OK Computer review by Radiohead

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  • Released: Jun 16, 1997
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.3 (244 votes)
Radiohead: OK Computer
1

Sound — 10
To call Radiohead musical geniuses would probably be the biggest understatement in the history of music. There never has been and probably never will be another band that can touch all that Radiohead can touch, and the height of their greatness really shines on their third studio album, "OK Computer". This is one of the few albums, if there are any others, that's so good it hurts. It is also probably the only album ever that doesn't get old regardless of how many times you listen to it. Each song is completely different than the next, and the only thing that's the same about every single song is that they're all awesome. I don't know how they did it, but Radiohead released what is probably the most perfect album since Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon". Each song takes you on a different adventure, paints a different picture, sets a different mood. Where as most albums rely on one sole sound or basic formula, "OK Computer" combines all that Radiohead can possibly muster and puts pretty much every feeling imaginable into each song. For example: 01. Exit Music (For A Film) - is one of the most depressing songs I've ever heard, yet it is still absolutely flawless. The song keeps building and building until the very end, where Thom Yorke closes with "We hope that you choke, that you choke" over and over. Few songs are as depressing as this, but none can match the greatness of the song. 02. Let Down - has a very sad concept, and probably could have been just as depressing as "Exit Music (For A Film)", but the way Radiohead delivers the song makes it one of the happiest songs ever made. Though the song's concept is about being let down, left out and ignored, you feel a strong sense of confidence and self-satisfaction after the song is over. I don't know how they did it, but they did. 03. Climbing Up The Walls - opens with some really creepy sounds, followed by a weird bass line with some sort of scary effect to it, along with a low tom being hit. Then Thom Yorke's voice comes in, and there's some effect to it that just makes you feel scared, as if Thom Yorke is personally talking to you and is coming after you. The chorus, "Either way you turn, I'll be there, open up your skull, I'll be there, climbing up the walls", really adds to the enourmous wave of terror that seems to slip over you while you listen to the song. It really does feel like Thom Yorke is the one who's climbing up your walls in your house, and that makes the song even scarier. The effects in the song are scary enough, but add the psychological terror of the lyrics on top of it and this song, although it may not sound like it at first, is one of the scariest songs ever written. 04. No Surprises - sounds a lot like a lullabye, and that's pretty much what it is. The warm guitars and warm lyrics take you away to this bright fantasy world with open fields and the sun shining, and I wouldn't be surprised if this song becomes the new lullabye. I can't really describe how warm you fell when you listen to this song, but it's such an amazing and uplifting feeling. Radiohead certainly uses a lot of different effects throughout the album, and you think that they're going to overdo them but each effect is just as important as the next, and there really isn't one effect I could do without. Whether it's the creepy sounds throughout "Climbing Up The Walls" or the wierd effects throughout "Airbag", each sound effect has its place and deserves it.

Lyrics — 10
As well as the guitars, the lyrics really paint a picture for you and you get a really good feel from the lyrics. I can't believe how well-written this album is; hats off to Thom Yorke. I've already mentioned "Climbing Up The Walls", and those lyrics are really psychologically creepy. I would like to talk about "Paranoid Android", because this is just a great song. This song is more or less just a story, only transferred into a sweet song. The lyrics in the song are pretty fantastic, and I love the way the song has so many different elements combined. The song starts off with a clean riff and this odd guitar effect here and there that sets the mood. Thom Yorke comes in with lyrics that ultimately tell you a story, and it's one of those stories that isn't boring. A little bit later the song goes into this other clean riff that sounds more badass than Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath". It's a clean riff, but it kicks so much ass that it doesn't even matter. "You don't remember, you don't remember, why don't you remember my name? Off with his head, man, off with his head, man, why don't you remember my name? I guess he does" is a great part in the song, because you have this clean guitar riff along with this really strange guitar effect that gives you the impression that the song is going to go somewhere; you just don't know where. But all of a sudden, when Thom Yorke hits "You Don't Remember", the electric guitar comes in with a powerful chord that will startle you every time you listen to the song. From there, a powerful guitar solo comes in with that classic Radiohead screeching high sound, and only Radiohead can pull of this type of soloing. Then, just when you think the song is over, it goes into this other part with what sounds like twenty Thom Yorkes singing backup in the background, and then Thom Yorke comes in with one set of vocals, and over the twenty-one Thom Yorkes comes a twenty-second Thom Yorke with yet another set of vocals. All in all, this sounds like a completely different song, but then it goes back into that badass guitar riff again and the song finishes up after the second screeching solo. All in all, "Paranoid Android" is more or less a work of art. It's like the Mona Lisa of music, and no other song even comes close.

Overall Impression — 10
Without a doubt this is Radiohead's best album. I won't even hesitate to say that. I love how Radiohead took all of these different song elements, molded them together, gave them a little Radiohead spice, and made this work of modern art. All the different feelings you get from all the songs is just fantastic; I still can't get over how Radiohead had this many great ideas. It's simply the most stunning album ever. I certainly hope nobobdy steals this from me or you, because everybody should have a copy of "OK Computer" by now, so there's no reason to be stealing somebody else's. Beethoven had his 5th and his 9th, and Radiohead had "OK Computer", and I think that's as fair a comparison as there's ever going to be.

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