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Radiohead - I Might Be Wrong - Live Recordings CD (album) cover

I MIGHT BE WRONG - LIVE RECORDINGS

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

3.60 | 103 ratings

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FloydWright
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Before I go further, I want to say that I do consider RADIOHEAD prog in the overall view. While I despise the "next Pink Floyd" comparisons I used to hear, I do think that's the element the two bands have in common. This album takes songs off of their most "proggy" albums, Kid A and Amnesiac, and I think it definitely falls under the category of prog. The following review will discuss the album on its own merits, with no consideration of the controversy. Unfortunately, this album is extremely erratic in its quality, to say the very least, so I've broken it up into two sections to address this.

PROS

There are certain songs on here that undeniably meet or exceed their studio versions, and those are the ones that make this album worth having around for the real RADIOHEAD fan. Most of them are from Kid A; thankfully, they chose this version for "Morning Bell", or I would have been sorely disappointed indeed! ED O'BRIEN's low mumbling in the end, which has clearly audible words (unlike the original) adds to the frenetic sense of this song. Afterwards, a fan screams "ENCORE!"...understandably so! The next good track was from Amnesiac, surprisingly enough, and has been completely redone. "Like Spinning Plates" turns into a heartbreaking piano ballad highlighting JONNY GREENWOOD's skills, and THOM YORKE sings much more clearly and beautifully than the original. I was surprised by "Idioteque", that they were able to perform it at all, and while the beginning is a little bit thin, it's cool to hear the audience sing along, and as it picks up pace, it's amazing to hear the sound of the synths blending into the roaring of the crowd. PHIL SELWAY's drumming is also notable here.

The next song, "Everything in Its Right Place", was also a surprise; I would have thought this one doomed to utter disaster in concert, yet instead it's the highlight of the album. Although I can't figure out why THOM YORKE is apparently so winded at the beginning of this track, I think it was very clever of the band to include the equipment check, to demonstrate the coolness of what they're about to do with the vocals. (Suffice it to say, if that sampling equipment failed during a performance of the song, they would have been screwed.) This one--astoundingly enough, considering how great "Everything in Its Right Place" originally was--actually manages to top the studio version. It's absolutely amazing as the vocal samples...taken and manipulated real-time, during the concert warp dizzyingly around the audience. The last track on the album is also very nice...I know some people here seem to hate "True Love Waits", but I do think it's nice to have the "kinder, gentler" side of RADIOHEAD here, too.

CONS

For starters, I don't think this is at all a representative setlist of all of RADIOHEAD's work to this point. I can understand wanting to go most heavily on your more current material--but even on albums like PINK FLOYD's PULSE, the band does pull out some of the old classics. RADIOHEAD seems here to try to act like everything prior to Kid A doesn't exist, just tossing one little bone to the listener in the form of "True Love Waits", which apparently goes back to the time of The Bends, but I didn't even know that until just tonight when I read someone else's review. The other problem with the setlist is that it is way too short. Only eight songs? That just doesn't cut it; I really think there should have been at least four more on here, preferably OK Computer material, with maybe one from The Bends.

Also, there are some very serious sound problems plaguing some songs, like "The National Anthem", "I Might Be Wrong", and "Dollars and Cents". Sometimes the instruments can be so muffled that you can hardly tell what they are; it sounds more like some fan's bootleg than a professional recording. The sound quality is about where PINK FLOYD's Ummagumma Live album is--but they actually had an excuse, considering it was the 1960s. I was quite disappointed, because from Amnesiac I do think those last 2 I mentioned would've been the best tracks to perform, but unfortunately they were ruined and quite a bit weaker than the originals. "The National Anthem", without the horn section, lost the richness of the original...and in some places, THOM YORKE's vocals really can be abysmal. In terms of his ability to hold a tune outside of the studio, he's as pitiful as PINK FLOYD's ROGER WATERS was back in the 1970s, and when he messes up, it's earsplittingly bad.

Overall conclusion: I give this one a 3--but by the skin of its teeth.

FloydWright | 3/5 |

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