or two songs i might have unavoidably heard from that i found to be the pretentious stupid bullshit i just assumed in rainbows is/was going to be. but one of these days, i'll feel compelled to listen to radiohead again for some reason. who knows, i might decide they're fucking awesome again and like them even more than i did when i was 17. 4a or 4b, i believe?
I think it was the opposite effect actually: Yorke's love of electronica was leaking onto the albums more and more, and then he finally made a solo album to let it all out, which kind of allowed In Rainbows to step back from all of that. I'd at least take a listen to "Jigsaw Falling Into Place." That's the sound that made somewhat of a return on that album.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:46 PM   #53
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Which brings us to the lyrics. Another of OKC's greatest assets is the ambiguity of its narrative; you can read it as a tale of mankind's struggle with technology, you could read it as a series of character sketches, or you could just not bother (which works because the songwriting itself holds up to scrutiny outside the context of the record's narrative). No matter what, Thom paints a vivid picture of our society. He uses slogans, non-sequitur, physical observations...it's a kitchen sink approach that is effective because it reflects the sensory overload of its subject. And the best part is that it doesn't shy away from human emotion; because of their stark contrast to the steely tracks surrounding them, the sentiments of Let Down, No Surprises and Lucky feel all the more tender.
Well said, and I might add that the lyrical themes have proven incredibly prescient. The individual being crushed by the weight of a hyper-consumer society is a trend that has only gained steam. One of the many things that I admire about Yorke is that he consistently looks at the world as it is, and he is unapologetic in his cynicism.


And for those who claim the OK Computer and Radiohead in general are “bleak” or “depressing,” the same sort of detached cynicism is what drives Achtung Baby. AB is about a man on the brink; “Love Is Blindness,” for example, is about as thematically-blighted a song as anything Radiohead has done. AB just deals with its own malaise in a more extroverted manner than does OKC.
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:23 AM   #54
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I don't love either album. But I much prefer the individual tracks off Achtung Baby, and most importantly, it doesn't feature Thom Yorke's singing (although I do love his vocals on No Surprises).
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:10 AM   #55
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see this is why i love these threads. people complain, but look at all the awesome discussion it's conjured.

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In Rainbows.
still my favourite

Jigsaw blows, though.

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in my revered opinion
hey! (foxymophandlemama) that's me!

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I understand "getting" it. It took me a while to get Radiohead, but I eventually did. It was definitely worth it.
this too. i put on OKC once, got to Fitter Happier, and turned it off. i thought it was the worst album i'd ever heard, just a bunch of dissonant noise with annoying vocals. then one day i ran out of music to listen to, gave it another chance, and now i love it to death.

Airbag, "the positive emotion you feel when you've just failed to have a car accident".
Subterranean Homesick Alien, in my top three RH songs. perfectly reflects its title while also evoking senses of isolation, loss, etc that we all feel.
Climbing up the Walls, the closest a song has ever come to depicting a horror movie.
No Surprises, which i once convinced a friend was about Ali.
Lucky, a song with a positive title, but absolutely nothing positive about the music, and only the fact that you just survived an air crash to write home about.
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:36 AM   #56
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I think it was the opposite effect actually: Yorke's love of electronica was leaking onto the albums more and more, and then he finally made a solo album to let it all out, which kind of allowed In Rainbows to step back from all of that. I'd at least take a listen to "Jigsaw Falling Into Place." That's the sound that made somewhat of a return on that album.
that does make sense. and i will have to check it out. maybe i'll pick up that album when i go to the store on thursday. i don't know if what i like about radiohead is really as simple as that, because i did also say i liked kid A. that's kind of the point where the weirdness started (except that it was a good weird on that album, because songs still felt like they had a structure. i can listen to structure-less sound, but i have a hard time accepting it from a band who previously didn't do that), and at first i was a fan. at any rate, i should give radiohead another chance sooner than later. 17 year old me liked them a lot. 17 year old me liked u2 a lot as well...
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:06 AM   #57
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you don't like U2 no more?
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:10 AM   #58
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friggin' double negatives
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:06 AM   #59
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Electioneering tears away all doubt with the help of an inspired Selway performance that blows away much of his recorded output before or since.
This is the one thing that I don't get to see mentioned very often. Selway's drum sound on this record is amazing and not matched ever since (sounding pretty flat on In Rainbows for example) or replicated live. I consider Climbing Up the Walls my no.1 Radiohead song and a true masterpiece largely due to that crazy-sounding hypnotic drumming. And who could forget the drum entrance in Exit Music or the pounding in Airbag.

I can think of Pixies' Surfer Rosa as one other example of drums sounding so fierce and vicious, and I have no doubt in my mind that that record and Albini's production on it was a major influence on Godrich's approach to OK Computer.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:06 AM   #60
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you don't like U2 no more?
i don't know if this is a joke at the way i've been mentioning it a lot lately (or feel like i have anyway), but i'm going to answer honestly i don't hate them now, but there are very few songs of theirs i really want to hear anymore. bono irritates the crap out of me, i still haven't gotten over the incredible boring pile of crap that was the atomic bomb album and wasn't too impressed with the horizon one either (to the extent that i never even bought a copy). any of the "greatest hits" songs from JT make me want to vomit, and the bulk of the other well-known and singles are so overplayed due to being overplayed on the radio plus my own doing when i was a really big fan that i could happily never hear them again (would prefer to never hear most of them again). that being said, they still have some great stuff that i do recognize liked at one point/would probably still like if i felt compelled to listen to it. but lately, no, i wouldn't consider them even remotely to be one of my favorite bands anymore.
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