Radiohead
Hail to the Thief


4.5
superb

Review

by Bchop13 USER (22 Reviews)
February 24th, 2006 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist




In a day were albums can have only one good song and be considered gold, Radiohead albums have been consistently 4/5 materials with every song providing a new purpose to why it is there. Their is also something unique about every Radiohead album rather it be, Hail To The Thief, the band sorrow singing out in every song, our the band's first ever recorded album entitle Pablo Honey, were the band simply portrays the popular Brit Rock.

But the idea of this album, which I believe is just a collection of songs, proves where Radiohead is going. Radiohead don't want fame as they stated in an interview with yahoomusic.com they want to make music that sounds good to them. Even though they do care what their fans think, they don't care what the media thinks. And I think that's what separates Radiohead from other bands out there.

The first song entitled "2 plus 2 equals 5" in here experiences some radical instrumental and beat changes but it still manages to come out well. It kind of reminds you of Paranoid Android on the award winning and great album "Ok Computer". The lyrics are very meaningful and unlike some songs on here don't have the same lines repeated over and over again. Another thing I like is that Thom and Johnny are really coming out and jamming on their guitars for the first track something they hadn't done before on the previous albums "Kid A and Amnesiac". There is also a great and original lyrical session here by Thom near the end of the song, was Thom tells us not to question his authority. Well with songs as good as this, we never will. 5/5

Some songs on Amnesiac were to instrumental driven. What Radiohead had symbolized to us on the first song was that like on OK Computer the songs were still going to be experimental but lyrically driven. Despite the great chorus and great instrumental work, I don't like how "Sit Down. Stand Up", runs off with the repeated chorus over and over again and it just seems to be a run on track, but it's still brilliant in it's own ways. 4/5
"Sail To The Moon" is honestly one of the most beautiful tracks I have ever heard in my life. It starts off with a laid back instrumental session that last about a minute by itself. This then translates to a repitive chorus but this is a song were it's OK if the chorus is repitive. And the thing about this song is it's completely original I can't compare it to anything before by Radiohead. Thom's voice may sound distorted throughout the song, like on Amnesiac, but on Amnesiac this song wouldn't work, on Hail To The Thief, it would. 4.5/5

I respect "Backdrifts" but it is nothing special, the lyrics in the song are alright. It's nothing that you can sound instrumentally wise is beautiful it just honestly sounds like somebody sucking in air, which may or may not have inspired the title for "Dead Air Space" Radioheads Blog. This song leaves a lot of question marks in my mind as to where this album is going. 3/5

I thought "Go To Sleep" was going to be dull the first time I was about the listen to it and that time I did listen to it I was in for a treat. The songs acoustic running down the hills beat fits the lyrics of Thom perfectly unlike in the previous song. Thom's voice never really fills into a complete chorus as good as the pre-chorus in this song but the pre-chorus is so good, I find that it doesn't matter. 4.5/5

"Where I End And You Begin" is a lot of fans favorite but not mine, it just doesn't make any sense lyrically even though the spooky beat is pretty nice and the chorus is alright even though you can't make sense of what Thom is saying. The end of the song is just amazing though and it really takes back some of the negatives but not all "I will eat you alive", is the repeated line at the end of the song, even though in reality you couldn't imagine Thom eating anything. 4/5

"We Suck Young Blood" is a song you have to listen to a few times to get used to. With the clapping beat and the crude lyrics, which Med suggested in his review, why is this song so good? It's because of those lyrics and that beat that I believe are so original and is something Radiohead hasn't done before. They haven't called out the public [entirely] in their lyrics but "We Suck Young Blood" does. They haven't had a church clapping beat fit perfectly with a rhymatic spooky beat, in "We Suck Young Blood" they did. They haven't had an ending that poses some of the same ideas as in the chorus and every other part of the song. But it's the truth "were are we going with this music?" Which I think is the question Thom is trying to pose. I love this song. 5/5

The Gloaming starts off with a waterfall beat that sounds kind of like Oasis Champagne Supernova except with the Radiohead "We are not Brit Pop" flavor into it. But the song to me isn't anything more than a beat; the song runs off and makes no sense to me. Kind of like the fourth track of the album. 3/5

"There There" starts off with a jungle like beat which is portrayed again in the brilliant video for this song, but usually on this album when Radiohead has such good instruments [The Gloaming, Backdrifts] they don't follow it up with seneschal lyrics but in this song they finally do. "Just because you feel it doesn't mean it's there" is one of my favorite Radiohead quotable of all time. The background vocals in this song are good as well, and it just all formulates together to make another great song off this album. 5/5

"I will" is about how Radiohead wants to keep their children out of society. Not much else. The song isn't that good because it's short and even though the sing along type of feel is nice, I can't say that this is a good Calm After The Storm Radiohead song such as "No Surprises" on Ok Computer. It just doesn't do the album justice, even those it is a decent song. 3/5

A Punchup At A Wedding's lyrics are so aggresive it is hard to listen to at times, which is the main reasong why I won't go to in depth with the review. The song has a nice beat but the lyrics come straight at you like a hurricane, and this is a skippable track. 3/5

Where do we go from here? A question originally posed by The Bends becomes true on this album after a classic song in "There There" we even run into a more original song in "Myxamatosis", the chorus introduces classic question in "Why do I feel this way?" But the instruments make it sound so authentic it's almost hard to put into words. The surrounding lyrics headed towards the first chorus break weren't that good, but they started to speed up after the 1st chorus and just headed in the right direction, the song starts off not listenable but then turns out to be one of my favorites on the album, a great song.5/5


"A Wolf At The Door" poses a new feel to a Radiohead song. I don't want to say it has rapping beat but it has a fast talking beat. A lot of people say this song doesn't do the album justice, but I say it is absolutely brilliant. The fast-talking by Thom flows into a perfect chorus, which makes the song the best on the album. It's only 3 minutes long and it's one of the most dramatic 3 minutes ever recorded, the way the song changes tones is unbelievable. It's almost like the perfect book, it has a good begging that sets everything up, the middle of the book [in this case the chorus] is filled with action and makes you want to read[listen] to the rest of the book, and the ending sums it all together perfectly. 5/5

Radiohead are supposedly working on their 7th full-length album that could hit stores this fall. What does this album pose to us? If it's something like Hail To The Thief I would expect another great album but who knows. Here are some of the proposed songs for the new album:

» Last Flowers till the Hospital
» Lift
» House of Cards
» Big Ideas (Nude)
» Big Boots
» Reckoner
» Follow Me Around
» Up on the Ladder
» I Promise
» Arpeggi

This is all according to greenplastic.com.

The pros and cons of this album are
Pros:
Lots of originality
Not very instrumentally driven
Cons:
Some songs are all right for Radiohead Standards.

You need to buy this.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2006


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Fine review, though an overall may have been more suitable.

I have Radiohead's two most popular albums, The Bends and OK Computer, and I was wondering which is the next one to get, because I love the stuff on that.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Hebrew Hammer
February 24th 2006


37 Comments


I think this album is right up there with ok computer. There's a few songs (We Suck Young Blood, I Will) that don't meet my standards in terms of instrumentals. There There and Go to Sleep were my favorites, brilliant tracks. All in all, a well above par compilation to be sure.

barosjn
February 24th 2006


501 Comments


Just a reminder, you forgot to state your comments on "Scatterbrain".

pulseczar
February 24th 2006


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review for a tbt, I must say. My only gripe is your pros and cons section doesn't add anything useful to the review, not good points you listed.

This is the only Radiohead album I don't own (besides Pablo Honey, which is one of the worst albums I've ever heard) but I don't know if I should get it, I don't dig Radiohead as much as I used to, just gets listens every now and then. But then again I should because I have a HTTT shirt :lol:

Zebra
Moderator
February 24th 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Decent review, your descriptions were detailed but there were to many quotation marks throughout the review.
I have yet to find this album amazing, and don't think that I ever will. There are some excellent songs (2+2=5, A Wolf at the Door, There There) but there are also some snoozers. I listen to this album once in a while, I might actually pull it out and give it a listen right now.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
February 25th 2006


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The greatest part in any song on this album is at the tempo change in 'We Suck Your Blood,' it totally makes that song like 25x better.This Message Edited On 02.25.06

Sepstrup
February 25th 2006


1563 Comments


I didn't like your opening line. Who considers albums with one good song gold? Otherwise decent review. Some odd sentences here and there.

Bchop13
February 25th 2006


68 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

an example of that would be Hawthrone Heights is album it only had one good song and it recently went gold.

Hatshepsut
February 25th 2006


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=MusicOfficial]I have Radiohead's two most popular albums, The Bends and OK Computer, and I was wondering which is the next one to get, because I love the stuff on that.[/quote]
I say Kid A.

The Jungler
February 25th 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gold refers to the amount of albums sold. A gold record would have sold 500,000 copies.
Lovley record, most underated Radiohead CD. 2+2=5 is a great choice for an album opener.
Nice work on the reveiw btw.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
February 25th 2006


2806 Comments


I have Radiohead's two most popular albums, The Bends and OK Computer, and I was wondering which is the next one to get, because I love the stuff on that.


I say Kid A too. However, just know that Kid A is nothing like OK Computer or The Bends.

Neoteric
February 25th 2006


3243 Comments


I like a few songs from this album.

The Jungler
February 25th 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree with bassis201.

Get Kid A

altrockdude
February 25th 2006


150 Comments


My sister is a huge radiohead fan. I've never been really into them though. Really nice and detailed review. Good job.

Two-Headed Boy
February 25th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bold move comparing new-millenium Radiohead to 90's Radiohead in the 2+2=5 paragraph. Nice review, but I agree an overall would be more necessary.This Message Edited On 02.26.06

Jawaharal
February 25th 2006


1832 Comments


I really like this album.



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