Before Radiohead made the biggest musical left-turn in history with Kid A, before Thom Yorke’s eventual divorce which lead to the making of A Moon Shaped Pool, before Radiohead achieved 3 of the top 4 albums on this website- there was a vision. A vision of Radiohead’s true opus; OK Computer. It’s a record I’ve been trying to write a comprehensive review that is good enough for this amazing album since I first listened to it a month ago. Very few albums have immediately struck me as a masterpiece after first listen; the only ones I can truly think of are To Pimp A Butterfly, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Loveless, Mount Eerie, You Won’t Get What You Want, Pink, and OK Computer. I needed the perfect description but time and time again I was stumped. Finally, I think I can describe the album in one word. That word, despite the many computer themes that can be found throughout the lyrics and in the title, is: Human.
Across OK Computer, there is a perpetuating theme of highlighting a future society’s addiction to technology and the many mental downsides that may come with that. It’s an incredibly forward-thinking album with its lyrical themes predicting what is happening in current day society. Thom Yorke was wary of this future and advised against it across this album. While ‘Airbag’ is about a car accident Thom Yorke was in, time has treated this album so well that it can honestly be applied to society’s prevalent use of anonymous social media. “I am born again” referring to you getting a new life so-to-speak through anonymous social media and the fast car he refers to in the song could apply to life going downhill, the airbag which saves his life being this anonymous social media platform where he is able to live a new life for a short period of time. ‘Paranoid Android’ sees Thom Yorke speaking about an incident at a noisy bar with a lot of clever android references throughout it, though it’s also predictive of the suicidal tendencies social media has brought upon with the track ending with Thom Yorke, playing the part of a robot, screaming for God to “Rain down on him.” ‘Subterranean Homesick Alien’ sees Thom Yorke singing about the feeling of exclusion and isolation from others that technology may bring, Thom Yorke compares a technology-obsessed society to a crushed bug on ‘Let Down’, the iconic ‘Karma Police’ has you contemplating whether the so-called Karma Police are good or bad, ‘Fitter Happier’ has a computer narrator go through a bullet point of things to describe modern-day society, yet, scarily enough, it’s probably the scariest and most unnerving track throughout the entire tracklist.
The lyrical intricacies and forward-thinking lyrical themes aren’t where the album’s genius stops. As I mentioned before, the album feels uncannily human, which is why Thom Yorke’s angelic and lush vocals work so well. Alongside being able to create smooth and addictive melodies, Yorke almost seems like he’s preaching directly to us across this record. His pitch-perfect vocals make him an amazing spokesperson for this topic and his vocals almost make him seem like he’s an angel sent down from Heaven, trying to warn us about this future society. It is so down-to-earth and relatable in how it covers topics like isolation and depression. The instrumentation helps create this feeling too. The lush and majestic guitars of ‘Karma Police’ which ends with a cacophony of echoing vocals and a rush of instruments, the insane guitar solo climax of ‘Paranoid Android’, the reinvigorating riffs of ‘Electioneering’, the solace of ‘Exit Music’ with its hushed guitar and choir background vocals, Yorke’s distorted vocals combined with the distorted guitars of ‘Climbing Up the Walls’, the woeful arpeggios of ‘No Surprises’; this album is instrumentally and vocally perfect and no one can convince me otherwise. Actually, this record is perfect in every sense of the word. With my other 10s, I can find small problems; TPAB has that one Michael Jackson line on Mortal Man, Rodeo is not super lyrically dense of an album, some moments of Pet Sounds sound a bit dated, Ready to Die has that one moment with Big getting his dick sucked, I honestly don’t go back to Mount Eerie as I would like to, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy got a 6 from Anthony Fantano; however, no matter how hard I try, I can’t find a single thing wrong with this record. It is a perfect and intimate display of musical craftsmanship and how to sound human with an album that resulted in me crying for the first time when listening to a song, not because it was so sad that it brought me to tears like ‘Good News’ by Mac Miller did, rather because it was so beautiful.
FAV TRACKS: Every. Single. One.
LEAST FAV TRACK: None.
Wow. 500 Followers. This is such a huge number and I thank every one of you guys who followed me, though there are some people I have to thank in specific:
First I want to thank @DoubleZ, @spicyb, @Tristan, @Pickle, @Rater, @EnigmaticSnob, @Mqtheus, @Docky, @Nightwing734, @realrealweasel, @Jambo, @FoxInTheCity, @ParthanyJobtano, @jragrazal, @JonasFernandes, @PelicanManners, and @patricia4221 for supporting most of my reviews. There are definitely some people I’m forgetting here so I’m sorry if I forgot you.
I want to give thank @Inglume, @TreyLikezBands, @PipePanic, @N0stalgia, @Plats, @WhatTheFunk, @okcomputer12127, @DoubleZ, @Rater, and @Tristan for inspiring me to write as much as I do with my reviews.
I also want to shoutout @DCCXX, @MattsReview, @MrMercury7, @TomBejoy, @Basic_Garci, @BruhPablo, @tokq, @eliiscool5, @CLJesse, @LyricalMiracleS, @Phillip, @Scre4meh, @GayCunt69, @BruhMan, @Allofasudden, @DomBot, @TheTourist90, @KIDWITHGUNs, @RakkSmells, @HIVE, @SMTCubes, @Stankysauce, @redbded, @pizzagrande, @ConcreteCastles, @Case, @thomastronres, and @Cry. They all make pretty good reviews so go check them out.
I also want to thank Brad Taste in Music. Without him, I wouldn’t have discovered this website so I guess I have him to thank for finding this website.
Idk that’s about it. Thanks to all the people I shouted out, if I didn’t shout you out I probably accidentally missed you because there are so many people to keep track of.
Here’s to another 500.