Sound — 8
Radiohead is a very multifaceted and dynamic band, and they continue reinventing themselves on their 8th album. 01. "Bloom" - The highlight of this song is probably Selway's frantic drumming. I also like Colin's clubfooted bass line, it drives the verses well. Yorke's long, drawn-out vocal notes work well with the percussive and murky nature of this track. Not a great song on its own, but it fits in so well with the album and opens it very well. 02. "Morning Mr. Magpie" - A more upbeat song than the first, featuring fast power chords, some nice underlying guitar riffs, and a thudding bassline. Yorke's singing is more restricted in this song than most of the others. 03. "Little By Little" - I like how well the acoustic strums and guitar and bass riffs work together. A relentless drum beat lies underneath, giving the song a very layered feel. During the chorus, the instruments scale back a bit and let Yorke's vocals take over. 04. "Feral" - Very underrated and one a lot of casual listeners skip over. The song is built around Selway's relentless drumming and the weird things they do with Yorke's vocal tapes. I love the little bass snippets as well. 05. "Lotus Flower" - the most well-known song on the album, it received a Grammy nomination. Very percussion heavy, it is built around a drawling bassline and a strong drumbeat. Add in a few guitar parts and Yorke's best singing and lyrical work on the album and it proves itself as a muscular lead song. 06. "Codex" - slowing down after three upbeat songs. A slow piano song, but it distinguishes itself from other songs of like kind because of Yorke's outstanding vocals. But the greatest aspect of this song is the horn. It just adds such a beautiful layer to the song. Amazing. 07. "Give Up The Ghost" - obviously built around Yorke harmonizing over some background vocals. The main guitar provides acoustic strums, and the bassline and drums are a bit buried. Yorke's singing is simply insane on this one. 08. "Separator" - a different way to end the album. Driven by a catchy drumbeat and backed up by ringing guitar with a solid bassline. Probably the best guitar work on this album, especially in the second half of this song. Yorke's echoing vocals are outstanding and are perfect with the guitar. The overall sound of this album was very different than other Radiohead albums. It was much more percussion than guitar heavy, with frantic drums and prominent basslines. More woodsy and indie-geared than other albums, this is no "OK Computer". Nevertheless, it still is quite excellent and welcome by me.
Lyrics — 8
Thom Yorke, as a seasoned music veteran, proves his genius again. What he's willing to do with his voice has expanded so much from "Pablo Honey". He's showcasing his great range a lot more on the album and using the studio to create vocal harmonies and textures. As for lyrics, Radiohead's lyrics are quite vague to me and I can't discern much of a meaning. Anyway, Yorke's voice is amazing on this album. It isn't "Nude" but is still incredible in its own way.
Overall Impression — 8
When I bought this album, I was completely overwhelmed by it and listened to it on repeat. I think the songs on this album fit together better than any other Radiohead album, which, to me, is an amazing quality. However great this album may be, it isn't for everyone. "OK Computer" lovers and fans of the Nineties albums may not be pleased because this album has a more indie flavor. What I do admire, though, is how Radiohead changes their style a lot each album and makes the music THEY want to make instead of all the crap we hear on the radio that SELLS well. An ambitious and overpowering effort from one of music's most outstanding groups.