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Radiohead - Hail To The Thief CD (album) cover

HAIL TO THE THIEF

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

3.42 | 308 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars A curate's egg. Hail to the Thief finds Radiohead at a tricky juncture. Having fully explored the pared back style of Kid A and Amesiac, the band seems to find itself slightly at a loss. So, they opt for a blend of OK Computer songwriting and Kid A exploration. It's hugely successful in parts but in other areas has the distinct sound a band treading water - or perhaps more correctly fence sitting while they figure themselves out. The good stuff though is great. 2+2=5 blending into the crunching synths of Sit Down, Stand Up (they feel like one track) is an awesome opener - bold, flashing, immediately involving. It gets better as they slow it down and wander through the piano balladry of Yorke's song for his child 'Sail to the Moon'. But then it seems to lose focus and direction slumping into a somewhat amorphopus mid- section where its hard to differentiate between the tracks. Is Backdrifts the one with the voices or is it Go To Sleep. Is the Gloaming the electronica one or is that We Suck Young Blood? Who knows, it just sounds undefined, unresolved, under-worked. Equilibrium is restored by the awesome Punch Up at a Wedding, Looping around a circular piano riff and a bass line reminiscent of the Beatles I am the Walrus, the band prowl through Yorke's vicious little fable. Outstanding. As is the electro-clash meets krautrock of Myxamtosis and finally the deeply paranoid A Wolf at the Door. In all, good but not great, though it's worth it for the opening three and closing four.
arcer | 3/5 |

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