Review Summary: This album is good for people who like this sort of music but not for others
OK album, recommended if you are into this sort of music but otherwise you may not like it. One of the many reasons OK Computer stands out from its contemporaries is that it was the first rock album in almost two decades that dared to deal with themes of urban alienation and technology's effect on the human psyche. Coming out in a period where a gaggle of bands were sticking rigidly to a revisionist, oversimplified reading of their progenitors' music - Kula Shaker's psychedelia revivalism, Ocean Colour Scene's "mod" revivalism, Oasis's increasingly moronic tributes to the Beatles - OK Computer stuck out like a sore thumb.
With this album, Radiohead dared to catch up with the surrounding popular culture; it stands proudly alongside works by Martin Amis, Oliver Bevan, JG Ballard, David Cronenberg and other who focused on the dystopian aspects of an increasingly technology-driven world.
One of the album's strengths lies in Thom Yorke's lyrically Orwellian depiction of a terror-filled yet hopeful world peopled by characters who buzz like fridges. This was in such stark contrast to much of the music from the Britpop moment as to sound like something entirely new (the honourable exception being Blur's sublime The Universal which predates Radiohead's millennialism by a good two years), There is Airbag's Ballardian tale of surviving a car crash, where technology nearly takes and then rescues life; Paranoid Android's disorientated, scattershot anger towards the alienating effects of digital sound, featuring some mind-boggling guitar work from Jonny Greenwood; Subterranean Homesick Alien's Miles Davis-influenced, innocent fantasy of seeing the world new and beautiful; and the album's great opus, No Surprises, an unspeakably atmospheric, beautifully disillusioned update of the Beach Boys' Caroline, No, delivered with humanity and a fatalistic compassion that its authors would lose in the imperious and paradoxically technology-embracing drone of their subsequent albums.
This review, while well-written, is pretty annoying. I love this album just as much as the next Radiohead fanboy, but a lot of your statements are just way too ridiculous (i.e. calling it mankind's magnum opus). Also, anyone who thinks Pablo Honey should be bought before Kid A, Amnesiac or Hail to the Thief is brain dead.
I've been meaning to buy this. This is an excellent review for a first. Eventually you will naturally get better. To answer IsITLuck's question, I'm going to buy it and intentionally give it a 1 to get respect and a review with over 20 votes :p
All Radiohead is awesome, save Pablo, so your electronica statment is very off. Amnesiac contains my favorite Radiohead tracks, and Kid A is a magnificent effort. And the same as everyone, This is Perfect.
Do you expect anything else from a first time reviewier though?
Praising him for a first review when it shouldn't be praised is kind of against the point. He's supposed to get better, and not telling him why his review isn't good just because it's expected of a first reviewer isn't going to make him better.
[quote=zepdude]I'm going to buy it and intentionally give it a 1 to get respect and a review with over 20 votes [/quote]Yeah because a shitty, negative review of a well-liked album is going to get you respect.