Pablo Honey



by Justin Swope USER (96 Reviews)
October 3rd, 2012 | 11 replies

Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pablo Honey is definitely the band's weakest effort, marked by immaturity and uncertainty, yet it is not without its moments.

The debut LP from Radiohead will always be considered the band's weakest effort, yet it is not without its moments. On Pablo Honey, you can hear a young and promising alternative band trying to find its form. Emerging in the midst of the grunge era, this album can be viewed as a mixed bag. There are some real rockers and some real heartwarming, soft tunes. However, this album reveals a sense of uncertainty among the band's members. Would Radiohead be yet another Brit Pop "one-hit-wonder" or another Nirvana-esque band? Luckily, the answer would be neither, but Pablo Honey still carries an immature sound for one of the most progressive and distinctive bands of all time.

Most Radiohead fans will cringe at the mention of Pablo Honey because, obviously, it holds the overplayed and sometimes despised "Creep", the band's breakout radio hit that had critics screaming "one-hit-wonder." While "Creep" is a decent song, it is a poor representation of the incredible band Radiohead would become, and is certainly not the album's best moment. As a whole, Pablo Honey is vulnerable and emotional. While the songwriting is not up to par with the band's future work, Thom Yorke's passion still manages to bleed through the somewhat bland instrumentation and superficial lyricism. "Prove Yourself" is an aggressive and enjoyable song that is over in the blink of an eye, but manages to grab the listener with its sheer simplicity. "I Can't" brings plenty of sentiment despite boring progression. "Vegetable" shows a unique and darker side of Yorke as he builds tension with his perfected vocals. The opening track, "You", gives the listener a taste of the amazing guitar work of Jonny Greenwood that would absolutely shine on "The Bends". If this track doesn't suggest the beginning of one of the alternative scene's greatest guitarists then I don't know what does. "Thinking About You" is a pretty little tune that doesn't really go anywhere particularly interesting but is lovable nonetheless. Finally, "Blow Out" is the album's most ambitious song, signaling the transition to the true Radiohead we all know and love. Thus, there are some good moments on Pablo Honey, but nothing that I would ever consider great. I never was able to enjoy "How Do You?" or "Stop Whispering". While I would agree that Pablo Honey is the "worst" Radiohead album, it is certainly a good reflection on the band that their weakest LP is really not bad at all.

If you are a die-hard Radiohead fan, then Pablo Honey should at least be part of your collection. I rarely find myself revisiting it because it doesn't have that "wow" factor that comes to mind when someone brings up Radiohead. Pablo Honey is a flawed album from a band in a purely developmental stage. You could almost assume they didn't know who are what they wanted to be, even though Thom Yorke clearly says at one point on the album, "I wanna be Jim Morrison." Personally, I'm glad things didn't turn out that way. Pablo Honey just doesn't interest me all that much, however it is not a bad album. Since Radiohead is my favorite band, I have to give it some respect.

Favorite Tracks:
Prove Yourself
I Can't
Blow Out

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Comments:Add a Comment 
October 3rd 2012


Some tips:

Paragraphs paragraphs paragraphs, please. Also, commas are never a bad thing.

There are some cliches used here: Ex: "then I don't know what does."

You end up saying that the album is 'not good, but not bad' many...many times in your review, and end up saying it the exact same way.

Finally, I know they're tough, but your review kind of just...ends. Work on making a bigger point in the last few sentences: why do we care? Why should we listen/not listen to this?

Some positives: your first sentence is actually pretty decent. It brings the reader in a bit, even though it is a little straightforward.

I'm not gonna pos' you cause it's not at that point yet, but with a little work/little more time put in, and some editing, this review would be a ton better.

October 3rd 2012


Also, the only song I know is "Creep" off of this. Not sure why it gets so much crap, it's a strong debut single, but it's true that it is not as good their later stuff (The Bends is my favorite, then OK Computer).

October 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

yeah, paragraphs man. but agreed with the score

Digging: Vladislav Delay - Entain

October 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

"Most Radiohead will cringe"

most radiohead fans will cringe

review needs some editing but not bad at all

Digging: Diagonal - The Second Mechanism

October 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

Great album, sorely underlistened to

Contributing Reviewer
October 3rd 2012


Never heard

Digging: Injury Reserve - Floss

October 3rd 2012


The only Radiohead album that doesn't have 20 reviews. Good job, I agree with everything you said here. Have a pos.

Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

"Blow Out" and "Creep" are probably the only songs I like from this album, and even those I hardly ever listen to. Their subsequent stuff is great though.

Review is good for a first. Have a POS.

October 3rd 2012


Creep was like the best song ever back in the 6th grade.

October 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

None of these tracks are bad. Some are stupid, though.

October 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

not a bad album at all really

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