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Radiohead - Hail To The Thief CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.43 | 455 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars My head hurts. the problem with Radiohead being on this site is that it is so hard to review their albums in the light of prog because they completely lack any prog direction, only the minor elements. I will review this album anyway, as the piece of music it is, not as a prog album.

This is a brilliant piece of music, i think Radiohead still very much have the ability to put out albums which could be described as far as stunning. They have moved on from the weirdly ambient experiments on "Kid A" and "Amnesiac", i think this was a good move so that they could provide something new, and it worked. Hail to the thief is a majestic piece of art laced with powerful messages in its album artwork and title, even if it doesn't generally display this in the music itself. "2+2=5" is an incredible opener, the "you have not been paying attention" shows so much power which is a theme that the album implies. This track works so well and is very strong, gripping and rocking. it has the familiar deppressing vocals, strange lyrics, odd structures and experimental touches to make the casual Radiohead listener feel right at home.

"Stand up. Sit Down" is a brilliant piece, bringing the experimentation to the surface of the song, it fits in so well. I think the repetition of "the raindrops" works really well, the build up to its epic climax is immense. Another great example of how to build up to a stunning close on this album is "There There". This is blatently the best track on the album, its superb build up is broken as it goes into the "why so green and lonely" section. From there on it is heaven. One of my favourite parts of the album is the piano explosion in the middle "We Suck Young Blood", again built up superbly. Radiohead sure now how to pull of gripping pieces of music and still prove to be one of the most consistent and evolving bands out there. They have the nack to make good music last which can be very rare.

Some of the weaker parts of this album are some of the more electronica based moments such as "Scatterbrain", "The Gloaming" and "Backdrifts". These tracks sound like outcasts from "Kid A" and i don't think they fit in with the direction that "Hail to the Thief" is going in. "Myxomatosis" and "Punch Up at a Wedding" sound a little weak but manage to pass as being good pieces on the album as they are consistent and listenable. There is less of a decent flow on this album like there was on "Kid A" and "Ok Computer", it feels more like a collection of songs rather than one whole moving piece. Though a change is always welcome and it makes up for this in other areas. One good thing i did notice is that this seems to favour elements from all their previous works (except maybe "Pablo Honey"), yet has its own unique touch to them. Its definetly something new made out of something old, recycled perhaps. This is definetly their most artistic moment.

I see no reason why this album shouldn't recieve five stars for it is incredible, it is a new chapter in Radioheads career and is damn good throughout. The standout tracks on here, in my opinion, are "2+2=5", "We Suck Young Blood", "Sail to the Moon", "Stand Up. Sit Down", "There There" and "A Wolf at the Door". This album should not be missing from your Radiohead collection.

frenchie | 5/5 |


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