Radiohead
OK Computer


5.0
classic

Review

by Holland, 1945. USER (13 Reviews)
September 17th, 2005 | 27 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


Modern life and culture has expanded from the Industrial Revolution, and there is no question whatsoever to this. Though it began in Great Britain after the end of feudalism in the 17th century, it's true power was not in bloom until the late-19th century and the decades that followed. America in particular had taken a liking to the ecenomic advantages that came along. Now, a corporation did not need as many men, but only machines that a lesser of number of men would tend to and watch, and it has stayed that way for some time. Industrialism, as Karl Marx correctly thought, would lead to what we know as capitalism, which is what brings foreigners to this country even now. The promise of capitalism brought more people, which in turn made it possible for more businesses to flourish in a changing, confusing age. Industrialism even brought advantages to the warfield, as one thinks especially of the first two World Wars. Industrial plants made just about anything you can imagine when war comes to mind, and this greatly boosted the economoy later on. The need for war tools also led to advances in technology in science, especially of what we now call the computer. It's grandfather was a massive prototype, filling up large rooms, used to calculate, break codes, detect coordinates, or whatever else the military found it useful for. The commercialization of the home computer led to what we now call the Information Age, which is what we now live in.

This now brings me to Radiohead's OK Computer. Now, I cannot blame you if all of this babbling about the Industrial Revolution seems to have no point, but let me assure you: it does. Not only did it lead up to the making to this album, but it is a cause-and-effect map that without it, this album may never have been made. OK Computer, with its dreary, lifeless cover art, is an album that one finds to be rather ironic. On one hand, Thom Yorke sings about the dehumanization of the people of Earth, the infatuation we have with technology and how bleak our future is when all we can focus on is a microchip, along with several political underlyings here and there. Irony sets in once you start to listen. Not only is this a rock album, but it is infused with electronic sounds and instrumentation. Then there is the spoken word poem "Fitter Happier," one that depicts the monotony of modern life or perphaps much it could possibly become, forces a biting realism in the middle of an album so wonderfully escapist in feel.

Gloom undercurrents run through every song here in some wonderful way, and it's problematic to try to describe how bleak this album can get. One way I can manage to is to say that if you read George Orwell's 1984, you will have absolutely no problem grasping the feel and concept of this album. Even in the liner notes, it is apparent that the similarities between the two are disturbing, with a photograph of Jesus Christ hanging over people, and even just the overall drudge of the art contained within, with blurry shadows holding hands and sillhouetes of airplanes. The lyrics, which in the booklet are typed in the vein of e.e. cummings, are equally as disturbing as anything else on the album, including the music. Thom Yorke sings lines like "This is what you get, when you mess with us", and "When I am the King you will be the first against the wall" with a chilling, spine-tingling falsetto. He does not sound like a women, but more like an omnipotent figure that lives in your own mind and tortures you every moment that you live. You would find Thom Yorke lying under the floorboards, his heart beating, and beating, and beating, and beating. Driving one to the break of insanity, grasping your head, and with your eyes dilate, you jump out a window and into the traffic that blankets the pavement. When seen live, he dances maniacally as if he is possessed, only taking the microphone to pull out a voice of such angelic retribution that it's almost divine.

Musical accompaniment here is in no way sparse, acting as a chaotic blend of noises and tones that combine to together to form a wall of sound. Backwards tape effects, cascading, dramatic strings, keyboards, and guitar playing that would make Thurston Moore blush are all crammed into one space. The sounds made feel as if they are completely inhuman and impure to your ears, and when coupled with the voice of Thom, it becomes pure euphoria. Songs like the everchanging, lush "Paranoid Android" shift so much that it is possible to become lost in Radiohead's electronic sea. Eventually, some of the songs come together to form one unified piece of music, one massive piece of undeniable genius that twists your brian into a knot and smakes you in the face. Radiohead are their own Gods; they bear down on the music with such frightful power and emotion, creating one of the greatest pieces of music to ever be released, and one day we will all look back on this as we rot in our holes, and we will think of only one thing:

"OK Computer."



Recent reviews by this author
Various Artists Merry Axemas - A Guitar ChristmasMy Chemical Romance I Brought You My Bullets...
Ween Pure GuavaWeen The Mollusk
Beastie Boys Ill CommunicationFall Out Boy From Under the Cork Tree
user ratings (6275)
Chart.
4.6
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
pulseczar
September 17th 2005


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is probably my favourite radiohead album, but i also love amnesiac and the bends aswell. good review

BringHomeTheBacon
September 17th 2005


248 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Wow, that was really a well thought out review. I love how you interpreted the album with modern culture and so on.
An easily 5 star album.

Serapheus
September 17th 2005


251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great Review but waaaay too deep, which is a good thing!!!This Message Edited On 09.17.05

Killtacular
September 17th 2005


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Brilliant stuff. The review wasn't too shabby, either. :p

One of my all time favorites, and up there with the greatest albums I've ever heard. Ever.

Chilly-Bean-Bop
September 17th 2005


344 Comments


Great review. I've never heard any of radiohead's music. I'm guessing that i should take a listen...

Shadows
Moderator
September 17th 2005


2530 Comments


Very impressive Holland, your work here is excellent! I started getting into these guys many years ago when my brother burned me OK Computer. After many listens I really started to love it, but then over time I started to pay less attention to it. All I remember is that my brother saw them live and came back with a Radiohead shirt, which I found very appealing.

Big Perm
September 18th 2005


10 Comments


top album, top review now back to my assignment.


JBass
September 18th 2005


14 Comments


u just explained my entire econ. history class to me..i finally get it...great album..one of my all-time favorites...5/5 no doubt pure genius Radiohead is one of the most amazing bands to date along with the chili peppers

Med57
Moderator
September 18th 2005


1001 Comments


Nice review man. Interesting, and it took me a few tries to read through, but good work.

Med57
Moderator
September 19th 2005


1001 Comments


No, not hard to read. Just the opening paragraph about the Industrial Revolution. It may have something to do with the fact that I read at about 3 am, but it took me a while.

John Galt
September 25th 2005


41 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow. That was an awesome review. Must have taken a long time to write that.

Knoxvillelives
September 26th 2005


342 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review, good juxtaposition with Meds track by track
Your description of ol' Thom creeped me out though.
You don't actually see him as a little devil under your floorboards do you?
:P

Zmev
September 26th 2005


983 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, but I don't think it's a great album.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
September 26th 2005


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If paranoid android is not the best song you have ever heard, what is ;)

This CD gives me the jitters everytime I listen to it.This Message Edited On 09.26.05

Jawaharal
September 26th 2005


1832 Comments


If paranoid android is the best song you have ever hear, what is


did you mean isn't? Anyways there is alot better songs. Album still kicks major booty thoughThis Message Edited On 09.26.05

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
September 26th 2005


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yes fixed ;)

Knoxvillelives
October 5th 2005


342 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I much prefer Subtaranean Homesick Alien to Paranoid Android, it's just a more relaxing and well thought out song. Android is creepy...in the best way.
I love the beginning, with that scratchy maraca sound and then the acoustic guitar. Awesome

Iai
Emeritus
October 27th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This might actually be the best review of this album yet.

Apathy
November 27th 2005


645 Comments


This actually might be the best album of all time. This Message Edited On 12.04.05

Knoxvillelives
February 13th 2006


342 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Perfect album, I can't really disagree when it hits no. 1 in these polls.
Weird ass review man, over the top on the description of someone killing themselves because Thom Yorke is in their floor boards.




You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy