Review Summary: A look at OK computer song by song.............
I first listened to OK computer when I was 17. First let me tell you something about how I came across it. I was searching for good cohesive albums on google. Y?I'm the only person that I know who's interested in listening to whole albums rather than singles. That is because I think there is much more value to a cohesive album than a bunch of singles thrown together.
Anyway OK computer is one of my favourite albums. Not because I'm a fanatic Radiohead fan but because I think they achieved something with this album that Pink Floyd achieved with "The Wall". A whole new sound was added to popular music with OK computer that I've enjoyed many many times over. If we take the whole album and review it track by track I think we will be able to average the whole album and decide whether it deserves the acclaim it's enjoyed so far. Please note that I don't know anything about time signatures and other theoretical sides of music. I'm just writing my specific feeling for the song.
Track by track review.
1. Airbag- Great start in my book. Jonny Greenwood starts with a scratch sounding one note guitar which is played repetitively through the song. This song seems to be about a man who survives a car crash and believes he was chosen to save the world from disaster. Very nice song. I love the rather cryptic nature of the lyrics. It gets 9/10 from me.
2. Paranoid Android- Aaah! The epic single that somehow made into the Top 10. I love this song sheerly for it's ambition and that it can be listened to without any difficulty. It's divided into 4 sections each with a distinct feel to it. But the most chilling part to me is when Thom Yorke almost cries " Rain down over me". This is a 10/10 . No probs there.
3. Subterranean Homesick Alien- One of my personal favourites because it's so achingly beautiful and relaxed. It's quite an underrated song in Radiohead's back catalogue. Even they don't play it live. That's a shame. I love the way jonny greenwood makes a beautiful guitar progression when Thom sings " I'm just uptight". Just beautiful. 10/10 for me.
4. Exit music (for a film)- Oh my god what a song!!!!!! I haven't heard pain been conveyed in many other sad songs as done here. It just exudes pain. Starting off with acoustic guitar strumming it soon proves to be an emotional juggernaut. When Thom Yorke whispers "wake from your sleep" and later " Pack and get dressed before your father hears us" ,I get the chills. Great song. 9.5/10.
5. Let down- Another great song. It's rather a pop song in a chiming background. It tells how people are dissatisfied with the government. A common theme of the 90's. But it's done very well in this song. 8/10.
6. Karma Police- Love it. According to Itunes I have played this 102 times as of this moment. Many people say that Radiohead are not accessible and so on. There is a certain truth to that. I mean Kid A, Amnesiac and King Of Limbs are not chill beats. But this song is as good as intelligent pop gets. Great vibe, Great lyrics, Great tune and Great atmosphere. A concert staple it must be. In 2003 at Glastonbury when Thom Yorke sings " For a minute there I lost myself", his voice is drowned out by the crowd singing. Love it. 10/10
7. Fitter Happier- Most people skip this for the wrong reason. That been they donot feel that this is relevant to the album. On the contrary I think that this is a very original statement from the band. This "statement" from the band explains how humans have become tools of the society and technology they themselves created and how many feel dissatisfied with the lives they live. The fact that they recorded it with an apple computer software voice makes it even more effective. I'll give this 8/10 cos however good it is, it is no song but a statement in my view.
8. Electioneering- Most people take this as the weak track of the album. I think that is because it's not as experimentative as the other tracks. That's a very very wrong reason for disliking a song. Many people love Radiohead because of the chameleon like behaviour and when they do something conventional these people start hating it. I think that's stupid. This is a great song with some good lyrics which are pretty aggressive. Great beat. Not the strongest song they've offered but it's bloody brilliant. 9/10.
9. Climbing up the walls- This is Radiohead's Spooky song. It's a frightening track with Thom Yorke's voice seems to be filtered through a revolving fan. I love it nonetheless. One of my all time favs. I love the atmosphere of the song. When Thom Yorke screams at the end that made my blood curdle the first time. It was so aggressive and felt on the button. 10/10
10. No surprises- It's a beautiful song. Almost surreal. It starts off with a xylophone playing that could make a great lullaby. Here again Radiohead's great talent at pop craft is shown. They mix a great tune with excellent lyrics and singing. I'm especially moved by the part when Thom sings " A handshake of Carbon Monoxide, No alarms and No surprises". Great tune. 10/10
11. Lucky- My 3rd favourite song on the album. It shares a link with " Airbag". The only difference is that this is a plane crash not a car crash. "The Head of state has called for me by name, but I haven't got time for him" is a great lyric. Also the guitar work is top class. 10/10.
12. The tourist- The final song on the album is areal winner. Radiohead have a great knack for getting the most suitable song for the final one in an album. This a slow down song with Thim Yorke seemingly saying that to himself. I love the guitar work form Ed and Jonny. That makes the song. Perfect ending to a near perfect album. 10/10.
So there it is. My most favourite album of all time and it will remain to be so for the foreseeable future i guess. This is what made Radiohead what they are today. I don;t think even Radiohead will create something of this beauty. What a great album. Easily the best album of the 90's to me.
On average this album gets 9.45/10 on all tracks.
What else do I have to say? Classic!!!!!!!!!