Nov 14, 2012


Because a week after seeing them live I still can't shake this angsty disposition and while being brought up on OK Computer immunised me to the circle-jerk impact of its supposed ground-breaking-ness, alas, it sounds to me like alternative rock should and not much more than that, there's definitely something special about it and while part of that might be its conceptual greatness- disgust at the modern world, the belief that the worldwide victory of a capitalist rhetoric means we won't be seeing any grand dystopian futures but rather we're already living one- lyrical fragments of introspection, sci-fi paranoia, advertising, suicide, the triumph of technology, and so on, it's the individual moments which both drive these points home and make the record more than just a cliched pick for greatest album ever- the wacky guitars on Paranoid Android sounding like a surrealist road-trip to hell, the numerous indecipherable moans, and most of all the scream at the end of Climbing Up the Walls, which, yeah this'll sound cheesy 'cause it is, becomes the post-modern The Scream as the aforementioned lyrical fragments build and bombard the narrator's head exactly as paranoia, ads, technologies bombard the heads of his listeners, a swirling mess of guilt, history (the climax being a guitar-pop rendition of Penderecki's Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima), alienation, over-saturation of information, motorways, millionaires, aliens, robots, in short the post-modern condition, so that what could be left but a scream through the narrator and through nature and through the listener resulting in a secret ending where the whirlwind passes and the solution is suicide (No Surprises (god they're depressing)), but then secretly it's just takin' it easy (so don't go do that). Because its concept requires it be so dense and messy, everybody has their own little set of special moments found within the chaos, and maybe that's why it seems so immortal



1 comment:

  1. While you aren't wrong about everything Radiohead piled into this monstrosity, they would still go on to top it with Kid A. Because this record is a regurgitation of everything literary - the perfect mix of Ballard's cold detachment and DeLillo's anxiety in the face of technology - along with a few calls to post-punk and Scott Walker and all things great.

    But Kid A is the acceptance of the post-modern problem. To be so strung out and full of despair that one can only reside in a state of perpetual anxiety and succumb to it as a completely ordinary phenomenon. In short, OK Computer is falling apart; Kid A is rock bottom.

    Too bad the praise went to their heads and they stopped releasing thematically interesting albums. That's not to say they aren't still good - they're quite good for a white British band experimenting in anguish and DJ techniques - just that they don't feel as intellectually stimulating as they used to.

    Then again, AC/DC never moved past drunk sex and they still rule, so good music is good music.

    Just a few thoughts.