Radiohead
OK Computer


4.5
superb

Review

by MC Catalyst (Gregg) USER (8 Reviews)
June 27th, 2011 | 45 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ambitious and goal-setting.

By the time OK Computer was released, Radiohead had already made the far left turn with The Bends that would send them off the highway and into a forest of"Fake Plastic Trees" where the only impedance to their sound would be their own creative limitations. It wouldn't be until Kid A and Amnesiac that the band and world would discover where that creative landscape ended: a cliff and a drop-off into musically induced mental illness. OK Computer though does start to give the passengers in this speeding sedan a hint that something is askew. It takes that discovered focus, the identity that The Bends helped Radiohead find for themselves, and steps on the accelerator slowly until it meets the floor. As synthetic saplings continue to fold under the dented bumper, concern for well-being is rapidly fading. Musical dementia sets in. Digitized, computative logic is coalescing with irrational human emotion and the result, clearly, is narrowing further the line between genius and madness.

The opening track “Airbag” is fitting in this metaphor as it’s the last time (until Hail to the Thief many years later) that we’ll hear anything safe from Radiohead. “Airbag” is there as a protective escape should you want to go no further and slam the car into a manufactured Redwood. Once “Paranoid Android” begins, so does the reconstruction of the listener’s understanding of the human and cybernetic relationship. Thom Yorke’s vocals, the only link back to purely organic Man, waver and pitch through the record as they become more instrument than narrator; more environment than guide. Again, as OK Computer is a transitional album, the band does look back intermittently at the consciousness we’re leaving behind. “Karma Police” and “Subterranean Homesick Alien”, though they resemble more typical and comfortable composition, really only aid as a contrast to the digitized prophecies in “Paranoid Android”, the foreboding interlude “Fitter Happier”, and the coma inducing “Climbing Up the Walls”. By the time “Climbing Up the Walls”has ended you’ve been happily lulled into hyper sleep. Left now are the final three songs on the album that are simple dreams and memories of humanity forsaken. When you wake, it will be in the electronic double helix strands of Kid A.

Transition albums are often times my favorite. As I demand at least a modicum of progression and growth from bands, these albums often times provide the most exhilarating songs. New avenues are explored that may never be traveled again but it’s an exploration nonetheless and can be satisfyingly intriguing. What has always made Radiohead special is, not only their unique abstract offerings, but the wonderment of a band sharing that same obscure vision. So while OK Computer is a transition album, it doesn’t feel or sound at all like a band trying to find its next direction. Conversely, it represents itself as a very intentional bridge between the sound they inhabited previously and the instrumental experiment that lay across a wide, artistic canyon. Without OK Computer, the leap to Kid A would be even more jarring than it is and many Radiohead fans would have been left without the means to follow the band there. And that is what makes OK Computer special.

(I still prefer Amnesiac over this, god damn it)

4.5 / 5



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user ratings (6413)
Chart.
4.6
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
ShadowRemains
June 27th 2011


21679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

...

War
June 27th 2011


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Because this, like, TOTALLY needed another review.

Pyosisified
June 27th 2011


2450 Comments


dont comment here pls, hell go away

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 27th 2011


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i think youre overstating how experimental kid a and amnesiac are. i mean theyre great but theyre not free jazz atonal fuckgaze or whatever.

Pyosisified
June 27th 2011


2450 Comments


fuck

War
June 27th 2011


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love how, within.... oh, 25 seconds of the review being posted, neg's are rolling in.

It means you didn't read the reviews.

ShadowRemains
June 27th 2011


21679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you posted this like 5-8 minutes ago, your sense of time is rather warped

qwe3
June 27th 2011


21368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

fuckgaze lol

also yeah Kid A and Amnesiac are not experimental at all. I mean aphex twin/kraftwerk/boards/autechre/heaps of people had the aesthetic down.
radiohead poppified it

Pyosisified
June 27th 2011


2450 Comments


damn

Pyosisified
June 27th 2011


2450 Comments


sputnik is a dirty place today

Slum
June 27th 2011


2579 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

what's the point of putting 4.5/5 at the bottom of the review

Pyosisified
June 27th 2011


2450 Comments


its like so guys this albums FUCKING RULES one of my all time favs mmmm and them BAM a 4.5 out of nowhere

NigelH
June 27th 2011


1571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

what's the point of putting 4.5/5 at the bottom of the review

This. Review wasn't bad though. Although Kid A and Amnesiac are not THAT experimental....they were a pretty bold step for what was previously a pretty good British rock band that had begun to dabble in electronics.

newjunkaesthetic93
June 27th 2011


1871 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Radiohead had already made the far left turn with The Bends that would send them off the highway and into a forest of"Fake Plastic Trees""

^^^ Stopped reading after that and neg'd. I hate that sentence.

Pyosisified
June 27th 2011


2450 Comments


you guys dont get it do you. radiohead went prog

maqwep
June 27th 2011


1046 Comments


your hole is my goal

thebhoy
Emeritus
June 27th 2011


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this review wasn't very good. Sorry, but you need some editing and to get rid of silly metaphors of driving and shit. They read really forced. And you also say things that don't mean anything like: "Again, as OK Computer is a transitional album, the band does look back intermittently at the consciousness we’re leaving behind."

What do you mean the consciousness we're leaving behind? We're unconscious now... wut? And you start by saying Airbag is the only safe moment until Hail to the Thief (lol), so really negating the whole "intermitten" returns to the past sound sentence.

There's some good writing here, you just need to focus more and work on making the review smoother in terms of metaphors, analytical writing, stating your opinions, etc. etc.

Pyosisified
June 27th 2011


2450 Comments


sorry man the ratings too high

Pyosisified
June 27th 2011


2450 Comments


my rating would be 3.2 but thats not the point


this review will remain here forever

porch
June 27th 2011


8460 Comments


telex is ravenrock/war

making fun of your own review haha comedic genius right there



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