Radiohead, Hail To The Thief

Thom Yorke left a haze of suspense over what the next chapter in the Radiohead scrapbook would contain. It is often too to easy anticipate what one might say about an album that has been so [awaited]… In the past the seemingly invinsible bands have been brushed to the ground like greenfly, as sounds that stray from the [amazing] to the merely acceptable deficate on God like status. Radiohead are in this vulnerable catagory. the new album was either going to be a modern rock classic,(unlikely) or a mis-described flop that would expose weaknesses in the very sinues of the band, (probable).

Bewilderingly then, one might make of this latest offering from Oxford’s finest [depressants] whatever they want to.

What has been plugged as "OK Computer 2" by the band could hardly be further from the truth. On first hearing, one would be forgiven for thinking that Radiohead had found themselves on a circular, yet unobvious path that has led back almost instantly to the style of last album Amnesiac. But this clearly is not what Radiohead wanted. Indeed Yorke went as far to claim that that this will be the closest the band have ever or will ever come to mainstream pop.

Well maybe in the infernal ‘2+2=5’ there lies a remote element of truth in this, but aside from this My Iron Lungesque offering, there is as much stadium rock contained in the veins of this album as there is in a roadside dustbin.

Whilst the funky synthesized rhythm of ‘Backdrifts’ lift up from the monotone … there is few grabbing punching screaming moments that complement the more intimate songs so well. Alas the thunderclouds that those less accommodating or understanding of the band associate them with, come raining in thick and fast. ‘We Suck Young Blood’ is as uninspiring as it and it seems that Yorke is more pained than he is letting on. ‘’ offers some interesting undertones but seems to strive for something mass appeal falling well short of this apparent aim.

Not that mass appeal is necessarily what the band need right now, however it is unfortunate that there is nothing to really grab hold of and haul to. It is disapointing that “OK Computer 2” doesn’t give what the first one gave. But was Yorke aiming to create this dissapointment? If this were the case then Radiohead would have huge support for reaffirming their claim to the throne of biggest band in the world.

Hail to The Thief does find it’s way eventually despite being about as groundbreaking as Oasis’ Be Here Now. Not that this is a fair comparison. Not that Radiohead have taken a wrong turning in their quest. Perhaps they have taken the long way round, but then who is in any hurry?

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