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Radiohead - OK Computer CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.05 | 989 ratings

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4 stars I think I must have been preoccupied with household tasks or some other activities the first few times I listened to OK Computer, and as a result it never really grabbed me. However once I gave it my full attention I finally appreciated what I'd been missing. There are a number of styles and influences on the album but if I can throw a spanner in the works, OK Computer reminds me of Strawbs. Yep, those Strawbs! They were one of the earliest exponents of Mellotron-choir and it features heavily on several of Strawbs' classic '70s albums. Jonny Greenwood makes extensive use of Mellotron on OK Computer with EXIT MUSIC (FOR A FILM) and THE TOURIST benefiting from its ethereal choral timbre. However it's on LUCKY that I really hear the Strawbs' influence. Now, I'm not trying to claim that Radiohead sounds like Strawbs - far from it actually - but some of the instrumentation on these songs reminds me of them. Whatever it sounds like, LUCKY is simply a fantastic piece of music.

There's a sprinkling of Mellotron and other keyboards throughout the rest of OK Computer, although it's basically a guitar album. There really are no bad songs here but PARANOID ANDROID is probably of most interest to Prog fans. I wasn't keen on FITTER HAPPIER until I discovered that Thom Yorke had meant this as a checklist of 1990s slogans, and it makes more sense now that I'm aware of that fact. Radiohead have apparently denied that OK Computer is a concept album although there is coherence to the album as a whole. The sombre, dull mood of the album might be a bit wearing for some listeners but it's not a problem for me; Yorke's melancholic affect reminds me of myself on a good day. All in all OK Computer is an important and highly influential album, and a darn fine one to boot.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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