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Radiohead - Hail To The Thief CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.44 | 445 ratings

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3 stars "Hail to the Thief" is the 6th full-length studio album by UK alternative rock act Radiohead. The album was released through Parlophone in June 2013. "Hail to the Thief" was recorded from September 2002 to February 2003 at Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood and Canned Applause in Oxfordshire.

The album features 14 tracks and a full playing time of 56:35 minutes. The more experimental approach to writing music that Radiohead initiated on "OK Computer (1997)" and further explored on "Kid A (2000)" and "Amnesiac (2001)" is not continued here. The band felt exhausted by the longdrawn recording sessions for especially the two latter mentioned albums and wanted to record a more spontanious album. So while there are some slightly experimental elements on "Hail to the Thief", itīs by far Radioheadīs least experimental album since "The Bends (1995)".

The music on the album is melancholic alternative rock and graced by Thom Yorkeīs emotional and distinct sounding vocal delivery. The quality and consistency of the material on the album is overall decent. Itīs not an album where many tracks stick out though. The return to a more guitar driven alternative rock as opposed to the electronic experiements and sound manipulations on the direct predecessors might have something to do with it. A little more experimentation like the adventurous compositional ideas featured on "Kid A (2000)" and "Amnesiac (2001)", could definitely have made "Hail to the Thief" a bit more intriguing.

As it is, itīs still a relatively enjoyable alternative rock album, but compared to the more daring releases in Radioheadīs discography, itīs ultimately a bit to safe. If youīre going to pursue a more "regular" songwriting style and predominantly employ normal rock instrumentation, you better make sure that the material youīve written are of a really high quality, because on an album like this one you canīt hide compositional flaws or tedious songwriting behind electronic bleeps and blops or excuse it with experimentation. "Hail to the Thief" still features a pleasant and professional sounding production, impeccable musicianship and decent songwriting, so a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted. To my ears "Hail to the Thief" is simply among their least interesting releases.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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