Radiohead
Hail to the Thief


4.0
excellent

Review

by josephbh1 USER (9 Reviews)
July 28th, 2010 | 93 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Radiohead combine all the sounds they have collected throughout their music to brilliant effect in this eclectic album.

‘Hail to the Thief’ is Radiohead’s 6th album, and by far the most accessible since ‘OK Computer’. This album was a major departure from the two albums prior to it, and in my opinion it was a step in the right direction.

It bursts immediately into life with the rip-roaring ‘2+2=5 (The Lukewarm)’, an energetic Orwellian rock song. The explosive first track is definitely a high point in the album, and came as a complete shock after two albums of quiet and disturbing music. Unfortunately, the album drops off a little after this song, and definitely hits a low point with the drab ‘Backdrifts (Honeymoon is Over)’. After two minutes of the same sounds I was bored, but after 5 minutes I was bored to death. It’s completely monotonous and tiresome and is probably one of the band’s worst songs. Fortunately, the album was resuscitated by the chaotic and exciting ‘Go to Sleep (Little Man Being Erased)’. Thom Yorke wails, “We don’t want the loonies taking over” over rich acoustic chords and scratchy guitar. The album then genre hops incredibly for the next few songs, and probably the most severe of these is ‘The Gloaming (Softly Open Our Mouths in the Cold)’, and full-on electronica song. It has a chilling melody accompanied by lyrics such as ‘This is now the witching hour’, and backed-up with luxurious electro tones. The sound the band hit upon in this song would go on to dictate the sound of Thom Yorke’s solo album ‘The Eraser’, and could easily rival any song on it.

The next song, the melancholic ‘There There (The Boney King of Nowhere)’, is a brilliant throwback to ‘OK Computer’. It’s a gloomy rock song with a steady beat and a heartwarming vocal melody, which bursts into a pixies-esque refrain with loud scratchy distorted guitars, reminiscent of the classic ‘Paranoid Android’. This is a fantastic song, but in my opinion the greatest song on the album, and dare I say one of the greatest songs the band has ever done, is the final song ‘A Wolf at the Door (It Girl, Rag Doll)’. It kicks off with a foreboding-fingerpicking riff accompanied by organs. Then Thom Yorke comes in with the spoken stream of consciousness style lyrics, which can be anything from ‘Flan in the face’ to ‘With my x-ray eyes I will strip you naked’. But the real brilliance of this song stems from the uplifting sounding, yet incredibly sinister chorus. You find yourself feeling warmed as Thom sings ‘Steal all my children if I don’t pay the ransom, but I’ll never see them again if I squeal to the cops’.

In conclusion, this is a brilliant album. It’s got some of the bands finest work, it spans several genres and it ties together all the different sounds the band have stumbled across, right from the straight rock songs of ‘Pablo Honey’, the melancholy of ‘OK Computer’ and the dark and intense songs of ‘ Kid A’. It’s not flawless, and songs such as ‘Backdrifts’ and ‘ Where I End and You Begin’ do let the album down, but on the whole it’s a very good listen, it’s accessible and it has something for everyone.

Highlights: A Wolf at the Door; 2+2=5; There There



Recent reviews by this author
Grinderman Grinderman 2The Felice Brothers The Felice Brothers
John Frusciante The EmpyreanThe Enemy Music For The People
Tom Waits Bone MachineArab Strap The Red Thread
user ratings (3388)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
vanderb0b
July 28th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album slays. Pretty decent review, I'll pos.

"to brilliant affect"

fix this and italicize album names.

josephbh1
July 28th 2010


24 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn I didn't notice that. Can you edit reviews? I'm new to this website and I haven't figured out how to yet.

vanderb0b
July 28th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Go to "My Profile" and a bit below your profile pic, it should say "Edit My Reviews/Albums".

Nice to see another Eels fan on the site, btw.

josephbh1
July 28th 2010


24 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, 'effect', I've corrected it now.

Eels are amazing, definitly one of my favourite bands, can't wait for the new album.

Apollo
July 28th 2010


10307 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review dude

vanderb0b
July 28th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No problem man, and yeah, the new Eels album should be good.

fr33convict
July 28th 2010


11689 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't care about Radiohead much, but good review anyway.

Counterfeit
July 28th 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pretty faggy thing to say imo

PlayCrackSky
July 28th 2010


207 Comments


You convinced me to listen to it :P I always clumped post-Kid A Radiohead together as electronic disturbing Radiohead and never bothered to try any of it (even though I love Kid A). Not anymore.

Photon
July 28th 2010


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i thought that too and then i bought this album ..i love it

Counterfeit
July 28th 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kid A
The Bends
OK Computer
In Rainbows
after dat it gets fuzzy

StrizzMatik
July 28th 2010


3188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Myxomatosis for the fucking win.

Ire
July 28th 2010


41780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ok computer

kid a





in rainbows
the bends




hail to the thief


Counterfeit
July 28th 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wtf the bends is so good

Counterfeit
July 28th 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes. listened to it yesterday. it really is.

Ire
July 28th 2010


41780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this kinda sucks

Ire
July 28th 2010


41780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

IS IT?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uco5Ed-5y2U

Counterfeit
July 28th 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol. yes. it really is. seriously. we can all agree on one thing though, pablo honey sucks

Ire
July 28th 2010


41780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

mr show is the greatest show ever

PoodleRapist
July 28th 2010


254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pablo honey has its moments... but yeah, in comparison to everything else they've done it's shit



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