Hail to the Thief: Random Perspective Review - May 27th 2003
You know, whenever Radiohead produce an album, it’s always considered by many to be their last significant extension of their discography.
Pablo Honey, and the success of Creep, had them dismissed as 1 hit wonders.
The Bends was released to outstanding gasps – but cries that the band had somehow been lucky and fluked a good album.
OK Computer came along and everyone said, “Well they’re never going to top this. They may as well stop with this one.”
They teased those people by not releasing anything for 3 years, and teased them further by seemingly placing their name on another band’s music in the form of Kid A. But it was not by another band – it was their own. And despite seemingly shooting the old “Rock Band” Radiohead in the head – dead – it did incredibly well.
Of course, everyone hated it on it’s release and put it’s success down to OK Computer and said no one would buy another Radiohead album because Kid A was indeed so crap. However, by the time Amnesiac came along everyone loved Kid A and were using their OK Computer discs for playing catch with the dog. Or for spreading marmalade if they had mislaid their knife.
No matter how much you hate or love Amnesiac there is no getting away from how unbelievably weird it is. On first listens you want to eject the CD from the Hi-Fi, pop it in the toaster for 5 minutes, and then drop it down a well and fill the well in with concrete.
However, if you resist this natural urge, and leave the CD on repeat for about a week, you will be brainwashed into knowing it is the best music can ever sound. And nothing – I mean nothing, Beethoven’s 9th, Wagner’s Valkerie, the Spice Girl’s Wannabe – can compare. In fact, the traditional tracks like “I Might Be Wrong” and “Knives Out” – the ones you originally liked – become somewhat mundane and you take the headphones off and make a cup of tea whilst they tick by.
So what can we expect Hail to the Thief to be? Well it’s not OK Computer 2. It’s certainly not Amnesiac 2, and it’s not radical enough to be Kid A 2.
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