Using the textured soundscapes of The Bends as a launching pad, Radiohead delivered another startlingly accomplished set of modern guitar rock with OK Computer. The anthemic guitar heroics present on Pablo Honey and even The Bends are nowhere to be heard here. Radiohead have stripped away many of the obvious elements of guitar rock, creating music ...Read MoreUsing the textured soundscapes of The Bends as a launching pad, Radiohead delivered another startlingly accomplished set of modern guitar rock with OK Computer. The anthemic guitar heroics present on Pablo Honey and even The Bends are nowhere to be heard here. Radiohead have stripped away many of the obvious elements of guitar rock, creating music that is subtle and textured yet still has the feeling of rock & roll. Even at its most adventurous -- such as the complex, multi-segmented "Paranoid Android" -- the band is tight, melodic, and muscular, and Thom Yorke's voice effortlessly shifts from a sweet falsetto to vicious snarls. It's a thoroughly astonishing demonstration of musical virtuosity and becomes even more impressive with repeated listens, which reveal subtleties like electronica rhythms, eerie keyboards, odd time signatures, and complex syncopations. Yet all of this would simply be showmanship if the songs weren't strong in themselves, and OK Computer is filled with moody masterpieces, from the shimmering "Subterranean Homesick Alien" and the sighing "Karma Police" to the gothic crawl of "Exit Music (For a Film)." OK Computer is the album that establishes Radiohead as one of the most inventive and rewarding guitar rock bands of the '90s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, RoviRead Less
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A breakthrough work that rightfully established Radiohead as the bold and challenging act that they remain to this day. Blending electronica and rock they laid the foundation and the high water mark for their future endeavors. Music is so rarely this well executed; 15 years on it still sounds fresh and arresting.
Aug 15, 2008
O(utstanding) K(arma) Computer
Radiohead came on the scene behind the power of Thom Yorke's voice and lyrics and Jonny Greenwood's guitar mastery, and then in the early part of this decade delved fully into electronic compositions. OK Computer is the apex of their electronic soundscapes mixed with the six-string virtuosity that earned them popularity. Yorke's vocals careen from muted palour to growling angst to soaring falsetto. "Paranoid Android" is a schizophrenic piece that stands as OK Computer-in-a-thimble, musically visiting all the themes that appear elsewhere on the record. "Karma Police" was closest thing to a hit single, but then, a popular album is not what Radiohead had in mind. They did earn critical acclaim and the record's influence is heard in alt rock today. Particular stand outs are "No Excuses" "Lucky" and "Let Down."