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Radiohead - Harry Patch (In Memory Of) CD (album) cover



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2 stars While I find it rather touching that Radiohead decided to release a tribute to Harry Patch, the recently deceased and highly decorated World War I veteran, it's a shame that the song just isn't very good.

The lyrics are rather basic and really only consist of a short verse. The vocals are set to a very orchestral string arrangement, something that would fit right in to an emotional war scene in a documentary or movie.

For some reason Thom's voice seems to be badly mixed. It's almost grating at times, it seems like a low quality recording. I'm usually a big fan of his style as well.

I would go on but there's really not much more to the song. I'd normally give a song like this one star but the idea was a nice gesture and the proceeds will be donated to the British Legion. So two stars it is.

Report this review (#230863)
Posted Monday, August 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
1 stars 'Harry Patch (In Memory Of)' - Radiohead (Single)

Dedicated to the life and passing of the last British veteran of the First World War, this is a slow, saccharine symphonic track. I think Radiohead is being very noble by paying their respects to a veteran of such a horrible conflict (and giving all profits to a charitable cause) which makes me want to bestow a higher rating to this single, but the truth remains; it really is not that strong of a track.

A single symphonic motif drives most of the song along, and it would be a relatively pleasant (if forgettable) track were it not for the vocals. Usually, the cringe of Thom Yorke's vocals do not bother me, but they do not work here at all. It almost feels as if his vocals were tracked for a different song altogether, as they do not compliment the instrumentation at all.

A good intention for this single, but in terms of the actual music itself, this is utterly forgettable.

Report this review (#297322)
Posted Friday, September 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Harry Patch (In Memory Of) is a fine concept of Radiohead, although the band doesn't feature on this track. To honour the "Last Fighting Tommy" is to honour all victims of any war. The soldiers are usually the first human victims (the truth being the first victim...).

Unfortunately this doesn't belong to Jonny Greenwood's best efforts, although I have to admire his ability to score for string orchestra. However, the simple motif is used quite well, and everything is pressed out of it. What spoils the work a bit, is Thom Yorke's vocals, because they don't seem to belong to this style at all. The lyrics are taken directly from a Harry Patch interview, and don't conform easily into song lyrics.

The end product is ok, if somewhat pallid.

Report this review (#518021)
Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 | Review Permalink

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