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Radiohead - Pablo Honey CD (album) cover

PABLO HONEY

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

2.50 | 257 ratings

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tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer
2 stars This album isn't so much bad as it is largely unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. There are some aspects of it that give a good preview of what would come in later years, but at its core it's basically a generic 90's alternative album. If you grew up on 90's alternative, this might not seem like a bad thing, but that sure isn't something I would want to actively seek after. To me, and many others, this is definitely a case of a mediocre album that few would remember if it didn't come from a band that would later make a huge critical and commercial impact.

The album more or less gets off to a good start with the first two tracks. "You" seems a bit too saturated with rather pointless heaviness for my tastes (a big problem with much of the album), but I do like the shiny quiet guitar line that opens the song and pops up in bits here and there later, and the song does have some decent (if a little cheap) anthemic qualities to it. "Creep" ended up as a minor hit for the band, and even if I don't feel any real connection with the lyrics, it does have what I consider the album's most fascinating moment. Yup, my favorite part of the album is that bit before the chorus where the heavy guitar sound plays two quick notes in succession, like the song's being shot or something, then pauses, then plays those notes again right before going into the chorus. It doesn't make the song brilliant or anything, but it makes me want to listen to it again.

The rest of the album seems like one mildly bland generic song after another, with maybe one or two exceptions. The songs aren't much worse than the first two of the album, but the first two weren't so hot in the first place, so that's not a compliment. "Stop Whispering" lets up on the heaviness just enough to allow a decent dose of songwriting to shine through (Thom is REALLY going for a Bono-style delivery here, too), and "Prove Yourself" is a decent enough two minute song (however much of an irresponsible call for its listeners to kill themselves it might be), but the other songs don't do much for me. I admit to being intrigued as to the use of a guitar sound in "Anybody Can Play Guitar" that sounds uncannily like it's from the second side of David Bowie's Heroes, but that and the namedrop of Jim Morrison are the only moments in the song that hold my interest. As with seemingly most Radiohead fans, I just can't enjoy this one so much. I can put it on as background noise, and some of the tracks have aspects I enjoy, but I could never consider this as a lost gem or anything like that. For completists only.

tarkus1980 | 2/5 |

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