Thursday, February 4, 2010

Radiohead - Amnesiac


I could start this by throwing a bunch of shit at Mine.  But while I know she doesn't get Radiohead, in some small way, I'm kind of pleased about this.  It means I can be a little bit possessive of their music and a little bit geeky about the band without annoying her too much.

Some may wonder why she doesn't get it.  I don't.  I know why.  It's for the same reason some people enjoy Mingus or Monk yet can't abide modern music.  It's for the same reason some love Death Metal while others gag at the thought of listening to it.  It's all about our uniqueness, our very individuality.

I like to tease Mine and say her Radiohead bone is broken but the truth is she's only expressing her uniqueness.  And I can't help but love her for it.

This is also why I love Radiohead.  At no point in their career have they slackened off.  From the outset, they worked hard at everything they did, conscientiously choosing to do things their way.  Amnesiac saw them continuing the experimental twists in sound they first ran with on previous album, Kid A.  Like that album, it divided fans and critics alike between those who wanted the band to return to their more straight rock days and those who loved the new more experimental tunes.

Personally, I prefer the less predictable Radiohead.  There are plenty of bands in our collection who play it safe and stick to what they know.  But the reason I like Radiohead is because they don't.  More power to them, I say.



Oh, cheer UP!!  That's all I want to say to Thom Yorke, whose whiny, nasal drawl just makes my ears itch.  I know, I know, they're critically acclaimed, the world loves them, they can do no wrong.  But guess what?  I JUST DON'T GET IT.

I resisted buying OK Computer for ages, until Q Magazine rated it the Album of the Year in 1997.  And I tried, I really did.  I played it several times, willing myself to have that moment when distaste would turn to wonder.  But Radiohead, like the taste of olives, will forever make me grimace.

Oh, I quite liked Creep.  That's it.  The rest is what I call booooooooooring sub-prog rock (Your sez: I'm not even sure what this means).  I can appreciate that it's well done, that it's clever - but it doesn't sing to me.  Fortunately, liking Radiohead wasn't a deal-breaker for YourZ, or we never would have gotten married!

VERDICT: TURN IT DOWN (because he'll never let me chuck it)

For more information:

In our collection we also have OK Computer, Kid A, Hail To The Thief, In Rainbows and I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings


  1. Radiohead is one of the best bands of all time, yet, Radiohead is an acquired taste. Thom Yorke's voice is just one of those that happens to fit perfectly, sewn in exquisitely to the output of his band mates...and that really hits me. I don't know how I would feel if Thom Yorke was not the singer of Radiohead.
    The blips and beeps and waves of phase might get to me after a while if his soothing tenor wasn't there...the songs would be emotionally interpreted much differently.

    You are missing their first two albums..Pablo Honey and The Bends which are much more traditional in the "constructed song" sense of word. "Mine" will dig these much more.

  2. From my experiences, Radiohead is one of the true bands that people either love or hate with very little middle ground. Personally I think they're incredible. One of the aspects I love most regarding Radiohead is their drive to evolve and never remain stagnant. Early on they were blowing minds with rock that YourZ now considers "more straight rock" which is true in the world of Radiohead, but if you were to liken it to any other band who you would say plays a more straight forward kind of rock, Radiohead would be from another planet. I think at the very least, if you don't like Radiohead, you have to respect their attitude towards music.

  3. Seano, I feel the same way about Thom Yorke. I really don't mind his solo album but its not Radiohead. While his is definitely one of the voices of the generation, what the band brings and does is why I like them so much.

    You beat me to the punch with your mentioning of Pablo Honey and The Bends. These are both albums, along with Kid A, I am determined to add to the collection.

    Jeff, you hit the nail on the head. Their constant evolution is a big reason why I like them. Listening to a new album of theirs is an exercise in both wonder and trepidation as you never know what to expect. But they never disappoint.