The Daily Mail/Staircase review by Radiohead

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  • Released: Dec 11, 2011
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (7 votes)
Radiohead: The Daily Mail/Staircase

Sound — 8
"The Daily Mail" - the opening track of this single begins with a soft, haunting piano melody accompanied by Thom Yorke's slow, moaning voice. As the track moves on the piano becomes louder, Thom's voice harsher and a brass orchestra comes in, a drum beat starts and everything explodes into a dirty chorus, Thom's voice loud and slightly angry. In the final 30 seconds everything calms down and fades out while Thom moans a somewhat sexual "uh-uh-uh."

"Staircase" - a synth led piece, starts with the brass orchestra playing against the synthesizer. A smooth bassline picks up somewhere in the verse and completes the sound. Thom's voice sounds just like it has since the days of "Kid A" and "Amnesiac." The song does, however, become a little repetitive after a while.

Lyrics — 9
"The Daily Mail" - The song appears to be about how large tabloid and business owners are manipulating everyone for profit, without consideration of their wellbeing. A very British song, I could go as far as to call it a left-wing anthem.

"Where's the truth what's the use
I'm hanging around lost and found
And when you're here innocent
Fat chance, no plan
No regard for human life"

("The Daily Mail" is a huge British right-wing tabloid, a bit like fox new in America, who favor the rich and money over truth and common people).

"Staircase" - I cannot quite figure out what the lyrics mean, it doesn't help as there aren't many of them, though the song still sounds very desperate and hopeless, as do many Radiohead songs. As I already said, there isn't a lot new here.

"I walk down the staircase,
Magnetic pull.
Back to the other place
That I cannot go.
I'm sending a chopper,
To steal you away.

The pot is full,
Let me take control,
Let me take control."

This song could be about a lot of things.

Overall Impression — 9
Both the songs from this single are breathtaking pieces, it's hard to believe that they weren't picked to be put onto "The King of Limbs." My only complaint about "Staircase" is that it is nothing that Radiohead hasn't already done, whereas the, albeit shorter, masterpiece of "The Daily Mail" sounds completely different to any of their past work. "The Daily Mail" picks up a piano lead without being boring, the song never lingers onto one part for too long, for how slow the beginning is, it does pick up very quickly. In both songs the lyrics are quite thought provoking and well written. Whatever was going through Thom's head at the time, it was angry and beautiful.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I like these songs more than couple from the actual record. On the other hand, I don't think the album would've flowed as smoothly if they had included these. Good review.
    Thank you, I think these were a lot more instrumentally focused than most songs off they album, as the album's songs were made from loops