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3 stars When I first listened to this album about 7 years ago, I was thinking: Oh what a great album, I never heard something like this before! In fact during this time I was not thinking about more recent Prog music at all and was not even aware that something like this is still existing in the 90s after a long period of dryness in the 80s . But somehow I came through these "desert" years by taking the substitution called "Independent" or later "Alternative" Rock which was quite ok for a while and that's how I came to Radiohead as well. But a few years later I discovered (rather late I have to admit and as well with the help of this website here) excellent bands from the 90s generation doing music much in the spirit of the 70's that is just matching my taste best. On the other hand I've to admit Radiohead is certainly more progressive in the literal sense than all those bands. And for sure all the songs on OKC are really great ones and I think very very few people can claim honestly they never heard any of them, at least the two most popular ones "Airbag" and "Karma Police" had been played over and over again in movies, boutiques, broadcasting, MTV and so on. And I can imagine as well that under the obvious surface of their music, which appears rather catchy and pop-ish on the first listen there are really complex structures hidden. The thing is just that it's not my taste anymore, so maybe I should not review this album at all??? It's in fact not easy for me to rate this album in a justified and fair way. Though I think it's certainly a very good album, nonetheless I doubt it can be considered an essential one in Prog generally since it won't appeal to any Prog fan. Hence 3,5 stars I would say!

(Edited 8/24/2006)

Report this review (#33805)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I am not going to go down the route as to why this is on this site. It has a semblance of conceptual music and yes, they are one of the few better bands to emerge in the late 20th century. In saying that I have never been convinced these guys from Oxford, are the real deal.The music is good and on OK Computer possibly better than others in their catalogue but the self indulgence in lead vocals reminds me a bit of Peter Hammill and VDGG. Plenty of self importance and not enough soul sacrifice IMHO.They are very talented musicians of that there is no doubt and record sales particularly in USA fully endorse that but for me too overblown to be truly credible. Hail To The Thief their last effort in my opinion much better than OK Computer. The mainstream were desperate for deeper sound when this was released and I think only the Verve managed to trult capitalise on that in a pure sense. They will never truly compete with the likes of Pink Floyd for which they laughably so often get compared too.
Report this review (#33806)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The logical heir to Nirvana's In Utero, Ok Computer is one of the very few albums of 90s rock that desreve to be taken into account. Yes, it's dark, it's quite sinister,and I wouldn't reccomend listening to it while driving through a city at night, but it's deffinetly post- modern art,and that's quite something after the 80s,a decade of excess which stripped music of 70% of its artistic value. IMO, you should think of OKC in terms of sheer artistic strength. Picture yourself an album that has the same ammount of stylistical unity as DSOTM, but without the clever trick of unifying all the tracks. Instead, you must think in terms of atmosphere&tension, in terms of recurring musical themes. Not as artful as Tool's Lteralus, but pretty close indeed. The only thing it lacks is the groundbreaking ideas of DSOTM. Still, a great album. Thumbs up for radiohead!
Report this review (#33808)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars You know, Was wondering if there was a slight chance this band would be on the site. I figured if they had albums more like this and KID A, they could just get away with it. There other albums are definitly not Pro-Rock but this album is like a modern version of what prog- rock is like. When I heard this album it wowed me. I thought they were like a KING CRIMSON of the 90s, It has that COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING type fee on some songs, Especially on EXIT MUSIC... The Last Song, THE TOURIST also has that prog rock feel to it. Although, not a Prog-rock album for the old school purst, It still has its place for people who like more complex music. Prog-Rock or not.
Report this review (#33810)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
James Lee
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Time to weigh in. Is it prog? RADIOHEAD themselves would likely say no, as would a huge segment of the prog fans out there. It's not the first time the band has suffered from a number of pigeonhole attempts (Billy Corgan especially could get very snide about their originality, although the SMASHING PUMPKINS are probably in no danger of appearing here). Iin my opinion "OK Computer" is a landmark album, prog or not, that keeps the embattled idea of a guitar-driven rock band fresh and dynamic.

To be honest, I don't even like every song; the widespread attraction of "Karma Police" has always eluded me, and I find "Climbing Up the Walls" and "Lucky" to drag on a little too long in exactly the wrong place on the album. However, the high points on this album are more than enough to place it in the top tier of my collection. "Paranoid Android" redeems an entire decade of lackluster rock music (though I can never quite get used to the extreme wah sound, and I wish the heavier sections lasted a little longer) and "Subterranean Homesick Alien" is both lushly atmospheric and hard- a way that must have made Steve Wilson wet his pants. "Exit Music" is almost unendurably cathartic (yes, that's a Mellotron, and no, I don't care one bit about the film) and "Airbag" is a great opener and proves that real drums and 'Drum N Bass'-style cut-and-paste production can work comfortably together.

I could go on and on; "Fitter Happier" is eerie and thought-provoking (or should be, for anyone unafraid to reflect on our bourgeois attitudes) and "Electioneering" is a Gotterdamerung rock song that crashes and wails like a post-punk "Gimme Shelter". Both "Let Down" and "No Surprises" take a pleasing pop rock basis and infuse it with odd sonic corners and intriguingly bent but heartfelt lyrics. "The Tourist" is a mostly fitting finale to the album, but strangely I miss a sense of closure- especially after the hit-and-miss construction of the second side (or second half, anyway).

So there we are. A classic rock album that is unarguably modern. An extremely progressive rock album that's probably not 'Progressive Rock' (so at best I can only give it 3 stars in this venue). Some of its parts are much better than others, but the sum of its parts is better still. Does it belong here? Dunno, but it belongs in the collection of anyone at all interested in how much life there is yet in rock music.

Report this review (#33811)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Is Radiohead really prog? Who would debate more than 3 seconds about stupid questions like that? Who cares!?? It's time to get a life AND to get this album as soon as possible. Because, in a lot of songs, Radiohead demonstrates a need to push rock further. They want to make a form of rock that progresses through what they did before. Judge that by what you want, it is an album to not overlook.

It's weird, it's futuristic, it's disturbing. It's a vision of tomorrow's world by Yorke and the Greenwood brothers. This album is like stepping into a city where androids and humans cohabitates and work together. A world where robots can almost feel emotions and humans wish they felt a lot less.

Technically speaking, Radiohead has a crazy guitarist in Jonny Greenwood. He really dominated the 90's in terms of experimentation and innovation. I know what I'm talking about, seeing him in concert in 97. An instrument not to forget would be the huge keyboard work also provided by Jon. He really captured a claustrophobic and ill feeling of having trouble to breathe on the keys.

Karma Police, Lucky, No suprises and Exit Music have all the radio potential to make a fortune. Karma Police staying a gripping, moving, and absolutely addictive 4 minutes. The songs aged so well, many bands wouldn't top this production even today. But the most progressive (and disturbing) track could easily be Paranoid Android. I don't know what kind of substance would lead to this, but it has a psychiatric aura; Yorke repeating "the vomit, the vomit, the vomit, God loves his children yeaaah".

This is a lengendary rock album. An absolutely stunning art, way ahead of his time.

With David Bowie, McCarthney or Robert Fripp, Radiohead jumped in the supreme courts of the few Giants that changed rock music forever.

So intelligent it edges madness.

Report this review (#33812)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 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 is EXACTLY what happened to RADIOHEAD.Yes, the songs on this album can be more traditional rock in places. No, OK Computer is not a perfect masterpiece. But still, I think it is worth hearing. Opinions may differ, but I do feel that RADIOHEAD has every right to be here.

In my opinion, RADIOHEAD has released a total of three noteworthy albums: The Bends, Kid A, and the album linking the two, OK Computer. Even though I believe that the current RADIOHEAD might be creatively spent by now, do not let their recent mediocre output discourage you from trying this album. Yes, there does seem to be some filler that you have to be in a specific mood for ("Fitter Happier", "Electioneering", and "No Surprises"), but even that is by no means worthless, and when you are in the mood, quite enjoyable. Overall, this is an solid album that deserves 4 stars.

My favorite songs are the beautiful "Subterranean Homesick Alien" (an ET's-eye view of us Earthlings), "Let Down", and the chilling "Climbing up the Walls". The eerie, siren-like noise at the end of that song is no synthesizer; in fact, it is several violins all slightly out of tune with each other, playing in unison. It's touches like that, that make this album what it is. Other songs, "Karma Police", "Paranoid Android", and "Exit Music (for a Film)" have come to mean more to me over time even though I was initially not seeing what all the fuss was about. This album and The Bends (their pop rock album) will probably have the most mass appeal of RADIOHEAD's three important albums, more so than their experimental masterwork, KID A, the album I recommend the most to the true proghead. I've kept this review short because I think much of what can be said about OK Computer has already been said or will be mentioned by other reviewers. My final words are--don't mind the filler; pick this up anyway if you are interested in hearing the link between their two flawless albums.

Report this review (#33813)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Prog Rock for the 21st Century - only they released it in the 20th Century!!!

Radiohead are a band who, in spirit, are closer to prog than almost any band I can think of in recent years. Instead of borrowing from the old school, like so many modern so-called prog bands - a tactic which is obviously not progressive, Radiohead assimilate older styles into their own, forging a unique sound full of subtleties that can easily pass the casual listener by and fool him/her into only hearing the surface. It is absolutely clear that the entire band know how to play very well indeed.

This is a trick that Pink Floyd were particularly good at - hence the frequent comparisons. Radiohead have, with this single album, also spawned a thousand imitators - not least in the field of prog rock.

And the comparisons don't end there; OK Computer is Radiohead's Dark Side of the Moon, from the unified concept, to the 7/4 time signatures, to the rich, spacey textures. Don't believe anyone who says that there is no talent or musicianship on here - that sort of comment comes from people who think that prog should be 13/8 all the time with lightning speed guitar solos. This is not that sort of prog - this is pure, imaginative and creative genius, with plenty of talent.

Thom's voice may be a matter of taste, but it is unique, his vocal range is impressive, and the subtle nuances and emotive shades and colours in his voice put many prog vocalists to shame. His feel for a melodic idea is amazing too - the melodies on OK Computer are incredibly strong - hence the commercial success of this album - something Radiohead could not have anticipated!

Enough discussion, rationalisation and general faffing about - here's a quick dip into each piece, briefly analysing the progressive elements - but mostly wallowing in and enjoying the music from a prog point of view;

Airbag : Sets the scene immediately. This little piece is crammed with proggy goodies, and, like the rest of the album, unfolds in an organic way like the best Gabriel-era Genesis. The sweeping opening riff opens up into a cavernous space with subtle guitar and bass and keyboard atmospherics. Beautiful "upside-down" drumming counterpoints all of this very well - the track borders on TripHop, but played on real instruments. Johnny Greenwood drops in some stunningly spacey and inventive guitar work, generally avoiding the obvious and building up the soundscape. All the while, Thom's haunting vocals provide the icing on the texture, with beautiful sustain.

Paranoid Android : Requires little discussion, as its length alone ensures that many proggers accept this track as prog. The beautiful switches between textures and time signatures whilst maintaining continuity by use of ostinato rather than riffs is utterly masterful and the texture is well worth dwelling on. By making subtle changes using different instruments or different sounds on the instruments, and modifying riffs by a couple of notes, an amazing seamlessness and organic growth continues. The "Rain Down" coda that ends this piece is stunning and raises the hairs on the back of my neck due to the pure beauty of the melodies, and the brilliant vocal harmonies, many of which are quite far back in the mix - the counter tenor and bass parts are quite staggering, and put almost every prog band in the archives to shame.

Subterranean Homesick Alien is an almost perfect prog piece; an 8-second guitar piece drenched in reverb gives way to some incredibly inventive work. The building blocks are obviously quite simple, in the same way that much of "Dark Side of the Moon" is built on simple constructions. However, a simple concrete foundation is responsible for keeping many buildings standing... Again, the key to this piece is through the subtleties in the arrangement and the wide, spacey atmosphere, richly coloured with beautiful melodies in keyboards, guitars and Thom's mellow vocals. Phil Selway too, provides drumming that is exactly right, never gets over busy and knows exactly where to hold back for maximum effect.

Exit Music (For a Film) is a little prog classic! Thom's vocals are brought further forwards to dominate a soft guitar. Here he relates a story of sorts in real time. Around 1:35, a mellotron choir accompanies gorgeous change, in which we are instructed to keep breathing - the simple act of which suddenly make me feel a little breathless. The atmospherics on the next section provide tension and drive towards the "big hook" which first kicks in at 2:50. The massive fuzz on the bass contrasting with the delicate keyboard melodies and Thom's powerful vocal line combine to a symphonic sensousness that is practically tangible. The only real problem with this track is that it is too short.

Let Down clears the air after the claustrophobia induced by Exit Music. A laid back, easy start, with subtle guitar and keyboard ostinato instead of more predictable riffs creates a very soft texture that is easy to just relax into. For the first time on this album we see a kind of verse chorus structure, but it is all muddied. The double-tracked vocals are somewhat unintelligible and possibly just as well, as on the surface they are about the crushed (like a bug on a windshield) feeling you get from being Let Down. Underneath is the more uncomfortable feeling you get that you've been there...

Karma Police was a hit single, and it's difficult to hear as anything but - although there is no chorus to speak of - more an anti chorus; "This is what you'll get...". The incredible tag-line "For a minute there I lost myself" just sums this track up - it has as much charm as any on this album, but is in danger of death through over-exposure. Listen to it in the context it deserves on this album, though, and it starts to make sense.

Fitter Happier is one of those tracks. The equivalent of those alarm clocks on Dark Side of the Moon, it's a difficult track to accept - but a logical part of the complete concept. I still find the background piano and textures infinitely more listenable than the horrible computer voice - but the words are those dark angst-ridden words that are probably familiar to or at least strike a chord with the subconscious of many middle-class citizens.

Electioneering is the one track that hearkens back to Radiohead's alt-rock roots. Gloriously raucous and unashamedly riff-driven, revelling in dissonance, there is much buried beneath the surface - so don't press skip on this one; give it a few extra listens. "I go forwards, you go backwards, and somewhere we will meet.". This is as close to fun as Radiohead get on this album...

Climbing up the Walls begins is a fantastically spacey, total prog rock kinda way. This is what I'm talking about, and confirms Radiohead's place on a prog rock site. The cavernous space sound of Exit music is recreated, with a wonderful falling bass line. Thom's vocals are heavily distorted, confirming their place as a part of the instrumentation - sometimes it's hard to distinguish his voice from the melange of spacey sounds that proliferate. Johnny Greenwood punctuates perfectly with deeply sensitive guitar, leading to, of all things, a solo - but not one of noodle, instead, one of appropriate colouring.

No Surprises was another hit single and requires no introduction - but you might want to put some sticky tape on those neck-hairs...

Lucky is a bit of an effort to listen to to start, as No Surprises provides a perfect end to the album. However, make that effort, and Radiohead have something far more to say musically than No Surprises. Magnificently symphonic and sonically richer than much Pink Floyd or Barclay James Harvest, this is one that might take you a while to "get", due to the constant shifting in instrumental textures. Undeniably prog - it was "a glorious day" when this track was written!!! Walls of beautifully counterpointed melodies collapsing into stark textures, then rebuilt in a different form provide one of the single most organic pieces of music in rock's history. I would put this alongside "Firth of Fifth".

The Tourist made me laugh the first time I heard it. OK Computer is an album that is not exactly speed metal... overall it's more like the aural equivalent of mogadon. Then comes this track at the end of the album singing "Hey, man, slow down". Again, Radiohead use a rich symphonic texture for this, and it's hard to see how they could get any slower. But it remains on a par with the rest of the album - as soon as you scratch the surface and explore the textures, the cosmic beauty of this track, indeed, the entire album swims into view.

OK Computer really is a prog album in the true spirit.

The attention to detail is quite stunning, and is easily missed by a casual listen. Even the individual sounds made by each instrument have been carefully considered and honed so that the sound is pretty close to perfect. Melodically, harmonically, texturally, rhythimcally and formally it is one of the strongest and most consistent albums of all time. The only flaw I could find in it from a proghole's point of view is that, like Dark Side of the Moon, all the "real" experimentation lies in texture. But that all changes on Kid A...

Report this review (#33814)
Posted Monday, January 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This stands as one of the masterpieces of the 90's. Paranoid Android sounds like a number of songs welded together and yet they are so beautiful that they fit together seamlessly. Subterranean Homesick Alien is a beautiful piece of writing that reaches it's highlight with the line "I'd tell all my friends, but they'd never believe me, they'd think that I've finally lost it completely." Let Down, Karma Police and the gorgeous No Surprises are other highlights. However the entire album is wonderful, although you may find yourself skipping over "Fitter Happier" as you become more familiar with the album. Wonderful piece of work the band has not (and likely will not) match.

I would like to give it a 5, but it does not come across as a "Essential: a masterpiece of Progressive Rock "

Report this review (#33815)
Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I was shocked after the first few listens of this album. I had no idea of how these guys made it real to fit all this pessimism into one album. The album seemed to fit in the circumstances of life, and I was really touced by this one. But well, as the time went by and I listened to this album again and again, some things started to change. The singers amazingly fitting voice had suddenly turned into an annoying growl, the background keys and melodies that filled me so much at first, turned into a stereotype of their music and the songs that touched me so deeply once, started to feel less and less interesting. Still I can't tear down a whole wall that I built with this one, so I will go for a 3 star rating, just for this fact, as well as the existence of several songs that still apply to my interest, basically No Suprises, Exit Music(for a Film) and the well promoted and popular Karma Police. A must for those who look for something to stick with completely for a few months, and just a worthy listen to those who are familiar with music more than I was back when this album got to my attention.
Report this review (#33817)
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Radiohead is far more progressive than many bands and albums that appear on this site with nobody questioning them. Also, Radiohead follow the "progressive" part of "progressive rock" much better than most of the greatest prog rock bands do (especially over the last decades)...oh and most of the time the "rock" part too! While most prog bands went into pop (Genesis, Yes), Radiohead went from an average 90s rock band to an interesting that came out with many good records which have actual fresh ideas...and sure, they might have had commercial hits, but so did Yes (Owner Of The Lonely Heart?), Genesis, Peter Gabriel, and especially Pink Floyd. Radiohead improved during the years, while Yes, ELP, Jethro Tull and Genesis didn't. This album, while overrated, has it's moments, like the opener "Airbag", or the great "Karma Police". "Exit Music (For A Film)" (I love this one, especially how it grows at the end before the "we hope that you choke" line), "Lucky" and "No Surprises" are also highlights. I find "Paranoid Android" to be overrated anyway. The only weak tracks here are "Electioneering" and "Fitter Happier" (but this one is just a little experiment that actually helps the album's mood). If you want a modern album, without pretentious complexity hiding the lack of melodies or original ideas, then this album's for you. Beware though, not everyone likes it and some people gets tired of it, while other enjoy it even more everytime they hear it. If you judge music only based on its complexity and time changes, I'm not sure if you will enjoy it.
Report this review (#33818)
Posted Thursday, January 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I consider this Radiohead's first album in which they flirt with the progressive genre. This seems to be the favorite of many fans and critics who would later abandon them, leaving them to us, the old lovers of prog. You gotta love a band for following their own muse, and forsaking easy popularity and "hits". As Mellotron chronicler Andy Thompson describes the album, "rather gloomy, understated music with a progressive bent, not to mention quite a bit of Mellotron"...and that about sums it up. After all, with their strong influences of Krautrock (has anyone here noticed this yet?), they didn't really fit in well to the popular categories of the day. Obviously, they are no longer an "alt-indie" band anymore by this point; however, the band would chafe publicly at the prog label being applied to them. In my opinion, the album hints at how they would soon transform themselves. I think the album is a little inconsistent...a brilliant lyric here...a crappy one there...brilliant guitar playing throughout...moody, with a lot of wierdness and experimentation. When it works (by my reckoning), it is brilliant, and dare I say, quite proggy. Recommended.
Report this review (#33819)
Posted Friday, January 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars OK Computer is that rare thing - a landmark recording and quite possibly the most important 'rock' record to come out of Britain in the 90s. After reaching critical and commercial highs with the polished indie rock of The Bends, Radiohead decamped to a house belonging to the actress Jane Seymour to indulge in some location recording for their third album. Several months later they emerged a changed entity and a new force in 'progressive' rock music. Weary of reliance on a standard guitar/bass/drums format Radiohead set about deconstructing and reconstructing their songwriting process. The chief protagonist here is surely guitarist Jonny Greenwood. A classically trained violinist, Greenwood stripped back the guitar parts and delbed into a huge arsenal of obscure and rarely utlised instruments - from 'prog' mellotrons to theremin, to the even more obscure ondes martinet as well as experimenting with loops, samples and a battery of weird and wonderful effects. However, Thom Yorke too pushes his own boundaries, even going so far as to begin the process of deconstructing his singing style, retreating from the melodic strength of The Bends and beginning to find a voice that reaches its full expression (a cracked, often broken but never less than passionate style) on the following Kid A and Amnesiac (where indeed, his stated wish was not to have melodies at all and to completely restrict the vocals) The sound palette the band came back with on OK Computer stretches from glockenspiels to analog synths, mellotron strings and choirs to stuttering speech synthesisers. After the lovely Airbag, the real tone is set with the simply breathtaking Paranoid Android which opens with a fluttering acoustic guitar riff and then develops into a brittle, furious guitar assault before giving way to a coldly beautiful coda of choir and harmony vocals. It's a cascade of ideas, noise, skill and wilful experimentation. A triumph which sets the tone for the whole album. From the wryly jaded Subterranean Homesick Alien, the claustropobhic tenderness of Exit Music (For A Film) to the unsettling obsession of Climbing the Walls and the chiming guitars of Lucky on to the final plaintively beautiful The Tourist, OK Computer is an album that will offer endless reward. Spiralling towards a decade since its release it has none of its revelatory impact. It has not aged a bit and sounds as fresh now as it did on its first release. Indeed, in that way it is as relevant, current, and apposite, both musically and lyrically, as Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, an album it is perhaps tied to in terms of lyrical theme. Some may doubt its prog credentials and it is true that it bears few of the hallmarks of anything coming out of England in the early '70s, but for those with a more expansive and inclusive world view, who will note it's debt to Can, Faust, Kraftwerk, as well as host of other influences, this is simply an essential purchase. It is a five-star album, which I will have to drop a star from simply because it may not entirely appeal to the ardent '70s sound' enthusiast.
Report this review (#33820)
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I don't see a reason for this great controversy about RADIOHEAD being prog or not! If you are to understand this genre in a broader terms they surely deserve a place in it. If not, and I am quite conservative in this sense, then 90 % of so-called neoprog, art-rock and prog metal would never appear in the progarchives! So this genre issue is always debatable and cannot be taken as an argument for giving merits. What is important is quality, ideas and emotions in music and for me "OK Computer" has all of that. This is a masterpiece of contemporary music!
Report this review (#33822)
Posted Friday, January 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a prog record no doubt and an excellent one at that.Dark lyrics and atmsopheric landscapes.'Difficult' abstract music that you can't pin downThe best tracks are undoubtedly 'Paranoid Android' and the very beautifull 'Karma Police'.The only slightly offputting feature of their music is the monotonous singing of Thom Yorke.It can grate I admit.But the band are excellent and the songs are brilliant.Just open your mind a bit and you may actually enjoy it.
Report this review (#33823)
Posted Sunday, January 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ok, this is hard. Before conjecturing if it is prog or not, I've to say this is a 90's CLASSIC. Just after the grunge movement, which is the head music of the 90's, there is RADIOHEAD. And I'm proud for such a well-known band to have PROGRESSIVE inspiration. Ok, this is not a pure progressive album. SO WHAT? There are things in this world that, because of its beauty, are beyond cataloguing. I consider this album a mix of Alternative/Progressive/Pop Rock. And what do I find in it progressive? First of all, the fact that this album is a concept album which has futuristic/spacey lyrics with the intention of criticizing humanity. Second, the sonority, the feelings that it makes you feel: like in many progressive albums, I find myself to get off of this world with my mind, navigating in the spacey and/or peaceful illusional atmospheres it creates. Third, many songs don't obey to the prototype versus/chorus/versus/chorus and have some prolonged instrumental parts, though not very subtle. Beside this discussion, the album is well performed, with very good bass lines, some good guitar riffs and solos (Airbag, Paranoid Android, Electionnering), diversified drums and a beautiful piano on Karma Police.

In the top of progressive songs of this album, there is Paranoid Android. Without a doubt, it is a progressive track, there's no way to avoid it! It is constituted by three different parts: the first, Sadness, with a well orchestrated versus/chorus pattern; the second, The Explosion, in which the guitar, the bass and the drums are very well performed; and the last, The Depression with a very sad chorus which made me cry the first time I've listened to it. Following up next on the progressive wave, the atmospheric Subterranean Homesick Alien and Let Down. Exit Music (for a film) is another example, it is a 2 part track with the last being an explosion part, like in Paranoid Android, but mainly achieved by emotional vocals. The two rockers of the album, beyond the supreme Paranoid Android itself, it's the first track Airbag which presents a very catchy guitar riff and a great bass work and the almost punky Electioneering which could be a song taken from their previous albums. The album ends with the trio No Surprises, Lucky and The Tourist with the melancholic mode and the imaginative soundscaping that characterizes Radiohead.

Karma Police is one of those songs that I'm sure it will be never forgot, very dramatic, extremely beautiful, great sonority and without being the prototype of the traditional architecture of a track: it is subdivided again in 2 parts. This song disserves a paragraph just for it.

As I said, it is NOT a pure progressive rock album as GENESIS Foxtrot or SPOCK'S BEARD Snow but it has some UNQUESTIONABLE progressive derivations! In the internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, this album is considered a Progressive Rock album, and for some reason they considered it! This album disserves 5 star but I'm hear to evaluate the Progressive nature of this work. Though it is an essential for any rock collector, it does not seem to be so essential in a prog collector, so I'll give it 4 stars.

My rate: 8/10

Report this review (#33827)
Posted Saturday, February 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Several years ago I was introduced to RADIOHEAD's debut album and thought they were excellent. "OK Computer" marks a big bold step for RADIOHEAD blending all of the right elements into a magnificent work of art. "Ok Computer" draws on elements from PINK FLOYD to PORCUPINE TREE to U2 all wrapped in a 90's psychedelia. Songs are all well written and offer some real memorable melodies and extended spacey interludes. At times the vocals are kindly distorted, the instruments warped and juxtaposed with sound effects giving the listener a wild contrast of sounds to interpret. Songs are generally very melodic and slow with some nice loud breaks in the mood to keep you on our toes. RADIOHEAD are a very talented band which offer some great guitar, bass, keyboard and percussion throughout. "Ok Computer" marks RADIOHEAD's most creative and sophisticated piece of work to date and is a real winner... This is a must have album and is highly recommended to those who love a bit space in their lives. Around the edges this album is similar stylistically to PORCUPINE TREE.

Report this review (#33830)
Posted Friday, February 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I can see a few progressive rock elements in this record: at least, it surely has a very elaborated psychedelic & alternative rock style. The grunge electric guitars may remind you the King Crimson of the mid 70's. The psychedelic dimension may remind you Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree. There are 2 elements that I really do not like: 1) The electric guitars arrangements that have a gross garage sound. 2) Yorke's plaintive and irritating voice that expresses all the pain & misery one can feel during his early life. The melody and harmony are not too much present on most of the tracks! Thom Yorke sings a bit like Bono of U2. Is the way he sings a manifestation of all the pain he has lived?

The tracks are serious and depressing: maybe this record allows the deletion of internal uneases: this record does not have this effect on me. The main problem is the lack of catchiness and addiction. Plus, one has to admit that the tracks sound pretty marginal. The worst moments are definitely tracks like "Fitter Happier" and "Electioneering". "Electioneering" is a real teeth grinding track.

There are some decent moments: "Subterranean Homesick Alien" has not bad keyboards arrangements & echoed ambience. The good futuristic end of "Let Down" is unfortunately too short. The more melodic track "No surprise" actually has a surprise: some good percussions, which may make you forget the annoying rhythmic guitar! "The Tourist" and "Let Down" have catchier refrains.

If I compare to the usual alternative rock bands, then OK Computer is more interesting and sophisticated. On the other hand, I do not feel the need to keep this record in my collection. 2 stars seems appropriate.

Please, live and let live: do not tell people what to like or to not like: there is a reason that explains why people like Radiohead, and the important is that it is good for them.

Report this review (#33831)
Posted Saturday, February 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars Thumbs down on York and the bunch. I've heard this album over and over in the last six years, in many different states of mind, emotions, attitutes, etc., and I don't even own the damn thing, so take me seriously as someone who has acutally given this album a chance and hasn't come to a dramatic conclusion after 3 or 4 listens. When I go over to someone's house, one of the first things I'm drawn to is their album collection. More often than not, this hauntingly produced, oversold "masterpiece" always rears its sneaky head out of the middle of a rack of albums, and is usually their favorite of the bunch. Truth be told, this is prog for dummies. It breaks barriers, yes, but those barriers were set by awful bands, CEO's, meaningless ratings, and most other forms of bull[&*!#] that keep really good music off the shelves. If mainstream got any tamer, Pooh Goes on a Picnic would end up being labeled prog by the robots shopping at Sam Goody. I just don't want to hear this album again and am sick of hearing "amazing" and Radiohead in the same sentence. If droning, uninteresting banter is now labeled amazing then get me out. I give OK Computer one star because it's the best radiohead album out there. Amnesiac is horrible, by the way. In any case, get it outta here!!!
Report this review (#33833)
Posted Monday, March 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars It doesn't matter if you're an avid and one eyed electric, accoustic or electronic music fan. The lyrics are thought provoking, involving and plain rocking in one track or another. The music in intellectually simple. I'm not planning on writing out every oxymoronic term I know but, I will say to anyone who is a fan of music in general: You must see the siginificance of this kind of album at the time - '97 and even now. FYI - The rating system used on this site supplies it's own advice dialogue when you choose 5 stars. And even after reading the "use 5 or 1 stars sparingly" spiel, I have no hesitation in giving OK Computer 5 stars.
Report this review (#33834)
Posted Monday, March 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've always been under the impression that this album is for British people, they seem to appreciate it the most. Every year since 1997, Q have done a best albums vote and Ok computer has always came in at number 1, practically every British media outlet say its the best modern rock album of the 90s. This may be a bit far but it certainly is a great contender. I know that if you look on rate your music website they say its number 1 album of the 90s.

Radiohead are a very unique and very British band, their music reflects British life and generally hosts a great soundtrack to your everlasting misery. Thoms vocals always reflect this brilliantly and they music is gloomy yet melodic and expansive, shining with a beam of hope in an otherwise depressing manor. That's just what life in Britain is really (to my 17 years of experience). It took me so long to build up the courage to tackle reviewing such a monster of an album because of all its praise.

This album is a direct progression from 1995's critically acclaimed, "The Bends". This album takes Radiohead even further into original concept, effects, great guitar based music, awesome lyrics and incredible songwriting altogether. It's a big step up from that album that was so good, this one is like a more mature, advanced bigger brother. Sadly, "OK Computer" is not a progressive rock album, but don't be swayed by all these negative reviews because most people are angry about Radiohead being included in the archives and take it out on their reviews by giving them poor ratings. I am not reviewing this album as a piece of proggressive rock, but as a piece of music, call it alternative rock, indie, britpop, any colour you like. Musically, this album has it all really...

originality... no other bands who are in a similar genre or sound have really managed to outdo this album, nor recreate it.

creativity... very evident in the vast soundscapes which are so multilayered that every time you listen to this album there is something new to hear or gain out of it. I have listen to it about a million times and i am always in musically bliss when i listen to it. The only thing is, i cant find it to be one of those albums that you can listen to on a regular basis, i often save it for special occasions, i am listening to it as i write this review. It feels like some amazing experience, however sad that sounds, for me it's the truth.

longevity... this album really leaves an impression behind, it kind of sums up rock music of the last decade well, its always one of those albums that you are going to want to come back to and every time it can be loved.

emotion... "Ok Computer" breathes with life and emotion, some tracks can make you want to rock (Airbag, Paranoid Android, Electioneering), some tracks will give you a nw spin on what life is really about (Let Down, Fitter Happier, Subterranean Homesick Alien, The Tourist, Karma Police, Lucky) and some tracks will make you want to cry (No Surprises, Exit Music). Every track leaves you gasping with your breath taken away by how amazing they are.

The lyrics are harsh and reflect life passionately, each with their own personal interpretation, something anyone can relate to. Musically this album stretches to all the limits whilst staying inside one basic alternate genre. Some tracks, such as "Paranoid Android", can be seen in the light of prog, as they have very different structures that people really seemed to have warmed to (most stuff like this can be pretty basic).

Best British album of the 90s? A masterpiece of music? the critics aren't lying (this time)!

Report this review (#33836)
Posted Saturday, March 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album actually gets 4.5 stars out of 5 IMO.

OK computer is Radiohead's finest effort to date. The album is textured with different sounds, and flows very well. The musicianship is not incredible, but solid. Dont listen to it for complex song structures or incredible guitar/organ solos. Listen to it for the flow and sound of the album. You'll have to be in a certain mood to fully enjoy it though. Thom Yorke is one of the greatest vocalists in rock.

Track by track -

Airbag - 4.5/5 Sweet opener, cool guitar sounds courtesy of Jonny Greenwood. its pretty groovy sounding, and you could actually dance to it. Pretty simple, not overly complex, but lots of texture in the music.

Paranoid Android - 5/5 Possibly the single greatest Radiohead song. Inspired by the beatles - happiness is a warm gun, this song is basically 3 songs strung together. the transistions are done very well, and its maybe the most creative brilliant thing they've done, as well as the best musicianship in a radiohead song. cool guitar solo.

Subterranean Homesick Alien - 4/5 another great song. solid songwriting by thom yorke. it has an obvious pink floyd influence in it, and the organs and guitar together work really cool. great vibe.

Exit Music (for a film) - 4/5 An angry song, yet beautiful. Its a personal song for Thom Yorke, and very epic, acoustic song. its a darker version of Fake Plastic Trees, on their previous album, the bends. Great synth, and the song builds up incredibly well. Not good for when you're not happy.

Let Down - 4.5/5 Its a nice contrast to Exit Music. a bit more fast paced, very melodic guitars working together producing great results. the last chorus of the song is incredible, definetely check it out.

Karma Police - 4/5 Its a sweet song, but nothing great or complex about it, unlike most of the other songs on the album. Poppier, but very nice, and it showcases Thom Yorkes ability to have angst, with happy melodies.

Fitter happier - n/a filler song, and nothing really. but its important and add's to the flow of the album. its kinda scary, right after karma police, pretty important track.

Electioneering - 4.1/5 a rock song. the rockiest song on the album, again lacking the texture that the rest of the album has. However, jonny greenwood's guitar playing in this is fantastic, ands its just flat out catchy as hell.

Climbing Up the Walls - 4/5 Another dark brooding song, but Radiohead have the ability to make you feel what they're feeling. Its very good to listen to, and is like an auditory stress ball. Alson ot good for when youre not happy.

No Suprises- 5/5 Magical song. Many different sounds, and Jonny Greenwood drops his guitar to pick up a xzylophone (i probably misspeled it), and the result is a fantastic, beautiful song. Its amazing and you'll probably love it.

Lucky - 5/5 Another amazing emotional song. Its not angry sounding, more sad, with the melodies as beautiful as they come. It builds up incredibly well also, and organs/keyboards by Greenwood help it a lot.

The Tourist - 5/5 Great way to close the album. Here, the chorus is "IDIOT! SLOW DOWN!" but its one of the most beautiful things you've ever heard. Thom Yorke, amazing vocalist.

Report this review (#33837)
Posted Saturday, March 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Interesting and thoughtful pop/rock of the late 90's. There's even some mellotrons included on some of tracks, like "Airbag" and "Exit Music (for a film)". These both mentioned are wonderful, emotional and mystical songs. Also the other songs on the first half were very good. Not exactly my favorite music, but still very good, I recommend to listen at it!
Report this review (#33839)
Posted Sunday, April 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a great album. I can understand how can one may not like this album (or radiohead altogether), but still it is the best ROCK album released in the 90s, by far. I don't know exactly what makes this album so good, but everything just flows, everything just fits right.

And to those who say that this album does not belong in the Archives, I say that this is truely progressive music. Radiohead have managed to create a unique sound and they are not afraid to take it always one step further, with every album the release.

Report this review (#33841)
Posted Monday, April 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tony Fisher
1 stars OK, this isn't prog in any shape or form but so what; it's just been voted greatest album of all time by Channel 4 viewers in the UK so let's review it anyway. All I can say is that the people who voted for this have never heard real bands who can play their instruments and write songs; all but about 10 of my 800+ albums wipe the floor with this bilge. The songs are tedious, the singer manages to incorporate that dreadful whining moan which I thought Liam Gallagher had a monopoly on and the guitarist is still on grade 3. And people compare this to Pink Floyd? Well, the Barratt years maybe but The Floyd soon learned to play and write, unlike this bunch. Good moments? The end! I bought it on impulse for experimentation and it's due for the charity bag. Most overrated album of all time? Beating Definitely Maybe? Yep!
Report this review (#33842)
Posted Monday, April 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is maybe not what you may call "prog" but it sure is good music to me. Then, it is a concept album, explained by the strange "Fitter happier". So if you listen to this album, listen to it entirely and in the order of the songs, I think it is a way to understand it and to be carried away by songs like "Exit Music", "Paranoïd androïd", "The tourist"...well, all the songs in fact ! I think this album is a great opening to another kind of music, perhaps less complex than other classic prog bands...but definitely more modern and interesting, with a style of its own.
Report this review (#33843)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars Sorry Brodders69, but all that proves is that Channel 4 viewers are tasteless sheep for voting this best album of all time. As a musician, I hate to be overcritical of anyone else's output but this is one of the least interesting albums I have ever listened to and a sad reflection on where English rock is going. Whether it's prog or Britpop or anything else is immaterial; it's poorly composed, not very well performed and, in my view, not worth buying. Those you describe as "muppets" are amongst some of the most thoughtful contributors to this site and deserve more respect from you for their opinions. The fact that you don't agree doesn't make their views any less valid. Radiohead better than Yes, Genesis, Camel, Pink Floyd, Caravan and the like? I don't think so!!! This is an album that some love and some hate - there is little middle ground. My advice is to borrow and listen before you buy.
Report this review (#33845)
Posted Friday, April 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is Radiohead's best album, one of the most well done gems in the 90's. It's very strong musically although the same can't be said about those lyrics. "Paranoid Android" is progressive by itself, and while the "poetry" done here is very weak, it seems the guy just chose the lines in a meaningless way to fill the song with lyrics, the instrumental sections are amazing and the playing is very well done. Unfortunately, it doesn't survive well the test of time, but it is definetely one of the best alt rock records ever done.
Report this review (#33849)
Posted Saturday, April 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars I felt it was time for me to review a Radiohead album, especially after the turbulence created by their inclusion in Prog Archives, turbulence with which I contributed giving a negative opinion, so I will try to be fair with a band that is growing in me since a few weeks ago.

I know some people will get angry but if I want to make a decent review must start being honest, so I have to say I don't believe Radiohead is a Progressive Rock (understood as a genre) band but it's also fair to say that Ok Computer is good album that deserves to be here as much as late Styx or Asia if you're not a purist of the genre.

I find some Pink Floyd influence in OK Computer but this doesn't make them prog' because the contribution of alternative bands as Nirvana is stronger, starting with Thom Yorke who has that same "I-don't-care-about-anything-because-life-sucks" style of the late Kurt Cobain, but also must say that as well as Curt he has a very nice vocal range, sometimes a bit boring for his lack of variation but can be listened.

Don't expect radical changes except on "Paranoid Android" (The closer they get to prog), the songs are mostly close to Indie even when sometimes is easy to find some Space Prog' influence or even that classical alternative sound so common in the late 90's, but the main characteristic of this album is that you can almost always predict how each song will develop from the first chord, this is not bad "per se", it's only a common factor I find in most tracks..

But I would like to focus on some very positive aspects, Jonny Greenwood and Ed O'Brian create a very dark an atmospheric sound that I find very interesting, Collin Greenwood has very strong basslines, especially in Airbag, Pete Selway is a decent drummer, but in some moments he sounds almost as a drum machine.

The album starts with "Airbag", a strong song with a great guitar intro and a powerful bass, the vocals as in every song are dark and depressing but the chorus helps very much to the sound, in some moments reminds me of Oasis with a touch of early REM, good song.

"Paranoid Android" is IMO the best song of the album, starts with a soft oriental atmosphere in which Thom Yorke's voice is absolutely perfect, when this section is starting to get too predictable especially for the drums, the band progressively makes a change towards classic rock with heavy guitar explosions in which you can notice the skills of the band, and then again the song morphs into a very melodic and dark passage with complex and well developed vocal work, mixing low chorals and high backing vocals (probably mellotron or other digital variation) that add interest and prepare the listener for the powerful chaotic closing section where every member is simply perfect, the most progressive approach of the band in this album.

Many progheads will accept this song for the length, but in my case I couldn't worry less about that, the point is that Paranoid Android is an imaginative song with constant changes and really unpredictable, this is the kind of sound and development I would expect from a prog' band.

The next track "Subterranean Homesick Alien" works as a relief after the first two songs, nothing spectacular but interesting, in this track the guitar work is not particularly good with only a few nice works in the louder passages.

"Exit Music (For a Film)" is an absolutely melancholic acoustic track, not only Yorke's voice but the semi choral background is totally depressing, I like the song because darkness fascinates me and the presence of the haunting Mellotron is incredibly beautiful. Lovely song but not recommended if for Prozac patient or those who have suicidal tendencies.

"Let Down" sounds as taken from an Oasis album, calmed, soft, with interesting guitar work, the music gently flows from start to end with almost no interruption or surprise, nice but not great, perfect for a hit single.

A beautiful piano introduction announces "Karma Police" another very good track, different to all the previous, very rhythmic but at the same time melodic, a very nice and surprising change, especially because the piano goes in crescendo creating a sensation of expectation not always present in Radiohead and also because it's the first song in which the drumming is very accurate.

"Filter Happier" is a great but wasted idea, they pretend to be innovative and experimental but this has been done previously since the 60's and 70's by bands like Pink Floyd but of course with much more originality, the piano background is pretty decent, but that synthetic computer voice is simply horrendous, even when important for the concept because gives us an idea of dehumanization, I believe there were better alternatives to work the concept without sacrificing the musicality.

"Electioneering" is a rock oriented track, loud but not very imaginative either, seems to prepare the listener for a climax but becomes boring and lack of interest because they never reach a peak, Radiohead keeps loosing the interest of the listener as the minutes advance, just noisy but nothing else.

"Climbing Up the Walls" gives a first impression to be more on the point, but it's only a mirage, again Radiohead falls in the same mistake of the last song, becoming repetitive to the maximum extent, I have the impression that after Karma Police the band looses in great part the obscure but melodic atmosphere prevalent in the first six songs.

After this track I am more convinced that Radiohead should never be included in the Archives, mostly because one of the main characteristics of Progressive Rock is the ability to create variations and changes, something that the band seems to lack of..

"No Surprises" as the name appears to indicate is another monotone track, even when in this case they seem to have recovered at least partially the melodic sense, but that isn't enough to re-gain the attention of the audience or to pretend to be something more than an alternative band.

The next track "Lucky" starts with a nice guitar work but again Thom Yorke's voice is absolutely boring, after a short passage of mainly vocals we can find a first musical explosion that indicates this song is going to be strong and the impression is right, a very good track that could be much better if Yorke would simply gave the impression that he enjoys singing.

The album ends with "The Tourist", a very spacey song obviously influenced by Pink Floyd, the vocals sound better than in most of the album, as if Yorke would have noticed that a bit of life doesn't hurt anybody. The nostalgic atmosphere is present as in the first half of the album but you can feel Thom adds a bit of enthusiasm, another good track perfect choice to close the album.

Now comes the hard part, How to rate this album? From a Progressive Rock perspective wouldn't be too high, because Ok Computer is not a prog' album and even when some people hate labels, this is a progressive web page, but this would also be unfair, because the album is pretty good, especially the first six tracks and The Tourist, the lyrics are provocative and the concept is well developed.

So I believe that 3 solid stars would be fair, and don't believe it's a low average, because I gave the same rating to some really good progressive albums. I enjoyed Ok Computer very much but honestly don't think it's essential.

Report this review (#33852)
Posted Saturday, May 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Ok Computer is one of radiohead greatest artwork. After 2 well good albums, they present here their sound. That's what great about them: a lot of people thought that there wasn't so much sound that weren't use in prog, but they see here that it's false. Not as strong as Kid A, but still an good, but not complete album, with good tracks like Paranoid Android, Karma Police, Climbing up the Walls and No Surprises.
Report this review (#33854)
Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars a brilliant group of songs!!

not their most original album, nor their most experimental, nor their best, and probly not their most accesible or inaccesible album, it is however their most fun rock album and probly there most characterful album!!

its not prog rock (w/e that is) its just a great group of songs that bring a nice listening experience with a consistant theme and perfect 90's alt' rock sound!!

it also has the longest and most epic radiohead album-track (paranoid android) and the perfect interlude (fitter happier)

5 stars - 9 out of 10!!

Report this review (#33855)
Posted Friday, May 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'll begin this one with the obvious namecheck to Pink Floyd. Every time I hear this album philosophized about, someone mentions Pink Floyd, even if only to go so far as to point out that they aren't going to compare Radiohead to Pink Floyd! There. I've said the name three times. We'll move on. Has anyone seen the show "Dream On," where the main character's thoughts are all connected to the TV shows he (and we) grew up watching? This is that concept in aural form. The world has become one of pop sound-bytes and collective inside jokes ("D'Oh!") "In the next world war/ in a jack- knifed juggernaut/ I am born again. / In the neon sign/scrolling up and down/I am born again/ in an interstellar burst/ I am back to save the universe".so the album opens, lyrically. Discard the lyrics, for the most part. They are but the notes on the instrument of Thom Yorke's voice.doing what the rest of the band is doing, creating audio landscapes with the gleeful precision of a demented Rohrshack-card painter meticulously displaying his own abstract nightmares. Read that might make sense. He and the band have decided to regurgitate half-digested bits of our culture and pop music in a form unique and exciting. The opening of "Airbag" could be the riff from any Blues/Metal-come-lately band, but you ask yourself, "Christmas bells?"."Cello?" Extra points for naming two Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy references and one (probably imagined by me) "Dream On" reference. This is rock music ripped apart by big cats, and put back together by little psychiatrists and the album itself does not ignore the irony of a band birthed in post-punk England putting together the best nouveaux-prog rock album of the nineties. Those who call this band "whiney" are complaining about the cataract roar of the chainsaw, not praising the delicately dripping genius of the ice-sculpture. The big hit from this album, "Karma Police," is the defining moment: a useless, impotent rebellion, the narrator complaining and commentating about what he sees, but hoping that karma will take care of it for him, so he can (presumably) keep on anonymously complaining. Even he admits at the end that he "lost himself for a minute there." Every time I listen to this album I hear something new.and every time I get lost in it I seem to hear the laughing of a madman with a paintbrush in the distance.perhaps the same laughing madman looped into the beginning of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side." (Oops, four times.) Trust nothing, and remember that this is the band that has disowned "Creep." Try to forget also that Chuck Berry did "My Ding-A-Ling" and that Blue Oyster Cult was once famous as the band that did "Godzilla." This is the real deal. Listen to "Creep" and The Offspring and Spike Jones if you want a belly laugh. Listen to this one if you want a pensive, nervous chuckle.
Report this review (#37284)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album was often hailed as the pinnacle of modern rock, and I can't definitively disagree. I haven't heard an album more complete and diverse. More soul-crushing and redemptive at once. This is Radiohead's crowning work, in my opinion, and it really does get me that at present it has less than four stars as a rating.

The recording is the voice of a universe on the edge of the future. In my opinion, the music depicts the modern world staring at the monsters it has created -- the danger of everything that the world has come to be. But it is also an immensely personal record, venturing into the fear and joy of trying to deal with a future so foreign and inexplicable that it defies everything you have ever known. The journey can't be nailed down -- but it works on many different layers.

OK Computer starts out with Airbag, a hardline musical bomb about the moment right after one has avoided a car accident. The buzzing guitar, soaring in and out of dissonance, matches an expertly-sampled drumtrack and Thom Yorke's beautiful wail. "I am born again," Yorke calls repeatedly, a resurrection from a kink in the system. The scream of an individual. The second track is Paranoid Android, possibly the band's most revered song. An epic that pairs absolute rock chops with stunning harmonic streches. The lyrics, again, are daggers at the hearts of many things -- Radiohead are open to interpretation. Paranoid Android has been touted as an epic about Rome, a story about Yorke's encounter with cokehead yuppie boors, and a parable about modern values. Which one is it? It doesn't really matter. However you read it, it hits you just as hard when an achingly beautiful vocal section is cut down by an immensely striking line: "God loves His children, God loves His children, yeah" spat out with such utter irony and contempt that you can't help but be affected. The lasershot guitar punch that follows seems very fitting.

The next section of the album involves a nice little piece on considering the unknown -- and the unknown considering you (Subterranean Homesick Alien). The atmosphere really is great here, even though this isn't necessarily the strongest song on the album. Exit Music (For A Film) is the next song, and it is another stunner. Beginning with just acoustic guitar and haunting vocals, it progresses into an infinitely creepy and gorgeous ode to what seems to be a desperate love in souring times. Let Down, the fifth track, is one of the most upbeat songs on the album, marked by a wonderful vocal line (especially in a third verse harmonic overdubbing) and remarkable lyrics. The ache is there, shrouded in disappointment and the dullness of life, but in that ache is this amazing howl of human will -- that "one day / I am gonna grow wings." It sounds trite until you hear it.

The middle of the album contains Karma Police, a popular piano piece with an interesting chord sequence and matching lyrics (though I personally don't listen to it as much as other songs on the record). Also featured is the atmospheric Fitter Happier, with a robotic voice that echoes the world's repression of humanity into a predictable little package.

Next are two of the darker songs on OKC: Electioneering and Climbing Up The Walls. Electioneering, perhaps the track I turn to least on the record, is a loud stab of a song, whereas Climbing Up The Walls is a scary number on paranoia and insanity. An inescapable horror at every stop.

After this venture into darkness, the final three tracks tie OKC to a close with gleams of humanity through the hull of oppressive spirits. No Surprises is an ironically placid number which sparkles and asks sardonically for "the quiet life / with no alarms and no surprises please." Lucky is about the closest that OKC gets to producing a love song -- it's a great call for love from someone who is trying to hold onto his optimism. "I feel my luck could change," Yorke explains, before crying for help. The wonderful chorus line of "Pull me out of the aircrash / pull me out of the lake / cause I'm your superhero" is a look at how love operates -- the idea of a helpless superhero is a potent one. And the final track, The Tourist, ebbs with a wandering need to go somewhere in life -- even if you're not sure where it is you're headed.

This album is philosophical, beautiful, challenging music. Prog rock? Maybe. But definitions are petty. With all of the sweeping majesty of Wall-era Floyd and all of the lyrical prowess of modern rock heros like U2 or Beck, Radiohead have really made a masterpiece with OK Computer. And that is no exaggeration.

Report this review (#39228)
Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This may not be progressive rock but this is great music. However I do not need to explain this to most people on this website. them who like it have listened enjoyed and written a fair review. Them who say they hate it probably have not listened and are just writing a review based on what they think it sounds like and the fact this album or band is not progressive. I do like this album and I think whilst not prog as many of us know it, I do think it is an excellent addition to any prog collection. This album gives a different prspective on music and I advise that different styles of music are in every collection. For that reason new albums such as Keanes Hopes and Fears, Razorlights Up all night,Franz Ferdinands self entitled album and Coldplays XandY, whilst totally not progressive{the latter could be considered if radiohead is consered prog} do make excellent additions to a prog collection. My album collection is 90% prog and 10% not , includes all the albums listed above plus this one, and it is all my prog collection.

On that note, I advise 3 things.

1 Listen to music before you review.

2 Even if an album is not progressive, rate it as if it were, if your favourite genre is prog but you like other genres, this will be part of your prog collection

3 Enjoy this great album


Report this review (#39705)
Posted Monday, July 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Finally, I'm getting around to reviewing this thing.

"OK Computer" begins with "Airbag", one of the best songs on here. The drumming is brilliant, and stays consistently so throughout the whole album. Of interest to progheads is the heavily delayed guitars, which are so washed in effects they sound like keyboards or an autoharp, plus the cello and instrumental buildup at the end. This is pure alternative/progressive, an alt rock song transformed with electronic effects and orchestral shadings to create one of the best tracks ever written.

But that's not the best of it right there. "Airbag" segues directly into "Paranoid Android", the track that bugs prog purists to this day. It's sheer progressiveness cannot be denied, as it features three distinct sections, a reprise, and even a short passage in 7/8. The first section opens with a strangely alien acoustic section backed by morracas and other strange percussion. It brings to mind a scene in the deserts of Roswell at night, for some reason. This is helped along by strange, eerie keyboards and haunting lead guitar work. Suddenly, the theme changes, and it slowly moves into the second section as it dispenses with the Latin percussion and then introduces the electric guitar, finally building up into full-on metal and enters 7/8 time. Then everything crashes and it goes into a somber, choral section which features a Mellotron. This goes on, until the second theme is reprised a final time before it all ends.

The next song is "Subterranean Homesick Alien," a beautiful space ballad song that once again brings to mind the alien desert highway at night. While not overtly progressive, it still shows tendencies, such as its haunting theme of escapism and hopelessness and the strange, melancholy instrumentation.

"Exit Music (for a film)" is another fairly good track, although I really don't like it a whole lot. It features a haunting acoustic guitar strumming at the beginning, slowly building as they add a mellotron, then the whole band enters. Darker and spookier than any other song here, it is actually recorded live, but the crowd stays utterly silent throughout the whole thing.

The main guitar theme for "Let Down" is in 5/8. The song actually reminds me of GENTLE GIANT's "Just the Same", because of the conflicting 5/8 guitar and the rest in 4/4 ("Just the Same" has 6/8 against 7/8). It's very lovely - the synthesizers at the end can make me weep.

"Karma Police" shows the first drop in the prog-o-meter, although it still retains some traces, and is in sort of two parts. A bit too mellow for my tastes, it mainly plods along, with it's overt theme taken from "1984" and the thought police. The second half has an abrupt change in the opinion of the singer's lyrics, like he's been brainwashed or something.

"Fitter Happier" divides the album clean it two. Everything from here on is not quite the same quality as the first songs on the album. The track itself is essentially a poem read by a computer with a piano solo in the background. The poem is strange, conformist, almost hopelessly airtight. Like something that would be playing on the telescreens in the book "1984".

"Electioneering" is a straightforward rock song with some heavy cowbell. Pretty cool hard-rock music.

"Climbing the Walls" is an atmospheric, dark song that brings to mind a maze in some strange warehouse. Utterly creepy from start to finish. At the end, it builds up then is washed away by electronic effects and strange atmospheric noises, organ, and what sounds like a haunted cuckoo clock.

"No Surprises" is a simple, simple, simple, upbeat yet strangely cynical alternative tune that kind of grew on me over time. Quite nice.

"Lucky" is a slow rocker that washes right over you. Thom sings "pull me out of the aircraft..." - it can give you chills.

"The Tourist" definitely grew on me - a ploddingly slow number in compound waltz time (9/8, but not at all like Genesis' 4+5 classic) with occasional bits of 3/8 tacked on. The chorus is great - "Hey man, slow down..."

Overall, no, it's not full-on prog. There's tendencies, but whatever. It doesn't really matter. In any case, it's a very good album nonetheless, final three tracks aside. Their next album, "Kid A" is far more experimental and "progressive", but "OK Computer" is still a masterpiece of alternative meets progressive, at least for the first five songs.

Report this review (#39759)
Posted Monday, July 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I bought this CD because my prog mate down here advised me that this album is prog. Yes it is. At first listen I could confirm that it's a prog music. But it was not my cup of tea so I put it on my CD rack until two years ago when I watched a music DVD titled "Paris Concert for Amnesty International" where the band performed two songs "Paranoid Android" and "karma Police". Oh man . the performance was awesome - I have to admit from the bottom of my heart! I am amazed with the guitar playing performed by Greenwood - it's really great! The distortion is cool! The way Yorke sings is also cool - relaxing. In fact, with this DVD I kept rewinding the segments with these two songs plus the performance of Peter Gabriel and Youssou n Dour. Right after watching the DVD I started to replay my CD of OK Computer and I really enjoy the music. For me, this album is something new that I experience with respect to my journey with prog music as well as classic rock. I have never heard this kind of sound before. It's a new experience for me and I hope the band continues with the kind of music they deliver in this album.

"Airbag" is an excellent album opener. "Paranoid Android" is the best cut of this album. From the opening intro until finish it offers a beautiful music with excellent flow from one segment to another combined with some abrupt changes. The sound effects and distortion produced from guitar is really good. The song has a very strong melody. "Subterranean Homesick Alien" is a mellow track performed in psychedelic style with excellent soundscape. "Exit Music" (For a Film) (4:24) a nice mellow track in a dark mood. The music starts really simple with acoustic guitar and vocals and it moves slowly with great sounds and inclusion of keyboard and drums. The vocal moves steadily into high register notes. The melody of this song is excellent. Another interesting track to enjoy is : "Karma Police". It's like a ballad song with great acoustic guitar work and vocal-drone style. "Electionnering" is a rocker with straight forward structure. Other remaining tracks are also good even though most of the time I play the CD I listened to Paranoid Android and Karma Police.

Overall, it's a recommended album. Those who love Pink Floyd sounds or Porcupine Tree may enjoy this album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

Report this review (#41272)
Posted Tuesday, August 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Is this prog? barely ... but who cares when it is good music? This is an album where Radiohead did their best to make good complex, and accessible music without going as far as the genre 'Progressive Rock' (Kid A). There is a lot to like here, and while I do not believe it is not a masterpiece as people call it, It is a very important rock album that shocked the World. And while the title might fool you, it is not very electronic.

1. Airbag : An alternative rock classic, and the best song from the album. It has the feeling and style of 'Smells like Teen Spirit' but it more complex, has better drumming (that you can dance with it) 10/10 2. Paranoid Android : Easily the most prog-like song in the album. It switches moods smoothly and there is brilliant guitar work in here. A classic from the band, and I agree. 8/10

3. Subterranean Homesick Alien : this song seems to be influenced by Pink Floyd and jazz. It isa dreamy song with beautiful organ and guitar work. 8.5/10

4. Exit Music (For a Film) : A depressing song that is fit perfectly in Romeo And Juliet. If you are depressed, you should not hear this song. I like the acoustic work, and especially the haunting mellotron/synth in the second half. 8.5/10

5. Let Down : A nice but not outstanding calmed track that is a little more upbeat than the depressing Exit Music. 7/10

6. Karma Police : An upbeat melodic pop song. The piano playing here is pretty and this is the only song that sounds happy. 7/10

7. Fitter Happier : filler, yet an important part of the album. Here you can hear optimism in the lyrics. The haunting piano in the background is perfect.

8. Electionnering : It starts promising enough with the loud guitar riffs, but it keeps going and does not sound that interesting. It lacks the texture and smart music that most of the album has, making it sound like a Alternative rock song. 5/10

9. Climbing up the Walls : A good dark and creepy song with a good instrumental break. The band really excels on wanting to bring a certain mood in their songs 7/10

10. No Suprises : Well, as the title says ... it has no surprises and is not very interesting. 5/10

11. Lucky : A melancholic sounding song with very nice singing. The chorus is excellent. The instrumental break sounds like the guitar work in Homeworld's (Yes) coda. 7/10

12. The Tourist 7.5/10 : The most influenced song by Pink Floyd. It is very atmospheric and melodic. The guitar work is excellent. The vocal harmonies created by keyboards in the background fit in well.

This is a perfect album for those who want to take a break from Garden of Dreams and Starless. I think it is easily the best alternative rock album I ever heard, which may be because of the few prog elements and complexity. Go get it if you want a non-prog album

My Grade : B

Report this review (#42023)
Posted Monday, August 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is great, special to me.Sincerely, 1997 brought us the last history's classic disc.From that year on, we had THE MARS VOLTA's "FRANCES THE MUTE", SPOCK'S BEARD's "SNOW", RADIOHEAD's "KID A".but they aren't quite special as " OK COMPUTER" is. The disc begins with a powerful introduction, "Airbag"( "an airbag saved my life."), one of the best recordings in the album. Then, we have what I consider to be the best RADIOHEAD song ever: the magnum opus "Paranoid Android", divided into three parts: the first one, a normal, quite depressive, acoustic mellody, that "prepares" us for the great explosion and profusion of strange sounds and guitar riffs and solos( try to listen to this song at 3:15 and not to be touched in some way.).All this "explosion" gives place at 3:30 to a very depressive and sad ( "come on rain don on me."), and very,very emotional and mellancholic part, and 5:30, we have the return of that explosion, concluding the terrific song. Track 3, "Subterranean Homesick Alien", also good, brings us a sad and depresseed Thom asking aliens to get him out of this planet. "Exit Music (For A Film)",a normal acoustic and mellancholic song, but also very good in some way, tells us to "keep,keep breathing" to try to survive to this sad world. "Let Down" has a pop mellody, easy to be played on radios and mtvs, but has a lyric full of screams of delusion, preparing us to. .the excellent and beautifully/emotionally played "Karma Police", one of this album's greatest moments (I think only "Paranoid Android" is better), and alerts us that "this is what you get when you mess with us". After this song, we have "Fitter Happier", "sung" by "Fred", a voice synthesizer( Thom YORKE gave it this name), that is like a doctor telling you how to be happier, living a boring life full of rules, that can lead us to a much worse route, as it can be noted in this song's end. Right after this, YORKE acts as politician, claiming about the IMF and other questions related to this field, in the plain rock "Electioneering". After all this journey, Thom is already "Climbing Up The Walls", title of the next song, and noticing "No Surprises", the other song after. These songs are good, too, but they don't call my attention too much, as "Paranoid.","Karma Police", "Airbag" and "Lucky", that comes right after "No Surprises", such a great song that introduces us to the conclusion of this RADIOHEAD's masterpiece, "The Tourist', melodic Jonny GREENWOOD's composition, that makes us believe, in the beginning, that everything is okay, we ended up this journey well.but its conclusion certainly doesn't make us sure of that.

Report this review (#42888)
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow! Do NOT (as I did for years) write off this English band as bad alterna-rockers. This is a KILLER album, conceptual in scope, consistent in quality and yet each song has an element that sets it apart from the others. Like JEFF BUCKLEY FRONTING QUEEN (all you who lament not hearing another of Jeff's albums, try this one) with elements of Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, and U2, we kid you not. Highly highly recommended.
Report this review (#44802)
Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, people either love radiohead or they hate them.

In my opinion, "OK Computer" is arguably one of the best albums made in the 90s. Amazing lyrics, fine musicianship without the usual bombastic showmanship, great compositions, great arrangements and production, and a real unity of playing amongst bandmembers, which is so hard to find. I also find Thom Yorke's voice to be truly original and fascinating. Sort of like Peter Gabriel, only in the sense that they broke the mold when they made this voice, and it iks totally unique.

What you will NOT find here: Virtuoso musicianship: If guitar gods and amazing solos is what floats your boat, it's not here. Another parallel to Gabriel and old Genesis, who always emphasized the gestalt of the composition over musicians' egos.

Rocking out: Again, like Genesis, this is a band that for the most part doesn't rock out. There are some exceptions though, like "Electioneering," which has a good beat and catchy energy.

Many progressive rock folks who like traditional prog rock don't like Radiohead in general and OK Computer specifically because it is so different and non-70s prog rock. Guess what, folks? The 70s are over. They can't be recaptured, and those who try have come off as truly painful and pathetic.

Radiohead forged new ground, nad with "OK Computer" did something ttruly original and magnificent. Don't put them down because they aren't yes. Recognize them for their own merits, and don't hold them up to ancient bands who they have no interest in sounding like.

The true spirit of prog lives on in Radiohead, and "OK Computer was their seminal album.

Report this review (#49540)
Posted Friday, September 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Are they prog? Sure. No doubt. But the pitty is that this is their only good album. But it isn´t just good, is incredible! Subterranean Homesick Alien's guitar is just like porcupine tree's one and their darkness makes me remember some Pink Floyd eras. Not recommendable to Symphonic proggers.

Alex White

Report this review (#49889)
Posted Monday, October 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well, having read some of the reviews about this album I tought I'll share my view here. This is a very interesting and complete page which I am going to continue visiting as each day that passes I keep falling more and more in love with progressive music. And excuse my poor english please, Im from Argentina.

First of all, I have to say that I don't believe that Radiohead is a Prog Rock band, No way. The most close to progressive song they had ever made is "Paranoid Android", the second track of this album, and it´s a very powerful and creatvie three-part suite. But that's all. Speaking in general terms, there are no progressive elements in this band music: there are no tempo changes or uncommon time signatures, no large epics, no virtuosism in the prog-style, no solos and instrumental passages are scarce. So, why people classify this band as progressive, is something I just don't understand. The songs structure is closer to britpop or alternative rock than to those of progressive. Perhaps the linking point between Prog and Radiohead is the atmosphere, the uncommon instruments and the variety of textures. But those aren't characteristics present only in prog rock, so I don't believe they are enough. So, I'll put it a three stars mark, as it's good, but non essential to any "prog music" collection. After all, this is a prog site...

As a band's fan I have to say that this album is their best work. But I also have to agree that it's being overrated at some extent. Something I can say without a doubt is that it's one of the best albums of the nineties and Radiohead is a band that keeps evolving . I think that there is a blind and irrational fanatism behind some of the reviews, as they don't have good arguments to criticize the musical output. Don't forget that the decade in which the bands develop is decisive. If you don't believe this, compare the "change" that suffered a lot of the greatest progressive bands when the eighties began, how their music changed. Actually I disagree with the way a lot of bands changed their music and made them more "accesible" (to some extent this is understandable), but if this change is positive or not, isnt the point of this discussion. Something I considerd pretty naive is this kind of criticism "making money by inducing negative and desperate feelings, thus feeding the dark and unconsciously wanted state of the mind of socially weak people" So, we must only listen to happy and optimistic music? Music is art and expression, it doesn´t need to transmit any specific "feeling" and something you may consider "sad or boring" can be different to other. That's a matter of taste, whilst music's quality is a matter of a more objective analysis

If you expect to hear a prog album, and that's the only genre you can hear, stay away from this album. Otherwise, you should give it a try.

Report this review (#50442)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was the first Radiohead album I bothered with. I had heard Pablo Honey, and The Bends but had not been that impressed. OK Computer inspired me to go back and take another look. I liked what I re-discovered.

I believe Radiohead to be a prog rock band. They represent where the genre is today. Thats just my opinion. OK Computer is a collection of impressively crafted songs, with strong melodies, strange and poignant lyrics, great guitar riffs and some wonderfull spacey ambient noise thrown in for no extra cost! When I first heard 'Air Bag' my reaction was 'what the hell are they doing' but then I have thought that with most VDGG and King Crimson albums. In a way my reaction indicated to me, that the album probably had 'prog credentials' 'Paranoid Android' is one of the best rock songs, and certainly one the best charting singles to be released by any band in the 90's. It is certainly prog rock. Moving from irritable paranoia, through rage and finally into what sounds like despair. It's a daring song for a band who are supposed to be 'indie' bordering on mainstream. Sorry, but it sounds pretty prog to me. 'Subteranean Homesick Alien' is equally good, full of drifting ambient sounds, spacey guitar and Yorkes lyrical mastery. 'Karma Police' and 'No surprises' were also strong and daring single releases which among the rest of the offerings on OK computer, prove that a band can still make interesting and challenging music in cynical and 'dumbed down' times, AND put it into the charts, AND earn a fat living from it! I salute Radiohead for this.

Report this review (#51669)
Posted Thursday, October 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well. This time it is. Welcome to a prog album. It isn´t as prog as it could be Pink Floyd´s Animals, Dark Side of the Moon or King Crimson´s debut or Tarcus, or .... But this is a concept album, with songs joined, with a plot, a thematic album with strange changes inside songs.... This a really Well made album. As a rock album i consider it some kind of masterpiece. It isn´t the best album of all time ( it isn´t among the top 5 neither) but probably is the best album of the 90s ( Don´t kill me, i am not overrating, it is my opinion)

Airbag: Good opening, not disturbing but quite interesting. (8,5/10)

Paranoid Android: Wow wow wait a minute, this really seems like a prog song! Changing tempo, changing chords, changing tune ( in fact there are 3 different songs) Great. Wondeful guitars (10/10)

Homesick Home aliens: Interesting song, not a masterpiece but it is good.Reminds me " the verve" (8,5)

Exit Music: This would be a boring song if it wasn´t by the strange sound effects. Great (9/10)

Let Down: Wow this isn´t anyway a Let Down, it brings you up (9/10)

Karma Police: It ´s a great song but when you realize it is finishing.... (10/10)

Fitter Happier: I had once a program like this one to "speak". It is original it reminds me revolution 9, i am not going to rate it

Electioneering: Give me a Break, this song really rocks, this is like oasis! (9/10)

Climbing up the walls: This song is a bit strange, very progressive and disturbing (8,5/10)

No Surprises: Some kind of childish song. It´s nice (8,5/10)

Lucky: It´s not so interesting to me, a bit boring (7,5/10)

The Tourist: The same (7,5·10)

Maybe the end coud be more interesting but this helps to make the concept work better.

As an album i give it a (9/10)

Report this review (#51677)
Posted Thursday, October 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars 1. Radiohead in the Archives:

RADIOHEAD were a conterversial issue when they first appeared to the Archives, However this seems to have blown away and has finally but slowly have an acceptance here, and I certainly do not mind them being here, but not everyone will be amazed, enough of the talk and on with the album.

2. The OK COMPUTER review:

OK Computer is a Post Progressive record with background pulsating spacey synths and weird and dark atmosphere.

The Tracks I like the most:

- Airbag is the opener here and will strike you as a typical indie rock track, but there are strange sounds and dark and eerie vocals here.

- Paranoid Android has a great acoustic guitar riff as an opener, not exacly prog but an excellent indie rock track and has a very strange animation video though. - Karma Police is my favourite OK COMPUTER track of all time and is a great acoustic pop rock track and has a killer guitar solo at the end that just blows me.

- Fitter Happier very strange track, computerised voice that sounds like Homer Simpson and the piano playing is weird and a lot of strange composions in the music, a dark atmosphere with a futuristic industrial feel.

- No Suprises is another favourite of mine with lovely instrumentation and nice vocals, and is a light uplifting track compared to the others, the specey synths in the background are also a good addition too, mainly acoustic.


I recommend this album if you like modern rock music AND recommended if you like modern Art Rock, not necessarily Prog but is enough to be placed here as a experimental indie post Prog album, final verdict 9 out of 10.

Report this review (#64181)
Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars The main reason for Radiohead's inclusion in the Archives (and the centre of a huge debate and fights at the time), this very controversial (and hardly just on this site, but in every music mag) album is certainly a masterpiece, prog or not. Radiohead is a typical alternative rock group that consistently developed intelligent pop/rock (their early albums were clearly inspired of U2) capable of grabbing even the most demanding ears belonging to progheads such as us. Whether they are prog or not, is beside the question, but the immense majority of us, progheads, all agree that this album is superb, reflective, intimate and adventurous. And is this not what counts after all, challenging music?

My review coming rather late after their introduction, I will not spend time describing the tracks (there are many great reviews before and after mine) or giving you their influences, but simply tell any progheads that is not convinced yet of this album being superb, that they should give a shot. Somewhere between depressive, melancholic, reflective and intimate, most of the tracks are carefully constructed and not a single note out of place, leaving little doubt at the mastery of Yorke's ability to write catchy songs. Many sombre ambiance and a few tempo changes (Radiohead never gets wild on this album, a bit like the image of this album: self-restrained) are the first hints that they were about to move on to greater things and leave the alternative pop of previous albums.

Report this review (#69313)
Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you haven't heard Radiohead, it's about time you do so. A lot of people avoid them based on their reputation as a more "mainstream" band. I'll agree with them being mainstream but that doesn't make them a bad band on any accounts (think Pink Floyd...). They are simply amazing. This is the first album I allowed myself to pick up by them, and I'm extremely happy I did. It led me to buy all of their other studio albums (minus the debut, which sadly I hear isn't very good). The album is OK COMPUTER and it is amazing. Oh and let me clear something up, Radiohead is indeed prog and deserves a spot in the archives whether you like them or not: just listen to all of this album and every album following it and you should see why.

Now on to the album itself. It begins with one of the best songs I've heard in years: "Aigbag" which is, I believe a song about a car crash. It begins with some guitar and then gives way to an amazing, if rather simple song. It is delightful and, if approached with an open-mind, should hook anyone onto this band. It is an instant classic in my book. Next up is the infamous "Paranoid Android". Give it a listen--it's on the archives. If you don't like it then I'm suprised. It's an amazing and very progressive song. Next up are the slow, powerful duo "Subterranean Homesick Alien " and "Exit Music {For a Film". The former is a slow-paced, building and beautiful track that really showcases Tom Yorke's amazing voice and vocal style. The latter is a rather odd song with a synthetic choir in the backround that may or may not excite you, depending on how you accept electronic sounds. I for one enjoy it.

Next up are "Let Down" 9another extremely beautiful piece}, "Karma Police", a rather upbeat/traditional song that pleases and fits very well with the belated feeling/almost sedated mood the album brings together. Next up is the highly criticized "Fitter Happier" which showcases some very strange spoken/robotic lyrics and fulttering piano and effects in the backround. It is a strange track indeed, but also powerful in statement and memorable to say the least.

"Electionnering" is probably the fastest track on the album, and is very nicely paced and filled with memorable phrases. It is definately a highlight, and even though it's minor, it almost serves as a pciker-upper for the album, a very nice track indeed. Following it up is "Climbing Up Walls", which is a surreal track that is more eerie than anythign else on the album and only compares with the eeriness of the entire KID A. It will leave a scar on your memory (possibly). Following this one are the closers: "No Surprises", a fairly popular Radiohead song, and still a wondeful piece of music (the video is powerful too--as a matter of fact, Radiohead lead the way in modern videos as far as I'm concerned), "Lucky" is another surreal track, opening with screeching effects and Tom's wondeful voice paving the way. I really really love this song, it has one of the best refrains I've ever heard in my life and is a surefire highlight of the album. I won't spoil it. Check it out as soon as possible. The closer, "The Tourist" is kind of funny--tha album is slow in general, and you hear Yorke singing "hey man slowdown. idiot slow down" it's a classic ending track and just as good as any other track on the album is.

OVerall, all I can say is this has to be heard by everyone here. Don't judge by what you've heard, but rather what you will here. Pick this one up, it's usually pretty cheap in my parts ($10 in America), and definately worth it as an opener to one of the greatest bands we've seen for awhile. Yes they are assumedly "modern" and they take take some time, but prog is all about opening your ears to new ideas and sounds--and this one is definately not one to miss. A modern masterpiece (not so modern anymore, but still "newer"). 5 stars all of the way.

Report this review (#69637)
Posted Thursday, February 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm very happy to see Radiohead included here. Of course, progressive, like any other music genre, has no boundaries, but I submitted many reviews before noticing their presence, sure of their abesence. What can I say now? Some say this is '90 best studio album, And I agree at 90%. Lyrics are really great!I love them and It seems to me they've been conceived exactly for those songs!I could never imagine other words if not "they don't speak for us" in No Surprises or "we're standing on the edge" on Lucky. But overall they're awesome, profound, facing social problems (and that's the point) narrating ironically what they scorn. Songs are well structured and placed in the tracklist, featuring interesting sound combinations, excellent riffs (with some of them borrowed by other bands!) tasteful mixing acoustic/electric guitar, with brilliant piano and synth addiction. I could stat all this about many bands, but Radiohead have some more: they can create magic songs, some that could remain in the heart of a person lifelong. Negative points:basically 2. 1. going farther, beyond the arrangement solutions, the chord sequences aren't far from the standard ones of brit-pop: nothing new, in the end. 2. The notorius problem about R. that I sum up in this sentence: "you can't hear a R. album for more than half an hour or you'll drop in a state of permanent depression!" About Ok Computer it's quite true; in fact the only electioneering as a fast song is not enough to bright up the picture of the album. Details, in my opinion.
Report this review (#69777)
Posted Friday, February 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Funnily enough, this album first got me to this site; I was looking for a review and this site came up with Google, and more or less convinced me to get it too.

It is quite probably one of the best alternative rock albums ever, but unfortunately not quite good enough to be prog-rock. Don't get me wrong, I _love_ this album, but it isn't that progressive. The guitar-work isn't very exceptional, and there are absolutely no solos or interesting melodic passages. However, this makes way for the combination of a lot of guitar and the unusual vocals which are great. Basically, this is the album that shows how something can be proggy and poppy in this modern age of crappy music.

Report this review (#71361)
Posted Tuesday, March 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Radiohead abandons its British pop-rock ship and decides to do something much more adventurous with less than fabulous results. Ok Computer has a very unique sound to it that imitators have failed to capture or reproduce yet. Each song has virtually no evidence of a chorus and are laden with layers and layers of soundscapes adding a technological feel and atmosphere to the album. These soundscapes, a vast majority of the time, do nothing but bore me. They impart a cold technical feel to the album, and are often times rather unnecessary for establishing a mood which Thom Yorke does perfectly well himself. The compositions also tend to lull the listener into a rather dream-like state of bored depression. Few tracks manage to genuinely move me, and the overt depression of the album begins to take its toll after repeated listening.

Radiohead really make a big jump in their writing from The Bends to Ok Computer, but they do so at a large cost. The resulting music is indeed more complex and deeper than their previous work, but it also loses the appeal it once had, and the power to entertain the listener is also lost. However, the album does touch on moments of indisputable genius such as the fade out to Paranoid Android, and the whole of Karma Police and No Surprises. Overall they serve to even out this to a mediocre outing of 2.5 stars.

Report this review (#76934)
Posted Tuesday, May 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars My favorite Radiohead's album.

After a hard deliberation I found on Ok Computer a good album. Maybe it's not the kind of music that I enjoy best but it's a solid effort. I'll start to say that Radiohead made a lot of controversy about their inclusion on PA but certainly they are progressive and that's not in terms of discussion right now.

About the album it starts with Airbag a very decent song, but the next it's the highlight of the entire album; Paranoid Android became a hit and not only because the commercial potential that the song had in that time also because it was very well composed and arrangement; definitively a progressive song (special mention to the mellow voice of Tom Yorke and the background vocals). Radiohead was on the peak of their rock phase.

The next pair of songs pass unnoticed and then a beautiful suit starts "let down" one of my favorites of Radiohead (Not too amazing in terms of composition but the sensations that brings to my mind are kind of nostalgic). Then starts "Karma police" a very well known piece for everyone, I can only say it's a pretty decent song and that's all. Another beautiful and full hope song its "No surprises" the voice of Tom its wonderful here and the catchy and melancholic melody flows slow and beautiful; really a great suit. The closing track shows again the versatility of Tom Yorke voice and it's an excellent ending for a great and emotive album.

Ok computer and Kid A are the most progressive records in Radiohead's Career; the first shows a more rock orientation phase and with less electronic effects.

In general it's a good contribution to the modern progressive era and I give it 3.5 stars, a very good album and also a great contribution to any (modern) progressive rock collection. Bamba

Report this review (#79892)
Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the most accomplished albums of the 90's. In fact, I'd go as far as saying this album is the "Darkside of the Moon" of the 90's. A kind of synthesis of the best of the previous 30 years of rock. While always being original in the approach of each song, one can clearly discern influences from bands such as U2, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, etc. Every song is a gem, though my favorite is Exit Music (for a film). Bleak, eerie, bearing a resemblance with the melodic section of "A Saucerful of Secrets" by Pink Floyd. In fact, the production for this song is so close to that of ASOS, one has to wonder if research has been done to know just how they recorded it way back then. "Paranoid Android" is another great number, probably the only really progressive number of the album.

The atmospheres created on this album are magic, from light to dark, cynical, paranoid, suicidal, oppressive, peaceful, haunting... but always authentic. Credit MUST be given to the producer of this album, as I have rarely heard a production as elaborate and mindblowing as this one.

OK Computer is also vocalist Thom Yorke's finest hour in my opinion. In fact, I believe it to be Radiohead's finest hour.

Five stars without a single doubt in my mind.

Report this review (#81645)
Posted Wednesday, June 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars "OK Computer" is a great example for an album who worth being called a "5 star album". It expresses the human fear & paranoia from being under, from people above. I can't really call it a prog album, but it is another, new look at the prog music.

Nigel Godrich, who produced "OK Computer", created a new unique sound and technique, which made me listen to this album many times.

The whole album is interesting, but some tracks are special. one of them is "Lucky", which i think is one of the best songs ever written, "Paranoid Android" - which is a truly prog song which includes transitions and different time signatures.

In my opinion, the 90's were the best musical era ive witnessed to see. Radiohead have always been for me a source of new music, and new musical inventions. and that's why i think this might be the ultimate soundtrack of the 90's.

So in that case, "OK Computer" really worth 5 stars.

Report this review (#82066)
Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Radiohead has gotten a lot of crap on this site and elsewhere. "Overrated" and "pretentious" are the two negative descriptions that are thrown around the most. Anyone who doesn't understand Radiohead needs to put themselves the the mindsets of the people that do. For a lot of us, this album was our first exposure to something truly different. This album is not Radiohead's masterpiece. It's a bit uneven and patchy in places. But it should be getting praise for it's impact alone.

The album opens with the strong, hard rocking "Airbag". This song opens the album with a catchy, waltzy guitar riff. But listen closely and you'll find that this is far from a typical rock song. There are so many great things going on, Colins catchy bassline, the Indian-esque riff introduced towards the middle of the song, or the subtle use of different keyboards, and even turtables. Theres something new to find everytime you ear this. Thom's vocals are both eerie and emotive, and lyrically this song introduces us to the themes found on the rest of the album. This song is probably the best opener of any Radiohead album. A song like Airbag would be hard to follow,but Radiohead pulls it off. After four beeps this track segues straight into "Paranoid Android".

Paranoid Android is considered by many to be one of Radiohead's greatest accomplishments. Like the last track, there are so many things going on that it can be hard to keep up. The interplay between the 3 guitarists is incredible. The song is divided into three "movements", which are all lead by the accoustic guitar. Even when barely audible, it's still obvious that it's the accoustic guitar holding everything together. Jonny gets two solos on this song, and both are incredible. Jonny Greenwood is one of few guitarists that is capable of combining Robert Fripp's discipline and subtlety with Joey Santiago's frantic sonic fury. Thom's voice blends so well with the music that sometimes you can hardly even tell that he's there, and that's certainly not a bad thing. The band just works so well on this song, and everything just fits together despite the songs seemingly chaotic nature.

After something so intense, the band starts to take it down a bit. The next two songs we get are ballads. "Subteranean Homesick Alien" is a story inspired by the novel Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. It describes Ford Prefect's situation perfectly, stuck on planet where he doesn't belong and longing to be abduted and brought back to his home. "Exit Music (For A Film)" is another song with a story, that seems to be inspired by Romeo And Juliet, though it may also be about domestic abuse. It starts out with just Thom's whispering vocals and an accoustic guitar, but slowly other things are added to the song. By the songs climax, many eerie effects have been added, establishing a perfectly unsettling mood.

"Let Down" is the first forgettable and skippable track on the album. Theres nothing wrong with this song. It's just very forgettable when you compare it to the last four and what those other songs accomplish. Compared to those, this song sounds like an outtake from Pablo Honey. I'll never understand why the band chose this song for this moment, as opposed to the excellent "Lift" (an Ok Computer outtake that was never recorded).

"Karma Police" is the first song on the album where keyboards actually play a lead role. It's a pretty straightforward song. The lyrics appeal the introverted youth that are Radiohead's biggest fanbase. It's a very likeable song with some of the subtle eerie touches found on the previous tracks, and continues the albums themes of paranoia.

"Fitter Happier" could easily be considered a filler track, but at the same time it's so hard to skip this one. It fits so well with the album's themes and moods, and provides a perfect transition to the next song. "Electioneering" is the hardest rocking song on the album. There is a lot of Pixies influence in the guitar riffs, and Thom and Ed's vocal parts harmonize perfectly. It also features cowbell, making it a very likeable track.

"Climbing Up The Walls" conties the mood and themes of tracks like Exit Music and Fitter Happier, which by now is starting to become redunant. But like songs songs, this one is perfect at establishing mood, and is probably the most haunting moment on tha album. This song is followed by "No Surprises", which after the last track, seems almost uplifting, with its cheery keyboards and xylophones. Then Thom's vocals come in, very low key, with depressing lyrics, but this contrast works very well. "No Surprises" would have been the eprfect way to end the album, and most people probably turn the CD off after this one.

The next two tracks, "Lucky" and "The Tourist", are both good songs, but feel reduntant. These songs give the listener a feeling of "is it over yet?". It's a shame, because when taken out of the context of the album, these are great songs, and two fan favorites at their shows

Despite some lesser moments, this album is definitely a classic, one that everyone should at least give a chance. Veterans of prog might not understand, but for many of us, this was our introduction to the genre.

Report this review (#85128)
Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars A very refreshing look at prog and rock in general, OK Computer is full of moving passages, and other parts which are likely to lull you to sleep. I'd say that a majority of this comes really close to post-rock, with the music focusing more on atmosphere than structure, but certainly lacking in the refinement of the elite post-rock bands.

I would equate this to Moving Pictures, in the sense that you have a few really great songs, which are extremely popular, and the rest of the album is fairly mediocre. Paranoid Android, like Tom Sawyer, are the extraordinary tracks which are masterpieces by themselves.

I'm not sure if this was intentional, but a great deal of the writing seems like it was designed to put you off. The coldness and "computerized" nature of the album is not particularly captivating. The intriguing voice of Yorke puts him right up there with Lee and Anderson in terms of uniqueness. I just wish the album had more to offer than the first three songs. Regardless, this is a great 90's rock album, a "classic" that will most likely stand the test of time.

Report this review (#89557)
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I had lost mostly all hope in modern music until I heard Radiohead. Lucky thing cause they are awesome.

Despite being hugely succesful, this album is very progressive. Very well produced. Incredibly executed. Excellantly mixed. And cohesively performed.

Airbag - Kind of differant, it grows on you definatly. 4/5

Paranoid Android - Brilliant, modern prog at its finest. 5/5

Subterranean Homesick Alien - Awesome intro and ending. Very well written song. 4/5

Exit Music (for a film) - Dark and dreary. Beautiful. 5/5

Let Down - Poppy but in a prog sort of way, very catchy and marketable 5/5

Karma Police - Sounded a little too standard at first but I quickly noticed it was quite a good tune 4/5

Fitter Happier - Cool thing to show non-radiohead fans to show the wierdness of the band 4/5

Electioneering - Not bad but I think I need to listen to this more to appreciate it more 3/5

Climbing Up The Walls - Very eerie and awesome. Especially when you read the lyrics while listening 5/5

No Suprises - Very Catchy. Good lyrics, solid arrangement. Mmm...puts me to sleep 5/5

Lucky - Interesting but I think they should have turned this into an epic. 4/5

The Tourist - Beautiful haunting melody. This one can put me to sleep very easily. The best closer you could choose. 5/5

This album is amazing. If only modern corporate pop would take the hint and start making music this original and good. I'm big into symphonic prog but I LOVE RADIOHEAD also. If you have any snobbery about it, just give this a chance.

Report this review (#90188)
Posted Monday, September 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars Sorry, Radiohead fans, but I just don't get it. I'm not saying it's no good in any way, only that I personally don't understand the attraction. The most obvious deficiency is in the slack drumming. It just seems lazy and lethargic to me as if "loose" meant "avant-garde." And the vocal sound is muted and very mid-range heavy. It's not that I don't occasionally enjoy hearing something that is unusual or foreign to my ears. Like modern art, I can appreciate the fact that the piece is affecting me whether I fathom it or not. There are songs that I can tolerate here, too. "Let Down," "Karma Police" and (surprisingly) "Fitter Happier" are somewhat intriguing and engaging and might warrant further listenings at some point in time. But I could go the rest of my life without suffering through "Electioneering" again. Way, way, way too noisy and grating. I'm no expert on art rock by any means but I know what I like and I like what I know and this one rates only one star on my scale. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about this group and this seemed to be rated rather highly by their fans so I gave it my best college try to wrap my head around this CD. I guess I was hoping for a lot more songs like "Creep" but it just didn't turn out that way.
Report this review (#93049)
Posted Monday, October 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wonderful album. I had a friend a few years back who was really into Radiohead, and at that time I picked up 'Pablo Honey' and didn't really like it all that much, so I put it away. A few years later someone on the Genesis forums was talking about how this album by Radiohead, 'OK Computer' was like progressive rock. So I decided, what the heck? I'll pick it up at the record store. So I did. And a great album it was. It was more of a 'down' album than I was used to, but it was still wonderful. I listened to this on a rainy day, driving around, and it added a relaxing and at the same time dramatic soundtrack to that day.

'Airbag' starts out really kicking and brings you into the album with a great drumbeat and some great mellotron and guitar bits, really gets your blood pumping, and leads you into track two, 'Paranoid Android' which is a really good track that alternates between really fast and upbeat rock parts, and slower moodier sections. Other standout tracks on this album include 'Subterranean Homesick Alien' which has a nice atmosphere to it, 'Let Down' which is a nice slow tune with some soothing vocals, and 'Electioneering' which is much more upbeat and more like the first and second songs, I would assume that this was a single at the time. The album closes with 'Lucky' and 'The Tourist' both of which are very emotional and use a heavy amount of mellotron. These are probably my favourite tracks on here, and close out this wonderful album. Since this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection, I shall give it four stars. :) bryantm3

Report this review (#104301)
Posted Saturday, December 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok Computer is about politic, is about capitalist system, is about a feeling of dissatisfaction, a feeling of paranoia directed against a society that is blind. The music is challenging and disturbing and the contemporary lyrics made all the album even more powerful. A sublime album and also the album that inspired and influenced some new progressive rock bands and the album that pushes rock music boundaries in all directions. Masterpiece. 5 *
Report this review (#104623)
Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars OK Computer was my introduction to the band RADIOHEAD and what an introduction it was!

The only reason I will rate this album 4 stars and not 5 it that I don't really think it's Prog, hence it can't be a masterpiece of progressive rock either. I actually was a bit surprised to find RADIOHEAD on, since I think RADIOHEAD has a very similar sound as band like COLDPLAY, KEANE and THE VEILS. Don't get me wrong; I really like those bands, but wouldn't consider them Prog.

Lets get back to the album: I think "OK Computer" is still RADIOHEAD's best effort till today, containing RH classics like "Paranoid Android", "Subterranean Homesick Alien" (Funny derivation from Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" I guess), "Karma Police" and "No Surprises".

There is some experimentation going on on this album, but not too much to bother me. RH's "Kid A" used to bother me at 1st by just being "too experimental", but also "Kid A" started to grow on me with each listen. Like I already said; I think "OK Computer" is RH's best effort till date, if you don't know the band yet, start with this album and please don't start with "Kid A", because this will probably lead to some disappointment.

If I would "normally" rate this album (meaning regardless of the genre), I would rate it 5 stars. Rating it as a progressive rock album I will rate it 4. (4.4 actually).

Report this review (#104735)
Posted Thursday, December 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars "I Am Born Again"

As suggested by this line from the album's opener, "Airbag," this album is one of many turning points in the career of Radiohead. With this album, the band truly began incorporating the progressive elements to their sound, causing it to form the style which today, can be considered one of the finest in modern progressive rock. The only thing is, they still have a way to go. The songwriting is near perfect, but a little too inconsitant as far as the progressive quality.

It is evident that this album is a cornerstone of the nineties, a gem in times where bubblegum pop was bubbling up. This album does not follow the trend and the result was a breathtaking release with moments of somber hauntingness and epic achievement. This is shown best in the second track, "Paranoid Android" which is, in my opinion, the best prog song of the nineties. The first "section" is carried by an amazing guitar riff and is borderline alternative, but by the end, it develops in to a brooding yet energetic track.

I think the instruments are very well done on this. This album has to be the finest hour of their guitarists, because after this they fade in to the background. I find the lyrics to be poingant. The album explores values of modern society such as paranoia, uselessness, and depression. The album art is stellar as well. It challenges modern obsession with success and transportation. It makes a statement with or without the music as a perfect accompanyment.

All right, the others might have established that this is not the most progressive effort of all time, but it does not deduct from its stellar quality. There is no real weak track on the album. It's true that songs like "Subterranean Homesick Alien" and "Electioneering" are not prog songs, but the whole album is very progressive in spirit. Many of the songs are driven by Thom Yorke's amazing and unique vocals. For example, "Exit Music (For a Film)" is one where it starts mainly with acoustic guitar and vocals and leads to a whole granoise production of beauty. "No Surprises" is stunning similarly, a beautiful prodution surrounding Yorke's melancholy vocals. Other songs like "Climbing Up the Walls" "The Tourist" and "Lucky" show that the effect that the vocals have on the despondent mood of the record can be accomplished to great heights with a fusion of the vocals and the instruments, the results being some unforgettable prog classics. "Let Down" and the epic opener "Airbag" show the less dreary side of the band. Encompassing the status of Radiohead at time, these two songs are excellently crafted alternative rock with a distinct progressive edge.

This album is so borderline as far as its status whether or not it is progressive rock. Personally I think it is, but I can see people's arguments for the other side, so I can't really give it 5 stars. Hopefully people can look past the labels so they don't miss out on what an amazing album this is with its profound effect on the band, the era, and music to come.

Report this review (#110603)
Posted Saturday, February 3, 2007 | Review Permalink

Describing how this album changed drastically the history of the British band would be as absurd as describing how The Dark Side of the Moon changed the career of Pink Floyd. Even when Radiohead was well positioned in the mainstream with its overplayed ballad "Creep" and its ten thousand versions, even when they've removed the label of "One Hit Wonder Band" from themselves after the release of their second album "The Bends"; which contains mucho more interesting stuff than their debut "Pablo Honey", this album is the one that puts them on the top and when the critics point them as the most important band in the UK since Pink Floyd itself, because of their metamorphosis ability from work to work, that in sometimes you hesitate if it's the same band.

The music from this recording is very enjoyable and diverse, from any kind of tastes. It also contains a lot of electronic experiments with guitars and keyboards, which adds a futuristic touch to it.

I'd like to recommend this album to anyone who wants to start listening and exploring Radiohead. This is the album when Radiohead starts their turning from being an Alternative rock band into an Art Rock one.

Report this review (#120764)
Posted Friday, May 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This was recorded in actress Jane Seymour's mansion while she was away filming Dr.Quinn, Medicine Woman. I wonder if the mansion is haunted ? I can tell you the music on this record is ! This album is less "alternative" sounding then their previous record "The Bends" and even boasts a lot of Post-Rock style guitar work and mellotron as well. This is sad, dreamy, spacey and haunting for the most part as the band started to experiment with their guitar sounds in a big way. Of course the experimentation would continue and expand even more on their next record "Kid A". I remember getting some money for my birthday in July of 1998 and going out and purchasing this cd on Saturday along with a couple of other cds, and finding out tragic news the next night that caused me to not listen to it for the longest time because I was in mourning. My world stopped.

"Airbag" opens with some heavy guitar and mellotron and the bass lines are great too. There is a Post Rock feel to the guitar playing as well. "Paranoid Android" is perhaps the best song they have ever done and it is my favourite from the band anyway. The vocals are fantastic as is the guitar. Light drums and some nice bass until 3 minutes in when the song really kicks in with some scorching guitar. It then becomes very haunting with Yorke's mournful vocals until it kicks in again at the 6 minute mark. Great tune ! "Subterranean Homesick Alien" has some more Post Rock style guitar work in this dreamy, atmospheric tune. I kept thinking it was going to explode but it doesn't. "Exit Music (For A Film)" has reserved, sad vocals in this mellotron drenched tune with more Post Rock guitars. "Let Down" is a hypnotizing song with double tracked vocals. This song is all about the vocals especially 4 minutes in.

"Karma Police" opens with piano and is quite catchy. Another great tune ! "Fitter Happier" is part of "Karma Police" like part 2 really. It is filled with statements on how to have a fitter and happier life. Mellotron in the background. "Electioneering" has a fun guitar intro that comes and goes. Hey, a happy song ! They must have been listening to the previous song or were afraid the karma police were nearby. Some aggressive guitar later. "Climbing Up the Walls" is a dark,experimental sounding song with mellotron. Violins are used to end the song with some "white noise". "Surprises" is a charming song that's hard to dislike with it's nursery rhyme- like melody. "Lucky" is a melancholic song with mellotron.The guitar before 4 minutes is good. "The Tourist" is a dreamy, laid back song with mellotron. Listening to this song is like enjoying a day off laying on the beach.

There is no question that this is one of the most influential albums of all time, and in my opinion RADIOHEAD's finest moment. 4.5 stars.

Report this review (#127558)
Posted Thursday, July 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars No doubt about it: OK Computer is a progressive album.

When I bought this album, I could not imagine that it could be (once again) so different from the previous one. At first listen, I was quite surprised by the raise of electronic sounds, and I was not really keen on that. But after several listens, I considered this album as a masterpiece.

This album succeeds to combine so well rock tracks (Airbag, Electionnering), ballads (Karma Police, No Surprises, The Tourist) and progresive tracks like the HUGE "Paranoid Android".

Radiohead reached with this album the peak of its career. Unfortunately, starting from Kid A, Radiohead decided to previlegiate electro, and the creativity of the band started to decline...

OK Computer is a real masterpiece that (with The Bends) inspired many brittish bands like Coldplay or Muse.

4,5 stars

Report this review (#129754)
Posted Sunday, July 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars OK Computer is, commercially and musically speaking, Radiohead's peak. The whole lot of over-played (in concerts and in radio) classic songs are here and on its predeccessor, from which style Okputer is based, but this CD rocks more than The Bends and, I'd say, it's more progressive in general.

Although I personally prefer The Bends slightly more than this release, I have to say that this is an impressive follow-up to Radiohead's first classic, and equally marvelous, since the songs are as powerful (and depressing) as on The Bends. Moreover, this album ends Radiohead's commercial era, when people used to compare them to alt. rock bands like Oasis, Blur or Smashing Pumpkins; if not totally progressive (even far from that to most of prog connoisseurs), Okputer is another awesome effort from this band, with splendid tracks and great instrumental work from the musicianship.

As I did with Amnesiac, I'm gonna make a track-by-track rating:

1. Airbag (9/10) = Very good opening. Nice guitar riffs at the intro. Not a highlight, nonetheless, but an average Radiohead's song.

2. Paranoid Android (10/10) = My personal favourite and surely the most progressive track on this album. Great depressing atmospheres with hard rocking interludes and distorted guitar solos.s

3. Subterranean Homesick Alien (9/10) = A slow-paced song, with excellent guitar work. One of the most relaxing songs, a bit Floydian IMO.

4. Exit Music (For a Film) (8.5/10) = Although it could be the most depressing soundtrack ever heard, IMO Radiohead's acoustic songs catalog is full of better stuff than this. Nothing new, I'd say.

5. Let Down (10/10) = Another classic. Maybe the reason why I like this a lot is simply the soft guitar arpeggios at the beggining and along the whole song. Awesome.

6. Karma Police (9.5/10) = Together with No Surprises, perhaps the most well-known track here. Great lyrics and fantastic distorted ending. See the video-clip; highly reccomended.

7. Fitter Happier (9/10) = This could be seen as nothing but just an experiment, but really it has an impressive atmosphere while Yorke spoken words are telling a kind of medical card of a psychologic-troubled guy... Good "song".

8. Electionnering (8/10) = The low note. A quite rocker track; repetitive and lack of inspiration but still an ok song.

9. Climbing up the Walls (8.5/10) = Another dull song, slow-paced and a bit repetitive. Luckily it's followed by a wonderful tune.

10. No Suprises (10/10) = Maybe not suitable enough to proggers due to the simplicity of this song, but what else can I say? Beautiful song, beautiful lyrics, very depressing.... A definitive classic.

11. Lucky (9/10) = Another acoustic song, although not entirely acoustically driven. I insist that the acoustic stuff on The Bends are much better than on this album. Well, it doesn't mean that this song isn't good or something...... It's a good song, depressing.... an average one.

12. The Tourist (9/10) = The Floyd moment.... :) Dunno if it's the best ending possible, but a good song; midblowing and very slow-paced.

Certainly one of the most important releases in the latest two decades, no doubt about it. Five stars, a masterpiece of... errr.... prog related music!

Report this review (#130638)
Posted Saturday, July 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars A stunning album which spawned a list of would-be imitation albums from other bands, which were bound to fail because Radiohead had already captured the originality, this album's principal weapon.

Great musicianship, pre-millennium angst-ridden lyrics and if this ain't prog we might as well all go home now.

I think it still sounds as fresh as it did 10 years ago , one of my favourite albums ever and so it's 5 stars from me............

Report this review (#140494)
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Personally, I've never quite "got" the hype over Radiohead, and especially this album, despite the respect I have for their changing styles from album to album.

One of the albums strongest elements for me is that it manages to go from slower works to heavier numbers without losing its momentum and unified atmosphere. All the songs here are strong and well written, with good musical elements and lyrics. There aren't any filler moments here. (Even Fitter Happier has its place.)

Airbag (7/10) Paranoid Android (9/10) Subterranean Homesick Alien (8/10) Exit Music for a Film (7/10) Let Down (9/10) Karma Police (8/10) Fitter Happier (6/10) Electioneering (7/10) Climbing up the Walls (8/10) No Suprises (8/10) Lucky (9/10) The Tourist (9/10)

My main issues with the album is that there some of the better instrumental moments are a little on the short side, and could perhaps have been brought out a little more, and also I am admittedly not a great fan of Yorke's more mumbled moments, especially when his voice sounds so good when he sings more "cleanly." I find that the album never bores me, yet only occasionally rather than consistently 'wows' me. Definately a excellent addition to any collection, but I dont consider it a masterpiece.

Report this review (#141345)
Posted Monday, October 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Finally, a band in the mainstream released an album that served the worlds problems on a silver platter.

Ok Computer is a musically perfect, lyrically strong, and materially weak album. It almost works. Almost.

I will agree that its an extremely imporant album that is a required listen for almost every music fan, but as a whole, it really lags.

The opening track, Airbag, does nothing for me, and on my first listen was very dissapointed. Not enough is going on in this track, it just starts and ends.

Paranoid Android and Subterranean Homesick Alien (with a title mocking a bob dylan song) are incredible songs, by far the best Radiohead ever recorded. Paranoid Android is a big gulp, at that. A bold acoustic riff builds into electric mayhem and vocal genius. Subterranean Homesick Alien is an atmospheric and emotional track that never fails to impress.

Every other track on the album, except the decent No Surprises, is underwhelming. Musically it isn't interesting enough, it isn't complex enough to be interesting.

The issues brought up on Ok Computer (the social norm, the government always watching, being controlled by those around you) are very important, and Radiohead did a big thing by making an album out of those themes. It just doesn't flow well or have enough memorable tracks to be a classic.

Report this review (#142397)
Posted Saturday, October 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok Computer helped to push forward ambitious rock music of nineties, and while I am looking at it from many angles,I see this as truly brilliant record. This album influenced acts like Oceansize, Sigur Ros and even Porcupine Tree, and contains timeless, well written and composed songs that fascinate me a lot. Radiohead keep their cool, grinding guitars from first two albums, and mix it with fantastic atmospheres, experimental use of instruments, great guitar textures, and bit of metal heavines. Each song is full of inspiring energy and emotions, for example, Climbing Up The Walls. Although this song is sad, with distorted guitars, some noises, Yorke's crying/screaming, eerie violins, it is like it has message that life is stil beautiful, and that God has plans for all of us, and nobody is forgotten. Thom Yorke shows his genius here in beautiful vocal melodies, fantastic, warm and expressive voice. My favourite track is Lucky, it can almost make me cry, it is about power of love. Sound quality is excellent, and each song is its own diamond. Anyone intersted in contemporary progressive rock should not miss this album. I think that Radiohead are bit underrated by progressive listeners, and I feel they might be one of the most progressive acts ever, together with King Crimson, thanks to their research approach, and their changing of styles through albums.
Report this review (#149594)
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars It makes me sad to see this album rated below a masterpiece, but I guess alot less people like this album that I originally thought. This album really revolutionized rock music as we know it today, it isn't necessarily prog, but it is certainly on a higher level than standard rock and roll. I do have to do the song by song review, merely because I've listened to this album so many times I know it almost all by heart.

Airbag: Cool opening riff giving a bit of a heavy metal feel, but that changes with the softish drumming and the spacey guitar tones. The lyrics are very interesting, told from the first person perspective, im not exactly sure what its about, but the song is great anyways. Some people dont like Thom Yorke's voice, but I love it. he rarely sings short notes, always long ones.

Paranoid Android: The song that is claimed to be the only prog that radiohead ever did, and boy is it. The intro with its acoustic riff and lush percussion section is ingenious. As it leads into the heavier part, thoms voice gets louder and starts losing its mellow tone for a more hectic one, fitting in with the riffs going every where. The guitar solo in this part is mindblowing, i only wish it had lasted a little bit longer. Then the mellow "Rain Down" section comes in, blowing everyone's mind with What? Radiohead can do good vocal harmonies? huh? and this segues into the reprise of the heavy part. Amazing song

Subterranean Homesick Alien: Ethereal intro, spacey riff, nice soft drumming, great singing, a song that nearly puts me to sleep everytime i hear it.

Exit Music (For a Film): My favorite song on the album. The soft acoustic intro sets the stage for one of radioheads best songs ever. Thom's voice has a nice echoing effect that only adds to the drama. The lyrics tell about people trying to escape from some unknown enemy. When the mellotron kicks in, it is heaven. The buildup into the rocking section is amazing as well. When the drums finally kick in, you know something huge is about to happen. the fuzz bass contrasts nicely with the high guitar tremolos and the keyboard sounds. the the real climax comes as thom goes up an octave in his voice without using a falsetto. His best vocal performance ever, without a doubt. Then the slow outro comes, closing a perfect song.

Let Down: nice opening riff, beautiful pop song. Radiohead do do pop songs quite a bit, but when they do, they do them very well and its hard to notice its a pop song. This is one of those, as is ...

Karma Police: Great acoustic guitar/piano intro leads us into some slightly dark vocals about people being arrested for very inane reasons. the song has more of an anti chorus than a chorus, and the closing section is beautiful.

Fitter Happier: the robotic voice telling us how to live our lives is an eerie look into the future maybe. Good lyrics, good advice for people

Electioneering: A hard rocking song, revelling in dissonance, with very biting political lyrics about elections being manipulated, with the narrator asking people to vote for him for no reason at all.

Climbing up the walls: The darkest song on the album, great opening bass line. I like how the drums make good use of turning the snare into a tom sounding drum. The buildup to the end is another great climax, with thoms distorted voice reaching a scream by the end.

No Surprises: Another pop song, this one is just nice to listen to.

Lucky: a popish song that turns much darker as it goes on, very well done, theatrical song.

The tourist: Perfect closer. Nice, relaxed feel, coupled with the "just slow down" lyrics makes this a greaat song. The guitar solo near the end is inspired, and every note is in its right place.

All in all, a masterpiece album, changing rock history, and changing radiohead themselves. On the next album, Kid A, they reinvented themselves once again, but thats a story for another time.

Report this review (#150308)
Posted Monday, November 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Is it prog or not? On balance, yes. It's so full of invention and pays no heed to what was going on around it in the world of music at that time. Airbag is great, very proggy; Paranoid Android is a classic track; Subterranean Homesick Alien is beautiful; Exit Music is haunting; Karma Police and No Surprises you know already... and the final two tracks are great. This really is an essential purchase for anyone who loves prog-related music.
Report this review (#152921)
Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Following the tepid debut Pablo Honey, Radiohead hit big with The Bends, an introspective record full of smash singles. Radiohead finally lived up to their potential. Realizing that another record looking inward would be little more than a rehash of The Bends, the band decided to write what they wanted. The result was the biggest upheaval in pop music since U2's The Joshua Tree over a decade earlier.

OK Computer is where the band starts adding all sorts of effects to the sound. It uses electronic effects and complex arrangements, yet the album has a distinct minimalistic sound. The album opens with Airbag, a song that starts with metal riffs before changing into a dance number with space guitar and drum loops. The song is about the feeling one experiences when one avoids an accident or death. It's about that elate, religious experience, and the uplifting tones match the lyrics. Paranoid Android is Radiohead's best song to date, though to be fair it's really Radiohead's three best songs. A mini-epic, the song goes from ethereal singing to Beatles to metal in a mere six minutes. The song lives up to its title, with all sorts of paranoid lyrics and philosophical musings. It's the rare kind of song that takes multiple listens to get that is actually a joy to listen to from the get-go. Subterranean Homesick Alien pays tribute to Miles Davis' Bitches' Brew and Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues. For some reason the band never plays this anymore. This quirky little tune captures the feeling of being alone in an unfamiliar world.

Exit Music (For a Film) is one creepy somber song, as it builds from near silence to all sorts of eerie sounds. Apparently, the noise is the sound of kids playing being played backwards. Let Down doesn't let up on the depression. It's considered one of the more bleak songs on the album, which surely qualifies it for the Depression Hall of Fame. It's one of the most complex songs on the album, and it can't be played live because of the difficulty to reproduce it. Karma Police is right up there with Paranoid Android in the list of greatest Radiohead songs. An diatribe against both the judgmental and corporate bosses. Miles Davis and The Beatles can be heard throughout the song, especially in the piano part. fitter happier processes the lyrics through the speech function of Yorke's Mac. The sound is essentially pieced together instead of playing like a traditional song. This is the link to Kid A.

Electioneering brings the tempo up and delivers a nice rocker with a political bent. Sadly, the song has gone overlooked in comparison to the other music on this album, but it has some of the best lyrics on the album and it's a welcome break from ethereal depression. If you thought some of the music on the album was unsettling, skip on past Climbing Up the Walls. This song is disturbing on so many levels. Inspired by his tenure working in a mental hospital in the face of Thatcher's Care in the Community program, it captures all sorts of madness. No Surprises is a bit of a throwaway pop tune, though I'll take anything after the last song. Lucky interestingly acts as a bridge between No Surprises and the rest of the album. It's starts poppy before becoming darker, though it's still a happy song in comparison to the rest of the album. The album closes with The Tourist, a song inspired by the unflinching ability of tourists to miss everything they travel to see. They simply visit landmarks to check them off the list, and never marvel at the innovation, the labor, and the cost of even the simplest man-made landmark.

Of the few detractors of this album, most complain that the album lacks soul. This album is what emo bands wish they could make. It captures a sense of depression that all those glammed up wrist-cutters try their best to fake. This album is the music equivalent to The Matrix, a piece of art made in the 20th century that really counts as the first art of the 21st century. Whereas The Matrix managed to take the work of martial arts films and John Woo heroic bloodshed film and innovate them with special effects and an original story, Radiohead took cues from The Beatles, Miles Davis, DJ Shadow, and Pink Floyd to make the first album of the new millennium three years before the new millennium. The album is a watershed for pop music and it cemented Radiohead in the minds of the world. They followed this with Kid A, when they would expand upon the sonic meddling. Kid A was yet another triumph, but OK Computer represents the peak of the band's songwriting career. No record collection is complete without it.

Grade: A

Report this review (#154733)
Posted Saturday, December 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
4 stars Beautifully composed and performed with lush arrangements and an influential tone makes OK Computer a necessary listen for every lover of rock music classic and contemporary-- even if just for the experience.

Whether or not they are progressive, and whether or not you want Thom Yorke to just shut the hell up to stop his droning, it is hard to deny that there is too much good stuff going on here to ignore. Electronic atmospherics, creative and exciting guitar work, and a genuinely emotive sound which sinks in after multiple listens all mark this one as a keeper, even for a casual fan like me who usually sticks to the darker, more progressive groups (i.e. Porcupine Tree). I won't go so far to say that Radiohead is modern rock's savior, but I will readily admit that they are probably the most important crossover band today, and are important if for their uniqueness of style alone, which shines throughout this well-produced and moody album.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Report this review (#156829)
Posted Thursday, December 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Crossover Prog-classic for a reason

I can understand why many 70's symphonic prog-fans don't like this album, since all the musicians are quite average, the album does not include any weird time signatures and the longest track on the album is only 6.23 (it uses mellotron rather nicely though). Knowing those facts many people don't consider Ok Computer even a prog album, but if we think progressive music any music anything that has pushed boundaries and does'nt follow the rules of traditional pop-music Ok Computer is definitely progressive and if you don't consider it progressive it still contains some damn good pop-songs.

Besides some pretty interesting musical ideas (Paranoid Android's dissonant riffing or Fitter Happier's computer voice) the album offers some greatly touching and beautiful melodies supported by fairly tragic lyrics about the desperation of modern society. In that area it's kind of similar to Dark Side of the Moon, but not that much musically. Especially the song Exit music (for a film) has very profound and in some level rather mysterious lyrics and the song itself is simply breathtaking, growing from a simple beginning to a multilayered climax

Propably the only bad thing about this record is that the songs are so different. This might sound a little stupid, but it's at the end just more like a collection of songs than an entire album. The songs differ from the post-rock-ish atmosphere of Subterranean Homesick Alien and The Tourist to pop-songs like No Surprises or Karma Police and then there is Fitter Happier, which can almost be described as ambient. But ignoring the diversity, i recommend this to all prog-fans who have even a slight interest of music made after 70's.

Report this review (#157664)
Posted Friday, January 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars A Style different to most other music genres, Radiohead is a band funded on progressive principles but still finds new ways to expand on it.

The thing about Radiohead is their odd way to make music. They have a way to experiment with their creativity in very different ways. Progressive elements can be heard throughout the album but is hard to say this is a progressive band due to the amount of other creative styles that Thom Yorke and company put in.

The album is a collection of various songs that revolve around very melancholy, sometimes depressive, themes. Conceptually speaking that's the root of Radiohead's vocal sand lyrics. Lead Vocalist Thom Yorke uses falsetto in every single song, ( this adds to the melancholy feeling of each tune) Experimental creativity is the standard of this album, each song features a wide range of sounds, effects, chord and tempo structures, etc.

Progressively speaking, this albums has highlights here and there, but it is not what this album is all about, for example in the Track Electioneering Progressive elements can be clearly heard, but the Radiohead staple of creativity makes the song different to most progressive music. In many of the album's tracks, the auxiliary percussions stands out. Aux. Percussion instruments used include the cowbell, the tambourine, the claves, shakers, etc.

The highlight tracks of OK Computer are: Paranoid Android (A song that features a wide change of tempos, instrumentation, chord changes and harmony) Karma Police ( A Dark mellow tune with an outstanding performance by Yorke on Acoustic Guitar) Letdown (A track that features synths and other components to create an atmosphere of depression) Airbag (Prog elements everywhere, yet so different) Electioneering (Wide rang of percussion and guitars)

A very important point I have to make is that Radiohead is not for everyone, their music is very unique....when you listen to OK computer, don't expect any Happy Upbeat songs since most of the songs are written in minor keys and involve very nostalgic themes. Other than that, Radiohead's OK Computer is an experimental journey with a couple of progressive elements here and there.

Report this review (#160179)
Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'm one of those reviewers who bought this album just because of the status it has in pop history. If I got it right this is in many occasions proclaimed as the best album ever in pophistory (at least in the UK and in the Netherlands), POP and not PROG to be very clear about this. Still it's intriguing if you don't know a band or an album and it seems to be the best ever, I think it's normal curiosity to want to check it out. And it's also on progarchives so now I can even give my personal opinion about it.

When I bought it, some 5 years ago I really gave it every chance to grow on me and I played it lots of times. And I have to say, this is something special. And it's always hard to designate criterions to measure quality of albums. In this case I believe the criterions are speciality, originality and meaningful lyrics. I cannot imagine the criterion was beautiful or melodic music because that's nowhere to be found on this album. In some of the songs you get the impression the challenge was to make it as ugly as possible. A good example is Paranoid Android, believe it or not one of my favourite tracks of the album and of course one of the most famous ones. I have to say I was more or less blown away in the beginning and I still love it in a way. It's one of the most original and special songs I ever heard but it's far from beautiful or melodic.

But I think the real class of this album is the diversity, all songs are very different and I think that deserves a lot of praise. Funny enough one of my other favourites is Fitter happier (more productive), one of the few songs in musical history I appreciate simply because of the lyrics. This says everything about modern society in which being fit, happy and (therefore) more productive is very significant. The song on itself has hardly any musical value, it's a 100% lyrical track.

Other favourite tracks to me are Airbag, Electioneering and No surprises, all very different musically and good examples of what this album has to offer. I think it's a very interesting album but I have to stay true to my personal criterions and can go no further than 3 stars (3,3). Although in this case the description: Good, but non-essential makes no sense at all because it's good and very essential !

Report this review (#162081)
Posted Monday, February 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Radiohead is difficult to classify. If crossover progressive rock means a progressive rock music with popular connection, we need another category to classify Radiohead. Ok Computer is a different kind of pop rock album. The musicians have the courage and taste to innovate, even infiltrate some progressive moments, seconds of experimental inspiration, but fill the coffee with sugar do not make the drink 'sugar with coffee' still 'coffee with sugar'. Even though its a pop rock album we can maybe classify as crossover progressive, it still a decent record, with really good moments, better than most of the 'Neo Pop rock' we heard around the world. In fact, we need more Crossover bands and less Neo progressive trying to give dance/pop shoes in Genesis.
Report this review (#162140)
Posted Monday, February 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I only have one Radiohead album, and it's O.K. Computer. All of my friends who listened to it told me it was a great, magnificent album, and I bought it by curiosity. After a couple of hard listenings (I juste needed to get into it), I went to my friends to thank them a lot for telling me this album existed. This is just incredibly good and beautiful. Celestial, I guess. Not from this Earth.
Report this review (#162851)
Posted Thursday, February 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Paranoid.

That's what listening to this album makes you. In the right mindset this album can take you on an emotional thrill-ride of monstrous proportions. The dark and dismal lyrics and music put forth by the band here blend together to make sonic waves that can turn your brain inside out. While many may argue that the band's next album, Kid A, was their more creative zenith, there is no doubt that this album took the band to new heights (more on Kid A later). Still more in the vein of rock than the electronic music that the band would go on to produce after this album, this is where it all went right for Radiohead.

Opening with the distorted guitars and drums of Airbag the album gets its pace set. Creeping in come the bass riffs as the song goes giving it a truly bizarre feel, this is the first song to give off that extreme emotion on the album. Low and dark the song pushes forwards until we come to the next track. It is then that the album is given life beyond life. ''Please could you stop the noise? I'm trying to get some rest...'' says Thom YORKE as Paranoid Android starts. Creeping background voices below Yorke's haunting (and well held) vocals give off that paranoid feel as the song courses on. As if this pace wasn't good enough the song actually explodes into motion about two minutes in. Enter a very memorable guitar riff blended with Yorke's vocals turned evil (''You don't remember!? You don't remember! Why don't you remember my name!?''). Screaming guitars take the song into the solo and back out again into a more subdued section of the song. Again with the emotional thrill ride until the song eventually comes to an end. Superb.

While the rest of the album unfortunately won't have any powerhouses like the second track, but the rest of the songs are very good by themselves. Subterranean Homesick Alien, Let Down and Exit Music (For A Film) all have a very similar feeling to one another, all very much in the same style and theme as the previous songs, these ones soothe the ears until the next big standout. Coupled with Fitter Happier, Karma Police is another track that pulls the emotional thrill ride to new heights. A subdued and peaceful acoustic guitar and piano contrast the dark rhythm and lyrics that soon come to take over the song. 'This is what you get...' says Yorke as the song comes to one of it's quiet points. Excellent. Fitter Happier is more of an outro to the song, although it's likely meant to stand on it's own. The gist of it is a robotic voice describing what will make you, ''fitter... happier... more productive''.

Coming into the end, the songs still manage to keep their themes while maintaining a unique sound to discern them from the rest. Electioneering picks up the pace a bit while Climbing Up The Walls pulls the audience back into the dark world of Radiohead. No Surprises is a surprisingly gorgeous song that could fit well on almost any Sigur Ros album with its lo-key guitar and chimes. The two closing tracks, Lucky and The Tourist do again what the rest of the album does... turn the audience reflective while still keeping up appearances with superb musicianship.

This really is the essential Radiohead album. Any album that can sting you with emotions even with no emotional memories attached to it is something very special. This album also contains one of the tracks that every prog collection should have - Paranoid Android. While Radiohead themselves hay deny the prog tag there's no doubting that here they've created a progressive masterpiece deserving no less than 5 stars. Recommended to all.

Report this review (#164804)
Posted Monday, March 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars I might as well confess to you: I have no idea what all the fuss is about. Album of the 90s? Changed the face of rock? I just don't see it.

That's probably because I wasn't listening at the time. Immersed in the dance culture, bouncing madly between Orbital, Aphex Twin and Underworld, 'OK Computer' passed me by. I didn't hear a single track off this album until - gasp - two years ago. And I have to say, what I'm hearing doesn't rock my world.

So what do we have in this revolutionary package, then? A series of competent rock songs crooned by a lad who sounds like his voonerables are locked in a vice. The music is sharp, the sounds are lovely, and I have no doubt it is excellent alt/art rock - but I'm left completely unmoved. 'Paranoid Android' perhaps deserves the extravagant praise heaped on it, and the record does flow well, but to be honest I could live without it.

So who will enjoy this? I guess for those who were immersed in the alt rock of the 1990s, this album is indispensable. But it is a long way west of heartland progressive rock. Having listened to 'Kid A' I can see what prompted the inclusion of RADIOHEAD on this site. But as much as I appreciate the artistry and care for detail that went into this album, it leaves me cold.


Report this review (#165409)
Posted Monday, March 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is Radiohead's finest hour and it will probably remain that way. It's an amazing work and I really don't care if elitist prog-heads declare it unprogworthy. It's certainly poppy, and very traditional in that vein at times; but oftentimes the song structures are heavily experimental. It's thoroughly entertaining for a wide variety of audiences, but I wonder if it's popularity by this time has made it a little cliche.
Report this review (#170310)
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars There seems to be a lot of controversy about this album. From one to five stars.

It's like reviews about hotels on Trip Advisors: five stars rating with incredible service, clean rooms and friendly staff and one star for rude personnel, poorly cleaned rooms, and bad food.The whole about the same hotel. How can you make your mind?

I would just like to say that this album was a milestone in the rock music industry, that it was innovative and exceptionally well crafted.

The whole spectrum of the band is available: from acoustic mellow ("Exit Music") to rock ballad ("No Surprises", "Lucky", "The Tourist"), from brilliant pop harmonies ("Airbag", "Let Down") to their most rockish tone with "Electioneering".

The band is exploring new sounds which conveys to this album an interesting angle, a definite flavour of experiments ("Climbing Up The Walls") but within the acceptable limit (to my ears). Great mellotron BTW.

And there is one song quite difficult to categorize: "Paranoid Android". A sublime and haunting track. A summary of the whole album: it gets it all. Harmony, violence, tranquility. My highlight.

I believe it is an album each proghead should listen to and make his own judgment. But give it a few spins before you do so. After all, a good rock album remains a good album! I made up my mind and rate this album with four stars.

Report this review (#171741)
Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is amazing and definitely deserves all the hype it got. It is radiohead's best album and may just be the best album of the 90s. This album contains no filler. My favorite tracks on this album are Paranoid Android, karma police, no surprises and Climbing up the Walls, but the other tracks are not filler and are still very enjoyable. This album may not be totally prog, but it is damn good experimental alternative rock that should be heard by everybody. Definitely 5 stars.
Report this review (#173054)
Posted Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This music gives you thrills. It may have poppy elements, but it's really prog to me. The weird electronic sounds and the weird singing gives you the feeling that it is not quite pop. The vocals are weird but beautiful.

Best three songs: 'Paranoid Android.' A great song with no couplet-chorus structure. Very nice guitar solos. Very epic. 'Exit Music (for a film).' Starts very modest and builds up to beautiful hights. 'Karma Police'. Nice pianolines. May look poppy, but has a strange pianomelody in the chorus. Beautiful epic ending.

All the other songs are also great and will not be a dissapointment. 'Fitter happier' is some weird talking about 'a pig in a cage, on antibiotics.'

They owe lots of their style (and their name!) because of Thom Yorke head. He hears weird talking and weird sounds that aren't there. Very spacey.

There's nothing dull here. Five stars

Report this review (#174948)
Posted Monday, June 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars OK Computer is the third album from experimental british rock band Radiohead. It´s one of the most influential rock albums of the nineties and it´s been sold in millions of copies. There are lots of different opinions about the progressive status of Radiohead, but I have always regarded OK Computer as a prog rock album. A very commercial one but still proggy no doubt. I can´t claim to be a real fan of Radiohead even though I was very exited about this album when it was released in 1997, but they are an interesting band who have made some good albums.

The music has changed quite a bit since their last album The Bends. It´s like every note on OK Computer is well thought out and placed where they are with a clear purpose. There are no generic parts which there was lots of on both Pablo Honey and The Bends. OK Computer has great instrumentation with emphasis normal rock instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums while keyboards are new to Radiohead´s sound. The keyboards are not dominant but help create some nice atmospheres in the songs. The focus and dominant feature in Radiohead´s music will always be singer Thom Yorke though. The man sounds deeply emotional and his pained vocal delivery is surely an aquired taste. I´m a bit biased towards his vocal style myself. I generally like it very much but it gets a bit too pathetic at times.

This is the kind of album that is best heard from beginning to end as it is an emotional ride with lots of dynamics between subtleness and more rocking parts. It´s not that the songs are very progressive or complex in structure but the sounds and the way the songs are arranged points toward a progressive approach. My favorites are Airbag, Paranoid Android, Karma Police, No Surprises and The Tourist but all songs are good.

The musicianship is much better than on The Bends. Radiohead has really learned the meaning of dynamic playing since that album.

One of the big stars on this album is the production which ranks among the best productions of the nineties.

OK Computer is without a doubt one of the classic rock albums from the nineties. It has influenced hordes of bands. I Denmark where I come from some of the most famous rock bands like Kashmir and Tim Christensen has openly admitted that this particular album changed their way of making music. I´m not as impressed today as I was back then but I must admit that OK Computer has aged very well and that it is still an excellent rock album with prog tendencies. I would have rated it 3 stars but I´ll throw in that extra star to make this a 4 star rating because of the influential status of the album. Some albums are just such big classics that I can´t defend not to give them higher than average ratings and OK Computer is such an album.

Report this review (#175520)
Posted Friday, June 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I definetely believe that radiohead is a prog band. The songs like paranoid android and exit music set this one in stone. One of the most influential album of the 90's that dominated the charts in 1997. Im happy to say that radiohead has found this fine line between radio friendly and experimental rock which they will find again with the release of In Rainbows. Because of their popularity, they arnt afraid of finding that new sound that most newish bands (with the exception of sigur ros) cant get away with.

There are some songs on the album I just cant get into unfortunately like Airbag and Electroneering, which is the reason its not getting a five star rating. Every other song on the album is simply a great song when it comes right down to it. Radiohead did not go wrong. This is definetely an album you pop into your car CD player and listen to all the way through if possible. The songs themselves are enhanced somehow when you listen to them all together.

If you havnt picked this up at your local CD store, its a great addition to your collection, and definetely deserves a spot in the prog scene, other than that, I dont have anything else to say.


Report this review (#201170)
Posted Friday, January 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars 01. Airbag The atmosphere is claustrophobic. Indeed it is synonymous with Radiohead, but while the melody takes you by the heel and makes you get on attentive ears. A programming covers a little bit the drums of Phil Selway, and the bass line simple of Colin Greenwood is perfect, while the two guitar players of the band (Ed O'Brien and Johnny Greenwood) always build lines disconcerting. Aside from the melodic lines of that Thom Yorke is one of the most vocal of all the legal 90s, is the emotion at the tip of the tongue. 02. Paranoid Android I think it's one of the majors claustrophobic music i've know, insane it squeezes the chest, from beginning to end the feeling is almost indescribable, a line of strange guitar, vocals, breaks on all sides. The guitars always very sharp and full of 'pain'. Before doideira greater weight and a low line of very good, excellent! So here it is a beautiful coral of a Byzantine (laughter, because you refer to the church, but not sure if it is). 03. Subterranean Homesick Alien From a subtly absurd! The name referred me directly to the Underground Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan, but what we heard here is a melody to draw your breath. Those difficult people forget so soon. Remember! 04. Exit Music (For A Film) Melancholy? No! This is more than melancholy! If you have suicidal tendencies pass away (laughs), and if you don't take care it'll brings you down too. Only a voice and guitar and keyboards, macabre. 05. Let Down Strange combination! After a 'down' track what you hear on Let Down (the name fits) is a song almost-happy, almost-happy. What we have here are guitar lines that combine with each other strangely, and a base well built. It is always good to hear the bass lines of Colin very well built in music of the band. The end is full of smart 'noises' and melody. 06. Karma Police This here is the ultimate in anguish in music, starting with the original piano, through the voice of Thom that always emanate some kind of real suffering of those who feel that is really singing, not just words in a melody. For the first time a keyboard is really ugly ina a song, but build a divine melody. And in apocalyptic climax reach its end. 07. Fitter Happier This is the height of experimentalism. You've seen those computer programs for blind people that every thing you write is repeated by a robotic voice? So, is what it is. Only the background noise experience. Listen and doubt. 08. Electionnering Rock And Roll Noise! This is the beginning, a melody more 'common', which is not very common on the disc. Vocalizations [%*!#] that the bottom of the music. Guitars everywhere. 09. Climbing Up The Walls The feeling of climbing the walls here is put it in more abstract. With almost electronic percussion, and vocal badly treated. Only the middle forward that music becomes more 'human', but the tone of the disc is computadorização that is a luxury. (laughter) 10. No Surprise God that thing beautiful! The beginning of the guitar imitating a box full of music the melody of lyricism and souvenirs. It is a challenge to listen without thoroughly stir the emotional vocals of Yorke is not even more powers. Sensacional, is well to the senses. 11. Lucky Down the front, severe, with accompanying guitar fingering sensitive. And is not that the guys are good in chorus? When refrões striking, with good melodies go. A rare thing in the bands that are more experimental. There's even some jazz means bids near the end. 12. The Tourist Many may find boring, I agree that we have time to hear the sound of the guys, it is not for everyone so I can say.

Radiohead, certainly not a band at all! Take your own conclusions and leave your comments.


Report this review (#204167)
Posted Tuesday, February 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
5 stars 'OK Computer' - Radiohead (9/10)

In the eyes of many, Radiohead is known as one of the more creative and original bands of their era. One of the few Progressive bands that reached mainstream attention during the 1990s, Radiohead's combination of prog weirdness and pop sensibilities culminated with 'OK Computer,' an absolutely stunning masterpiece, that ranks up with the Beatles' 'Revolver' and Dream Theater's 'Images And Words' as one of those albums that has that immortal power to blow one's mind.

The weirdness kicks off from the first second onward, and you would have to be utterly blind to think that there's nothing progressive or innovative about the band, whether or not the particular sound suits you or not. While the opener 'Airbag' is weird on it's own, the album reaches its first climax with the second song, the epic suite 'Paranoid Suite,' a piece that is on par with other songs of it's ilk such as 'Bohemian Rhapsody' or 'Stairway To Heaven.' The song represents perfectly; the band's power and skill as a musical unit. Non-believers of Radiohead should give this song a listen, and potentially reconsider why they don't like the band, when they have such superb material like that.

As the album goes on, I really got a nice realization of how superior the flow is on the album, and how consistently pleasant the music is to listen to. The other song I really love (besides 'Paranoid Android') is 'Exit Music (For A Film)' an incredibly melancholic ballad that builds up into the highest emotional point of the album itself, which can't be described as anything besides gut-wrenching.

While Radiohead has arguably made more progressive stuff in the years following this album (such as the incredibly challenging 'Kid A,') in my opinion, Radiohead has never made an album with such a balance between conventional songwriting and complex composition, emotion and intensity, accessibility and progressiveness. 'OK Computer' is one of the essential albums of the 1990s, and providing that there isn't some pre-existing uncompromising hatred towards the band (as I know that a lot of br00tal progheads are very critical of Radiohead) this is an amazing piece of music, and a perfect representation of the band's unique sensibility. Five stars.

Report this review (#207586)
Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is it: THE modern prog album for the masses.

RADIOHEAD is unbelievable; they get better and better with every album they release. After the awesome but not too progressive "The Bends", they have finally escaped the clutches of becoming another footprint in the grunge rock movement which dominated the 1990's. With "OK Computer", Radiohead has not only gone beyond being labelled an "alternative rock band"; they have progressed beyond the borders of known music, crafting a piece which rivals 20th century masterpieces such as PINK FLOYD's "Dark Side Of The Moon" & King Crimson's "In The Court Of The Crimson King".

The album opens up with "Airbag", an awesome song that starts this flawless album off with a burst, paving the way for "Paranoid Android", one of the best art rock songs I've heard in my entire life. I could rave on and on about every track on this album, but the comments would be the same for each of them; they are just that perfect. The album itself explores the themes of consumerism, globalization, and the concept of the perfect human being, which is evidently explored in the track "Fitter Happier". These themes are relevant in modern society, and will invoke many thoughts related to today's world upon spinning up this album.

This album alone is a testament that progressive music does not have to be rapidly-changing time signatures, themes from science fiction/fantasy, and over-the-top technicality. To be progressive is to progress beyond what has already been achieved in music. In fact, bands such as PENDRAGON and countless other neo-progressive groups fall short of being progressive simply because they duplicate a musical style that had already been achieved in the 1970's by groups such as YES, GENESIS, and EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER. I'm not implying that it is bad music; it is just not progressive in the true sense of the word. Furthermore, the term "progressive rock" has become obsolete, because it has extended into countless musical styles and genres.

This is precisely why I believe RADIOHEAD is at the forefront of progressive music. They have gone where few other groups have went, weaving a unique tapestry of sound and songwriting that has truly progressed beyond its time.

A masterpiece of the 20th century; absolutely essential.

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Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars OK Computer has been praised endlessly by some, and dismissed by others as overrated. However, when I listen to OK Computer, I hear more than an album- it's a reflection of the sad, messed-up, unnatural state of affairs that we call modern society. Each facet of this diamond of an album shines light on a different part of our lives- the feelings that OK Computer channels cannot be put into words, but are still powerful and moving- especially the angry, aggressive Paranoid Android, which seems to put into music all of the various atrocities and annoyances we deal with, and No Surprises, simply the greatest song ever recorded- a perfect reflection of soul-crushing, tear-jerking depression, and possibly suicide. Recommended to anybody- absolutely anybody. In my opinion, one of the 3 best albums of music ever recorded.
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Posted Saturday, September 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the kind of harrowing music Pink Floyd used to make. What THE BENDS promised in such songs as "Planet Telex," "Bulletproof" and "Street Spirit" is delivered here, in a big way: the cello-like arpeggio that opens "Airbag," the Gregorian-chant-like section of "Paranoid Android," the eerie and Floydian-like guitar on "Subterranean Homesick Alien," the sparce acoustic guitar/theremin/background sounds of "Exit Music (For a Film)," the terrifying singalongs "Let Down" and "Climbing Up the Walls" (with its atonal strings at the song's denouement, this might be my favorite track on the album), the creepy piano haunting the background of "Fitter Happier," and the resigned come-downs of "No Surprises," the Floydian "Lucky," and "The Tourist." Okay, "Electioneering" and "Karma Police" (ironically the only song that received radioplay in the US) aren't up to the standards of the other tracks. But lyrically they belong with the album. This is an album peeling away every strand of hope (including hope in a corrupt, corporate "democracy") and exploring why, when it comes, people may embrace a MATRIX-like existence in a virtal world. (AMUSED TO DEATH, indeed - this is the album Waters *should* have made.)

Along with Tricky's MAXINQUAYE, it's a perfect fin-de-siecle album. People who were shocked at the band's next album, KID A, really shouldn't have been - this album represents the off- balance tottering at the edge before the fall into KID A-AMNESIAC's 21st century virtual reality. People who clamor for "OK COMPUTER PART 2" should realize that KID A-AMNESIAC *IS* the sequel, and as such, is a necessary addition to their collection after OK COMPUTER.

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Posted Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars (listen to this album with headphones)

This album is truly one which sends you on a journey when you listen to it. Its almost as if it accounts a journey forward in time to a barren world of robots and technology ruling over humans! (thats what it felt like to me)

Radiohead seemed to be at their most "progressive" sound in the conventional sense during this album (paranoid android being almost like a rock opera) and it definately paid off. This album is one of the most important albums in musical history and definately one of the most significant albums to come out of britain. Thom Yorkes voice really is the highlight of this. His vocal style (fragile yet powerful) compliments the music perfectly and his range is astounding. A truly emotional album in every sense of the word.

Airbag: 8/10 Paranoid Android: 10/10 Subterranean Homesick Alien: 8.5/10 Exit Music: 9/10 Let Down: 8/10 Karma Police: 10/10 Fitter Happier: 4/10 Electioneering: 7.5/10 Climbing Up The Walls: 7/10 No Surprises: 10/10 Lucky: 9/10 The Tourist: 9.5/10

Best moments:

Paranoid Android (rain down rain down come on rain down on me) Exit Music (Now we all want an everlasting peace) Karma Police (this is what youll get) No Surprises (opening riff) The Tourist (Ending)

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Posted Monday, November 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Radiohead is Prog?

Like Bryan I'm not sure how valid is the assumption that Radiohead can be regarded as progressive, from my point of view has only prog influences, but nothing else, the music of this amazing band, refers more to the alternative rock ... Finally the really important about this album is its profound simplicity, and they existential lyrics besides the great conjunction as a band that achieved in this Ok Computer, dark, shiny, bipolar in a good way, it refers me to consider this album as one of the best´s of the 90s without equivocation the best 97' no more, no less...

Report this review (#252557)
Posted Tuesday, November 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars I still remember the WTF expression on all our faces as my friends and I saw the music video for "Paranoid Android" for the first time in a hotel room. Never mind where we were or why we were there (Charleston, South Carolina and doing some missionary work, if one must know)- but we saw a fat man in a black, spiked leather thong trying to hack down a lamp post and wind up cutting off his own limbs, then getting saved by mermaids, an obese man dancing on a table in a bar with a head emanating from his stomach, an angel flying a helicopter, an alcoholic black kid with politically incorrect lips, who apparently liked to fondle the hooters of fleshy bartenders, and so much more that words fail to describe. It was for me the first time I'd ever consciously heard Radiohead, and, while such a video might have put me off from the get go, something about the music was hypnotizing and neurotic, yet completely accessible. Normally, music must be memorable for me to appreciate it, but for some unfathomable reason, this album is an enigmatic exception. What I mean by that is that I don't remember most of the melodies, themes, or chord progressions after this album concludes. That's especially cool for me, because every time I play OK Computer, it's like hearing a new album, except vaguely and euphorically familiar. The Pink Floyd influences are present artistically and lyrically, if not musically. Imagery from Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall appear in the artwork, and likes like "When I am king, you will be first against the wall" hearken back to Pink's isolation and decent into madness, not to mention the criticism of capitalism. Also, does anyone want to hear one reason Porcupine Tree sounds the way they do since Lightbulb Sun? Listen to this album.

"Airbag" One of my favorites on the album (and one of Thom Yorke's, I understand), this song is loosely based on Yorke's involvement in an automobile accident that rendered him frightened of cars for some time. The bass is sporadic (I remember reading the bassist saying something about meaning to go back and add parts to fill it out, but never getting around to it- laziness pays off!), and the drums are electronic approximations meant to imitate DJ Shadow. I think the refrain is one of the strongest moments of the album and sets the overall tone exceedingly well.

"Paranoid Android" Perhaps my favorite song by Radiohead, this excessively bizarre song has a few distinct sections that bleed together perfectly. Again, the lazy vocals serve this piece well. The multiple guitars blend together in a masterful way, and combined with the bass and drums, create almost seven minutes of a musical high that fluctuates between both joy and sorrow (sometimes dipping into both simultaneously) in a way that few other pieces of music have been able to do. I am still shaking my head about the video though.

"Subterranean Homesick Alien" Paying tribute to the similarly-titled Bob Dylan number, this song has a wonderful guitar theme and some rather fluid effects. The refrain reminds me of U2, as Yorke even invokes Bono's gritty cry.

"Exit Music (For a Film)" One of the few films that bored me so stupidly I stopped it midway through was Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Julet, a modern version of the classic story (with guns, basically), so I did not know until many years later that this song was commissioned for the ending credits- hence the rather literal title. The song mainly features acoustic guitar and Mellotron in choir mode, and light, breathy vocals.

"Let Down" The subtle lead guitar makes this song for me, but that is not to say that the incredible vocal melody doesn't have something to do with how much I am drawn to this. The end of the music consists of 1980s ZX Spectrum Computers creating something of a non sequitur of an ending, and yet it fits perfectly.

"Karma Police" At the risk of sounding repetitive, yes, this is one of my favorite Radiohead songs. The ingredients are there: A mellow and pleasing vocal, dark but subdued instrumentation, and that peculiar state of being both memorable and elusive. Piano and acoustic guitar dominate this track, and I love how the drums cut out during the chorus, only to jump back in at the end of it. The guitarist fed his instrument through a digital delay machine to achieve that strange closing sound.

"Fitter Happier" One may be tempted to call this filler. It's less than two minutes long, it was performed by Yorke after a period of writer's block, and he recorded parts of it (at least the piano) while drunk. Yeah, it's filler. So what if the band used this track to introduce their live shows? Yet, keeping well in line with the aberrations that inexplicably make this album timeless for me, this short track tends to work in the overall tenor of the album, or in the very least, affording me an appropriate place to take a piss without hitting pause. The focal point of this track is a list of slogans (how apropos as the new year dawns!) from the 1990s that Yorke fed through a Macintosh SimpleText application.

"Electioneering" The heaviest song on the album has a couple of gritty guitars, cowbell, and a brisk bass line. It also is one of the few songs to feature a proper guitar solo. It is comparatively my least favorite song on the album.

"Climbing up the Walls" Utilizing eerie noises, synthesized bass, and metallic-sounding drums, this song is purportedly about the bogeyman in a manner of speaking, drawing on Yorke's brief experience as an orderly in a mental ward. Distorted and quaking vocals only add to the madness-inducing nature of the piece, but it's the petrifying strings that push the song over the edge of delirium.

"No Surprises" Almost a 180 compared to what came before, this delightful song has a calming feel, an easygoing and incredible melody, and delightful instrumentation including a whimsical glockenspiel. The vocals are at their laziest here- in fact, it is almost impossible to make out the lyrics without them right in front of one's face.

"Lucky" Another not-so-aggressive song, this one offers a strong tune with some great use of dominant seventh chords and multiple rhythm guitars.

"The Tourist" Some final songs are crafted and placed to serve as explosive finales meant to leave an imprint on the listener's mind, but not this one. Yet, again paradoxically, it serves as a robust conclusion because it is so spacious and beautiful. Yorke notes that it is about idiotic Americans in Paris moving as quickly as they can through the place to see as much as they can in short span of time without ever slowing down to actually take the sights in (yes, Americans- why else would the English Yorke say "feet?").

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Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
5 stars I've rarely heard an album of which every moment sounds exciting, innovative and original while at the same time being very well balanced and a pleasant listening experience from begin to end. OK Computer is one of those albums. The Bends, the band's previous release, was much more original and innovative than the debut. The change from The Bends to OK Computer was an even bigger leap, resulting in this album being an absolute masterpiece.

The album opens with the stiking "Airbag", one of the best and heaviest songs of the album. The striking intro of the song will make the listener experience something that's present on the entire album: a very complex sound. There are so many different layers to be heard on this album, of which some might even be noticed after many spins. After "Airbag" closes with electronic noises, it's time for another fantastic track. "Paranoid Android" is one of Radiohead's best known tracks and also one of their most progressive. It's made up out of 3 parts, all equally interesting. The middle part of the song shows Jonny Greenwood at his very best, giving us some agressive and grungy guitar playing. "Subterranean Homesick Alien" is much more soothing and atmospheric than the previous tracks. It features spacey, filtered guitars and has a very warm and yet again complex sound. "Exit Music (For a Film)" is the most melancholic song one the album. It is driven by a gentle acoustic guitar. However, as the song progresses the acoustic guitar gets company of different kinds of instruments. The most overwhelming being the thick distorted bass near the end of the song.

"Let Down" has a very relieving feeling to it, after the melancholy of the previous song. It is a very catchy song, and perhaps the most poppy of the album. This doesn't make it any less good though. The following song is "Karma Police", which is another catchy song. This one is much more melancholic though, and also one of the highlights of the album. The song isn't very complex, though the second half has a very interesting feel to it. It sounds delighting and full of despair at the same time, which works very well I think. Sounds of Jonny's distorted guitar running through a space echo moves us to "Fitter Happier", which many people like to call filler. I don't think it's filler though, as it creates an eery mood, which will be present in several pieces in the second half of the album. "Electioneering" is one of the most straight forward songs of the album. It's very guitar driven and again has a very complex sound. Jonny Greenwood plays the guitar very well in his distinctive style here, which is pretty agressive and grungy.

"Climbing Up the Walls" is a very dark song on the album. Also, it has a very layered and interesting sound. Thom Yorke's electronic vocals work incredibly well here. Near the end, the piece reaches what might be the most brilliant part of the album. A spine chiling climax, with an incredibly thick sounds and a haunting scream by Thom Yorke. "No Surprises" is another great piece. It is pretty minimalistic, mainly featuring clean and acoustic guitars and a fine xylophone riff. The chorus is what makes this song fantastic though, as it's incredibly haunting and melancholic. The next song, "Lucky", is more of a straight forward piece. It's pretty mellow, and has a very fine atmoshere to it. The chorus is, yet again, very catchy and melancholic, this time featuring a great guitar riff. The final piece is just like "Lucky" very mellow and slow. "The Tourist" is another piece that fits the album incredibly well, and it's a great way to close it. It gives me a feeling like "Karma Police", which is soothing and melancholic at the same time.

One of the best albums I've ever heard. From the begin to the end it's memorable, atmospheric and incredibly original. I know very few albums where I just can't find any bad moment. Therefore, this album gets 5 stars, as it in my opinions deserves nothing less.

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Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars No, this band isn't prog. At all. But as long as it's here, it's getting five stars from me. I mean, it's one of the best, most influential albums of the 90's. It's a very atmospheric album, creating it's own futuristic world that's believable enough to become a reality. Each song has it's own unique style, but always revolves around the same surroundings and environments, from the DJ Shadow-influenced "Airbag", to the dark, beautifully haunting "Karma Police", to the quiet, seemingly regretful lullaby "No Surprises". Everything here is genius.

This is considered by many people, prog-fans and non-prog fans alike, to be one of the best albums mankind has given us, and rightfully so.

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Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Years after this album's initial release, I find the "classic rock updated for the 90's!!1!" praise often heaped upon the album somewhat odd, and I certainly don't fully get why this album made so many people look to Radiohead as the potential "saviors of rock." My best guess is that people just really wanted to hear a relatively successful mainstream, "normal" rock band consciously change itself into something "artsier," and OK Computer definitely satisfies that requirement. Plus, the general lyrical theme (essentially a late 90's version of "I'm a 20th century man but I don't want to be here") was fairly timely (and the lyrical approach tends much more towards the abstract than the anthemic mope rock of The Bends), and when combined with a higher level of instrumental diversity (not only in the guitars, but in the various keyboard sounds), the album was seemingly a ready- made classic from day one.

Personally, I don't think this comes close to an all-time great album (and it didn't save anything in rock music, that's for sure), but I sure don't buy into the inevitable anti-hype either. My main problem with the album comes not from the excessive praise it's received over the years, or the fact that its originality is largely overstated by many of the band's fans, but rather from a stretch in the middle that I enjoy less with each listen. Unless one has a heavy emotional investment in the concept of the album, and views the track as the album's keystone, I don't see how "Fitter, Happier" can be considered anything but a stupefying waste of two minutes. The Stephen Hawking imitation voice, listing all of the various good things to do to keep healthy and sane, always annoys me within fifteen seconds, and the album would be seriously improved without it. The next two tracks aren't much better, either. "Electioneering" is a go-nowhere piece of dissonant boogie rock, and "Climbing Up the Walls" just strikes me as deeply unpleasant and ugly (that it's one of the longer songs on the album doesn't help either). So that's almost a full quarter of the album down the drain right there.

I really like the rest of the album, though. I don't feel the kind of reverence towards the songs that many feel, and I don't find myself going out of my way to listen to them very often, but it would be hard for me not to enjoy and respect a bunch of songs this well arranged, produced and written. My two favorites are "Let Down" and "No Surprises," which do the dreamy guitar pop lullaby genre (if such a genre exists outside this album) proud with fantastic melodies, vocal parts that nobody else could do justice, and, in the former, some effective subtle rhythmic unrest. I'm also quite fond of "Subterranean Homesick Alien," whose guitars create one of the more beautifully bizarre atmospheres I've ever heard.

The more intense side of the band is effectively demonstrated in "Paranoid Android," which effortlessly moves from a quiet driving mix of acoustic and electric guitars (all pinned down by subtle percussion that always makes the acoustic parts sound Spanish to me, even though I have no idea why) to a more obviously powerful electric section with a fantastic riff and some good over-the-top soloing. And, of course, it then moves into the amazing "rain down" section, led by some great atmospheric vocals from Yorke, before going back in the heavier direction.

Some of the other songs don't thrill me as much as I'd like, but they have their nice attributes all the same. "Exit Music (for a Film)" is most notable to me for its heavy use of a mellotron (if it's not a mellotron, then it's something that sounds really close to it), and while I don't think it's anywhere near as beautiful or moving as lots of people think, I still find it kinda pretty in its own sad way. I think it would be far exceeded, though, by "How to Disappear Completely," on the next album. "Karma Police" is a little bit boring, but the piano part in the chorus more or less saves it. And finally, "Lucky" is almost nothing but mood and wailing Gilmour-esque guitar parts, but it does well in both of these aspects, so it's a keeper.

Finally, I want to say something about the opening and closing tracks. "Airbag," as many people like to point out, actually feels like a musical interpretation of a car crash, or rather the hallucinogenic experience of the person within the car during and after it (the actual car crashing would sound more like Metal Machine Music, I'm sure). What should stand out most in the song, though, is not so much the music, and also not the main expository line of the song, "I'm amazed that I survived, an airbag saved my life." No, what's most important is the creeped out feeling of elation that comes from it, expressed in the "in an interstellar burst, I'm back to save the universe" line. From surviving this accident comes a momentary feeling of invincibility, a newly found superpower, if you will, and the feeling that this second chance at life suddenly brings with it all sorts of meaning.

"The Tourist," then, brings the album full circle; I am very skeptical of the idea that the tourist in question is somehow not involved in the car accident that prompts "Airbag." The anthemic calls of " down...," underpinned by a fantastic set of chord sequences, create an extremely vivid, almost cinematic set of imagery for me, and that impresses the hell out of me. Maybe the song is actually a call to the listener to slow down the pace of one's life in this busy hectic world, but my interpretation is the one that's going to make me care about the song.

So, while I may not fall in line with the general consensus that says this is one of the best albums ever, I still think it's a really nice album. Cut out the tracks I really don't like, and this could even be a weak *****. And, of course, it's still a necessity for any decent collection of rock music, no matter the era one mainly focuses on.

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Posted Saturday, April 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars After the monumental achievement of The Bends, Radiohead decided to make another album, and does it compare to The Bends.

Actually I have trouble picking a favourite out of these two (kind of like choosing between children), but I do believe The Bends is just that little bit better.

This album was actually voted as the Greatest Album Of All Time, and to be honest, that's a little overblown, albeit that this is album is an amazing album, it isn't the Greatest Album Of All Time, there are some quite flaw like moments on it, that to be honest I would have changed or left out, but these weak moments are surpassed by the rest of the album.

This album was even more experimental than The Bends, with the use of noise and electronics, to add an added ambient depth to the music.

This album was also recorded in the same studio as Marillion's Brave, which doesn't really make a difference, but there is a similar atmospheric tone behind it.

1. Airbag - An amazing intro and a great chorus. Thom's vocals are wee bit pitchy to be honest.

2. Paranoid Android - This song is amazing and just rules. I actually learnt this song on guitar after I had heard this album. I love the way that it modulates between minor and major keys. The chord sequence is also very prominent throughout the song, and it flows really well and even has some jazz inspired discords. There is a guy on You Tube who plays this song instrumentally on piano and it's very well done and the true genius of the song is heard.

3. Subterranean Homesick Alien - A play on the Bob Dylan song title. An amazing chorus in this song and amazing use of keyboards give it a very space rock vibe.

4. Exit Music (For A Film) - The first time I heard this song was in Father Ted (very funny moment in the last episode). This song is very melancholic and is actually about suicide. Very progressively influenced, with the use of mellotron, and some of the best mellotron work I had ever heard.

5. Let Down - A more positive side of the album with an uplifting catchy chorus. Quite beautiful as well.

6. Karma Police - An amazing song with some amazing vocals. The perfect song for a single. The song is based on the idea of an almost Orwellian idea where you can have people arrested if they are different than you. Thom is a good lyricist whenever you dig deep into the context.

7. Fitter Happier - A weird interlude with the use of Stephen Hawking like narrative, atmosphere and noises. Very effective and eerie.

8. Electioneering - I love the jaunty indie vibe in this song. Very catchy. This song is basically about how Politicians lie and cheat in order to get a vote from you. (Very true, I'm sick of this General Election, saying they will do so many things when in fact we would be better of if we just elected Prince, he'd get nothing done but it would be quite funky.)

9. Climbing Up The Walls - A nice calm moment of the album. Not the strongest or the most effective.

10. No Surprises - I never really like this song, but after listening to it for a few times, I really love it. It's so beautiful and calm with amazing layered vocals, amazing glockenspiel and keyboard countermelodies, just an amazing beautiful piece of music.

11. Lucky - Wee bit filler. I'm not saying that it's not good, it just doesn't stand out as much as the other material.

12. The Tourist - What a way to end the album, with the almost droney and beautiful vocals from Thom.

CONCLUSION: An amazing album. Not as good as The Bends in my opinion, but just as effective and probably more interesting.

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Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars How boring it is to begin every Radiohead review with the obligatory addressing of the "BUT ARE THEY PROG?" question. But who I am to flout tradition?

Well, the answer was a clear no the first two times out. For album number three however, the answer edges a little towards yes. All the same, this is probably their proggiest album, what with the atmosphere of a 90's Pink Floyd in the air. The old line that they were U2 for depressed people began to die as the stadium rock element exited Radiohead's sound.

What? I'm calling OK Computer their proggiest? Have I not heard Kid A and Amnesiac? Yes, I own all Radiohead albums. But I find those albums have more or less nothing to do with Yes, King Crimson, etc. They're experimental rather than progressive. This is the album where with their unusual take on rock, the presence of big concepts and at least one multi-part monster, it looked for a moment like we might have a new prog big-hitter in the making.

Anyway, OK Computer is routinely given five stars and called the greatest album of all-time. As you've already seen I did not give it five stars. To me, good as it is, it could never be five stars. Why? Because it is grossly front-loaded. In the first half we have Airbag, Paranoid Android, Exit Music, Let Down and Karma Police, classics all. In the second half we have... well not much, I'll get to that later as I run down the album.

Airbag is an incredible opening. Yorke's striking lyric with that incredible bass/cello underpinning and mechanical, crushing drum line really arrests the attention. Then towards the end it breaks down, the haunting multi-layered vocals do their stuff and we're into Paranoid Android. The track with the most obvious nod to prog, this multi-part examination of an individual's apparent slide into depression and perhaps insanity is not to be played at parties but is deeply fascinating for those in the right mood. The final part with the choiral vocals that seems to echo The Bends' Street Spirit is incredibly effecting and yet somehow this emotional vulnerability still works well with the rocking, savage guitars.

Subterranean Homesick Alien is pretty but doesn't do much with its runtime. I suppose it's a nice comedown after the first two showstoppers, but doesn't really make much sense as a lead-in to the very dark Exit Music which completely dispels the pleasant dreamy tone established by SHA. Exit Music is one of the more sinister Radiohead songs- the chopped and looped crowd noise behind the second verse I find particularly eerie.

Let Down is wonderful- it's beautiful and calm like SHA, let unlike that song it goes somewhere, layering on the melody and harmony to wonderful effect, almost having you ignore how unhappy the lyric is. Though after that it's straight back to sinister town for the foreboding Karma Police that managed to be a hit single despite it being just about the last thing on the planet an FM DJ would throw on to get people up in the morning. The plodding unrelenting drum, Colin Greenwood's oft overlooked bass work that adds so much atmosphere, a creepy lyric with creepy delivery, a collapse into static and chaos... and then Fitter Happier.

I actually don't hate Fitter Happier. I actually think it's quite important in a way. If you remove it from the album, I think the album loses a lot of its conceptual/experimental bite- here was the band who did Creep and Just including a two minute spoken word piece with wierd electronic effects all over it. It conveys a sense of the band trying to say something important beyond writing nice alternative rock and also shows the balls/courage the band would continue to show on future releases as they put out tracks that on paper looked like career suicide but in practice, worked very well.

And then we're into the second half. I don't know why Electioneering is so hated. It doesn't have the atmosphere and aura of the tracks I described above but as an ass-kicking rocker on an album that is about to start dragging its heels, the energy and bite are welcome.

And here comes the heel dragging. Climbing Up The Walls does a great job of creating atmosphere but there's just something unpleasant and dull and needlessly slow about it, ending up as something I'm tempted to skip.

No Surprises is the other hit single and while I used to love this song, it hasn't stood up to repeat listening so well because it has a lot less to discover in it- it's a simple song. There's no crime in being simple but after the first half of the album had my mind scrambling around to figure out what might happen next, No Surprises nursery rhyme riff didn't really compare.

Lucky is pretty bad in my opininon. It's just sort of there. I can hear a good song in there, especially when O'Brien performs the sweet solo version of the chorus but something went wrong and it ends up leaden. The Tourist also doesn't do much- the chorus is great but the quiet, folky verses seem silly coming from Radiohead. Another one that didn't need to be as long as it is either.

Quite a good album but when the second half has me looking at my watch so often, I start to wonder if it should even be four stars. In the end I decide it should because the second half is not rubbish, it's just unevenly matched.

OK Computer was at the time, the future of rock music, even though it didn't turn out to be. I and many others assumed that Radiohead's next album would be a collection of Paranoid Android type tracks writ large- no one predicted that for their next two albums, they would more or less abandon rock and to some extent, even playing like a band at all. So even though they never actually went there, it was a signpost to a strange and experimental land of rock and roll that other acts were awed and inspired by and for that it is quite important.

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Posted Wednesday, May 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars OK Computer is Radiohead's most highly esteemed album, it's daring, adventurous, refreshing and ground-breaking. It has stretched the boundaries of alternative rock and with its clever melodious catchiness it has reached across all musical genre boundaries and surpassed the pigeonholing and box thinking of all genre purists.

A remarkable achievement making them deserving of all the mass recognition they received. But guess what? This album doesn't touch me. And I'm rather clueless why. It has everything for me to like it. But somehow the rocking parts don't sound as punchy and urgent as on The Bends, and the atmospheric bits don't have the impact that some of their later music has on me. Paranoid Android for instance sounds contrived to me, the Queen-inspired song development and vocal harmonies don't help. Only a couple of songs find a spontaneous balance between melodic catchiness and pensive post-rock avant-gardism, Let Down, No Surprises, Lucky and The Tourist sound truly great.

This album is nothing short of essential, it offers an interesting and ground-breaking mix of progressive and alternative rock elements, but somehow I have a strange relation with this album, liking it very much one time and a whole lot less the next time, strange.

Report this review (#280941)
Posted Saturday, May 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#284366)
Posted Monday, May 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars I've been grinding through this album like crazy after being completely mesmerized by The Bends and even though it has now become a highly enjoyable experience for me...I'll still restrain from calling it a masterpiece of any sort.

Radiohead continued pushing the boundaries of the alternative rock genre with their music and even though the shift between The Bends and OK Computer was not as prominent as that between the two previous releases, this was where the mainstream audiences suddenly decided to jump on the wagon. I guess that the combination of wide exposure on MTV and the enigma behind the band's intentions really intrigued people and once again made me believe in the idea that even the most obscure acts can become popular if they only get in tune with the society around them. This is also a very important theme on the album which seems to continue fascinate the audience even to this day. Just look at Porcupine Tree's Fear Of A Blank Planet that was released a whole decade later!

OK Computer certainly has an interesting theme and quite a few memorable moments to back up that experience. Unfortunately I still don't see it as anything more than a very competent followup to The Bends. To me, it just doesn't come off as that perfect album experience that so many critics and fans have proclaimed it to be. It was that notion that repelled me from the album the first time I heard it and continued to do so even to this day.

Even though it doesn't reach that same level of bliss for me as Radiohead's previous release, OK Computer is an important album and even my minor complains won't change that fact. This release also marks a sad moment when Radiohead pretty much reached to high point of their alternative rock career and had no way to go within the genre. What followed surprised even me, but more on that in my next review!

***** star songs: Airbag (4:44) Paranoid Android (6:23) Exit Music (For A Film) (4:24) Karma Police (4:21) No Suprises (3:48)

**** star songs: Subterranean Homesick Alien (4:27) Let Down (4:59) Fitter Happier (1:57) Electionnering (3:50) Climbing Up The Walls (4:45) Lucky (4:19) The Tourist (5:24)

Report this review (#305266)
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Can Radiohead even be considered prog? This is a question many prog fans have been asking. The definition of prog is "music beyond the standard rock or popular verse-chorus-based song structures", so in that sense, yes, Radiohead is definitely prog.

Radiohead is and always has been an ever-evolving band, changing their sound with every release. This is admirable considering the number of bands that never strayed from the sound that made them famous.

OK Computer is considered to be their masterpiece, and a great album in general. And rightfully so. A prog fan expecting an experimental or eclectic sound will be disappointed by it, but OK Computer is an excellent example of new prog done right. The album's songs manage to remain accessible and catchy at times while never becoming overly simplistic or soulless.

"Paranoid Android" is the first progressive song I listened to. It must still be one of my most listened songs ever. I was intrigued by its unique structure. It sounds like an alternative rock song with breakdowns, but not really.

Many people, having listened to "Karma Police" and "No Surprises", the release's most popular songs, don't make an effort to look further into OK Computer. This is a mistake, however, because there are many great songs to be found there. "Let Down" does remind one of "No Surprises" with its lullaby-like melody, but it's a great song in its own right. "Fitter Happier" is a creepy "song", with no reason of existence in my opinion. OK Computer does have its share of songs that are less than great ("Electioneering", "Climbing Up the Walls", "The Tourist") but in context they have their place on it. It is an album that, not unlike classics like Dark Side of the Moon, is greater than the sum of its parts, and everybody should give it a chance. Its accessibility makes it a great choice for a "first prog" album.

I had not yet decided on a rating when I started writing this review. Three stars seem too low, though, and five too high, so I'm going with four.

Report this review (#307417)
Posted Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Oh yes, this one is from the period when the band was really making innovative and ground breaking music. First of all, this album is progressive. Paranoid Android is 100% progressive, and this is, after all, a conceptual album.

The beauty of these songs rely on the fact that each one has its own flavour, different melodies and arrangements, there are fast tracks and slow ones. All musicians did a great job, the lyrics are very well written and the atmosphere of the album works. But the most important feature of the album is its refusal to stay monophonic, by changing the aforementioned atmosphere and never losing its steam.

Overall this is a remarkable achievement from a band that had been clearly evolving album after album.

Report this review (#329911)
Posted Monday, November 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars If The Bends cracked the worldwide market in terms of attention and success, then OK Computer drove a 40 ton truck through it and catapulted Radiohead into the consciousness of rock fans the world over. This album achieved phenomenal success the world over, and in Paranoid Android, the standout track, certainly for prog fans, they achieved the type of airplay and chart success that was perhaps the most unlikely since Bohemian Rhapsody for Queen twenty years before.

The other major hit single was the bleak, anthemic, Karma Police, the video for which was fascinating and looked for all the world as if it was directed by David Lynch (in fact, it was by Jonathon Glazer, who had previously directed the groundbreaking Street Spirit video from The Bends).

This is a progressive rock album in the truest sense. A band seeking to push back the barriers of conventional rock and wisdom, performed and produced in the most sumptuous terms, and hang the consequences. Even Q magazine in the UK declared it "pure prog, mate!".

We could argue about the definitions until we are blue in the face. What is important, though, is that this is unquestionably a landmark album. Futuristic, exceptionally bleak in places, and certainly featuring some of the most vital guitar work ever recorded in history by Jonny Greenwood. His performance on Subterranean Homesick Alien is simply staggering in its intensity, and what a title for a track!

I mentioned that Paranoid Android is a highlight. However, this is one of those albums which calls out to be considered and listened to as a whole. Imagine setting your iPod to random play and coming up with Fitter Happier, a two minute dirge by a computerised voice set to a simple piano, on its own, but, in the context of the album, perfectly placed and vital in its lead in to Electioneering, which rocks along and is a gloriously bitter dig at modern politicians and the lies they put to us.

Mellotron fans also have a lot to cheer about, as Jonny Greenwood utilises the instrument to create a haunting overlay to the rest of the bands intense, bitter, and dark Exit Music For A Film. Never has bleak sounded so good. "We hope that you choke" indeed.

This in turn leads in nicely to one of the more musically upbeat tracks, Let Down, on which Jonny's elder brother Colin, especially, shines in his pounding melodic bassline. The intensity of this is such that the listener is virtually exhausted after such a torrent of emotion and musical storms.

This is an album which is utterly vital, and years ahead of its time in terms of its outlook and performance. Radiohead simply led whilst their commercial contemporaries were happy to regurgitate old Mod or Beatles themes. That is what is meant by progressive, and that is why it is right that this site includes and pays homage to such an outfit.

This album is a masterpiece of progressive rock music, no more, no less. Five stars for a work which each and every discerning rock fan should own.

Report this review (#347096)
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Radiohead is, to me, the most refreshing musical experience of recent years. The band's ethos of endless invention is highly commendable, and at times, some of the work it produces is breath-taking in its haunting wonder.

Plaudits given, there is a big downside to this approach. When it doesn't hit dead centre, it sounds like indulgent doodling, which I suppose, is a good qualification for much of prog anyway, but it doesn't make for good music. Earlier songs like Creep somewhat epitomise this crassness, which is all the more jarring because of the high points and high expectations we have of the band. Again, it's prog territory to be so endlessly improvising in composition as well as performance that naff becomes an integral part of the nonsense in the structure.

I think this particular album is as good as it gets with Radiohead, the highs and lows are both contained here. Some of the songs are just very fine pieces of pop writing, Karma Police, Let Down, No surprises etc, almost like a thinking-man's Coldplay, with some of the same faults of repetition, regurgitated style, and one-dimensional vocals of that band too. But even contained within, and sometimes even in the poorest of Radiohead compositions, there are sections which are so moving and so centrally spiritual that it makes you long for more of this in a more conclusive and lasting composition. It's like the band are constantly searching for something truly valuable, and on occasion finding it, but flitting away from it again, almost as if they don't know themselves when they have, it's very hit and miss. They have some very low moments in composition, but the performances and vocals are always interesting, if at times frustratingly meandering and full of doodles, that word again.

I have my doubts about the total validity of what they do, but anyone who can produce those moments of haunting magic is worth believing in.

Report this review (#365051)
Posted Monday, December 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars When one becomes a huge fan of a group. they tend to eventually develop personal favorites that deviate from the mainstream songs. When one is merely a "shallow" fan, they tend to enjoy their more popular songs.

With Radiohead I tend to be in an incredibly awkward middle.

Radiohead is NOT one of my favorite groups. I would rather listen to groups like Porcupine Tree or Muse instead. I do enjoy some of Radiohead's material, but it is not what the usual "shallow" fan would enjoy.

To call Ok Computer a progressive album is stretching it. Ok Computer is more of an alternative album with electronic influences. This album acts as a bridge between the alternative rock style The Bends and the electronic style in Kid A (another album I find to be overrated). This album is to Radiohead what Dark Side of the Moon is to Pink Floyd or Sgt. Pepper is to The Beatles. This album contains the hits Paranoid Android, Let Down, No Surprises, and Karma Police. It also has the creepy fan-favorite Climbing Up the Walls (great song). So what are my favorite songs of this album?

Airbag, Subterranean Homesick Alien, Electioneering, and The Tourist.

It is really hard for me to describe The Tourist. It took me a few listens to truly get into the song and enjoy it. The song is rather ambient. Airbag and Electioneering are both great alternative rockers and S.H.A. is just a great weird song. As for the other songs on the album, they are good, but started to lose their appeal after repeated listen. My least favorite has to be the song Paranoid Android. I have never seen why so many people like this song. The first part of it is good, but then it just drags on.

Ok Computer is a good alternative/electronic album, but it is not the masterpiece everyone makes it out to be.

Report this review (#372988)
Posted Tuesday, January 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars This was one of the two Radiohead CDs I purchased (used, thankfully) after hearing many people rave about how progresive they are. I guess people have different standards. There is some prog in here, but you need an auditory microscope to find it. Mostly, this is morose, whiny alternative rock.

I actually find this album a chore to listen to. Thon Yorke's voice, at the best points, sounds a little like Ray Davies. That's good, you say? Noooooooo. Because at the same time, he mixes that sound with Neil Young's whiny falsetto. To me, it's quite irritating. And the band, while obviously talented, does not do enough to get past that disability.

As I said, there are prog elements, but very few. There is a moodiness and spaciness to much of the music, and some sound effects thrown in. But I just can't tolerate that voice!

Don't worry, Radiohead fans. I'm not getting any more of their albums.

Report this review (#390841)
Posted Monday, January 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars While not their best album, the 1997 OK Computer eventually classed Radiohead as a prog band. For a lot of prog experts this turned out to be a hard nut to crack: by considering OK Computer prog, these people faced the uncomfortable task to define prog once again, and for many it is hard to admit that "prog" might mean something else than the definitions tagged with the 70's prog.

Firstly, prog compositions of the turn of the millennium didn't necessarily last a quarter of an hour anymore. Secondly, the works might not be multi-movement, multi-layered symphonic pieces, and thirdly, they might even be loved by millions of people who honestly believe "prog" is an ancient swearword.

Radiohead's progressivity isn't in any of the first two aforementioned, but rather in their ability to combine several styles into a very original whole, that doesn't sound like practically anything before them. In that sense they achieve what The Beatles did during their time, that is, showing the way to other, possibly in some ways even more adventurous bands. Thom Yorke's highly personal lyrics and vocals are as necessary part of Radiohead's timbre language as is Jonny Greenwood's guitar sound. The icing of the cake is the wonderful studio production that makes OK Computer such a unique effort, along with a few absolute masterpieces of modern rock music, such as Paranoid Android, Subterranean Homesick Alien, Exit Music (For A Film), Karma Police, Lucky and The Tourist.

If I should name one flaw about this album, then it might be the somewhat pretentious cover art, but then isn't that the tightest proof of prog, pretentiousness?

Report this review (#391116)
Posted Monday, January 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars I can appreciate OK COMPUTER for what it's worth, a massively successful indie-art rock album. Radiohead can create interesting atmospheres with the keyboards they use and all guitarists on board aren't too shabby, eschewing solos for more effect-driven texture staplings.

However, I follow this album as just a plain old indie-rock album with artsy tricks splattered all over the place. The opening third of the album holds promise with only ''Subterranean Homesick Alien'' being disposable. ''Airbag'' is a solid opener leaning towards Nirvana (Seattle band), and ''Paranoid Android'' is a good enough art rock tune that acts as an epic for Radiohead with the dynamic changes, although the comparisons to ''Bohemian Rhapsody'' are overcooked. ''Exit Music'' is the best track here for the climactic build to the end; pieces that are a big crescendo are usually my cup of tea.

After ''Let Down'', OK COMPUTER is a letdown. There are little remarkable tracks to speak of. The crescendo trick that worked on ''Exit Music'' fails on other tracks like ''No Surprises'' (title speaks for itself) and ''Lucky'' (the wah guitar at the end made me notice). ''Climbing Up the Walls'' has a padded-room effect to the sound, but never really impressed me.

OK COMPUTER is almost monotone in its sound. While loud, many times the guitars work better than turkey in terms of putting me to sleep. Yorke's vocals are rather dry and monotone that have few standout moments (with the exception of the horrible falsettos in ''Paranoid Android''). The drumming is rather stiff and unexciting, and I can't find the bass.

All indie rock fans and 90's nostalgists should have a copy of this. Prog rock fans will likely be confused by the seemingly generic rock. Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't figure out where the prog rock is on OK COMPUTER.

Report this review (#408023)
Posted Friday, February 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars How any one can give this highly original music less than 4 stars baffles me, Though I don't know where or how to really classify this music, It's Beatles Influenced, Influenced by Miles Davis and his jazz rock classic Bitches Brew (Yorke's own words), I'm still trying to discover that influence in it, Maybe in the cold isolation felt within much of the music. But Bitches Brew could Bring in some funky rhythms to warm the mood. This is a lonely album, This album is one of those I have returned to time and again. I really consider this music a work of art. a loose concept album, though it feels as if it could be one long track, It feels like progressive rock to me. But I know it doesn't fit into the box, Either way this music is timeless. Anyone could fall in love with this, providing you have an ear for something beyond top 40 radio. 5 stars or more .
Report this review (#410020)
Posted Wednesday, March 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The universally-praised 1997 release from the creators of the recent (and perennial) international mega-hit, "Creep", critics and the general public were quick to take notice of the huge leap in confidence and maturity that the band had achieved with OK Computer. It's still guitar-based but in a heavily-treated (using a lot of "natural reverb" ambient to the castle in which it was recorded), woven, texturalized way that surprised many who saw the band as potential generators of an endless parade of introspective pop hits. I, personally, like it okay (no pun intended) but, I say, just wait till the next one! (Kid A)

A very good 4.5 star album that has issues for we mere mortal listeners with access, penetrability, and long-term engagement. Despite these "flaws," it is an album that gives back over time far more than the usual album. Many of the album's songs have consistently grown on me over the years).

Report this review (#427568)
Posted Monday, April 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars "Computer says no..."

Considered by many to be a seminal release from arguably the most important band of the modern generation.

The Good: Paranoid Android.

The Bad: Everything else. Especially Fitter Happier, which is like a decomposing cow, unashamedly damming the already languid flow of the album. The rest of which is to music what hospitals are to interior design; bland, sterile and criminally unmemorable.

I have often heard OK Computer described as being both powerful and emotive, but in reality all it really gives is the impression of a man slightly annoyed at the damp weather outside. Sure it has some nice moments, but not enough of them to make the incessant whining worthwhile.

The Verdict: Stratospherically overrated.

Report this review (#433717)
Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is not progressive rock.But if I look at it this way, forget what this album "OK Computer" is true for mim.Unfornately it means almost nothing.

Layers and layers of electronic music, many trials, complex and thought-provoking lyrics, musicianship-ok, this can mean a lot to some, but not for me if the music does wrap me.And not is engaging.The sound is very cold distant, too sad, and is far from being something I will like.

Yorke's voice is annoying at times (the first track, "Airbag, " he can feel out of tune), and the guitar for a few moments disappears under the heavy layers that permeate album.Fortunately there are good moments found on "Paranoid Android" "Exit Music", "Karma Police" and "The Tourist".More nothing.The rest is disposable.

Excuse me, but 2 stars.Almost a waste

Report this review (#443258)
Posted Thursday, May 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, actually this is not a progressive band but when I see some reviews and its total review value I simply SHIVER.OK Computer is absolutely a music masterpiece having some prog influences too. I'm listening to it since it came out and it's still giving me the same sensations (sometimes even more). Let Down is the best song on this album: it represents a "crescendo" of intensity. This album is one of the best 10 albums of all time, so also on this website it should be considered one of the best. Also remember that Thom Yorke reaches perfection in this album especially in songs like Let Down,Paranoid Android, etc where I think nobody on the planet could sing like that!So ladies and gentilmen here you are.....
Report this review (#509327)
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars This is what you get.... Open up your skull

"Ok Computer" caught my attention as one of the top ten albums on a best album's TV show, and I had not known really what to expect. I always viewed Radiohead as depressing laid back stoner alt rock. They were never truly progressive in style but there is enough on here to satiate any listener into experimental and alternative rock. The vocal style never settled well with me, but I was very surprised with this album. It is full of innovation and ambition. A sprawling project from beginning to end, every song screams of techno paranoia suburbia and drug fuelled insecurity.

Of course this album boasts two of the quintessential singles, namely the powerful 'Paranoid Android', a title derived from Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"'s metal depressed ton of bolts, a classic character that is unforgettable. The song here is equally unforgettable with a terrific ending with the very familiar "Rain down, rain down, Come on rain down on me, From a great height". Yorke sings about being haunted by the "unborn chicken noises" in his head and then explains cryptically "When I am king, you will be first against the wall, With your opinion which is of no consequence at all." Interestingly the line "first against the wall" refers to the line in Adams' novel that states the androids were a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came, rather than their ad campaign 'your plastic pal who is fun to be with'. It is interesting too that this song sounds upbeat, though lyrically is despairing.

The other treasure on this is of course 'Karma Police' and when Thom Yorke bemoans, "this is what you get when you mess with us", we believe him. He always sound appropriately downbeat on this album as always, and injects a real sense of hopelessness that resonates with many listeners no doubt. The imagery is downright hypnotically conveyed with Yorke's slow measured delivery, "he talks in maths, he buzzes like a fridge", and "her Hitler hairdo is making me feel ill". Eventually Yorke cries out "I lost myself" and there is a real atmosphere of isolation and alienation in a faceless violent society of control. The song has a lot to say about the fear of police control, and the rise of power in techno society.

The opening songs drip down the speakers like honey, very slow and crawling patiently and inexorably to the images of airbag's, homesick aliens, and exit music. The creepy feeling of what it is like to be trapped is conveyed in 'Let Down', with tantalising visions of utter frailty; "crushed like a bug in the ground, shell smashed, juices flowing, wings twitch legs are going". The song evokes the emptiness inside the protagonist and his coke fuelled excesses, bleak to be sure but so powerfully executed.

The lyrics are pervasive and unsettling throughout the album. The space rock of 'Subterranean Homesick Alien', a title mimicking Dylan's blues classic, screams out anxiety nausea, "Of all these weird creatures, Who lock up their spirits, Drill holes in themselves, And live for their secrets." The song is about the desire to escape the world and all it's hardships, to figuratively allow an alien to abduct him in to the ship to be taken away forever. Those great lyrics are an incredible stab at fractured society and the lack of belonging "I wish that they'd swoop down in a country lane, Late at night when I'm driving, Take me on board their beautiful ship, Show me the world as I'd love to see it." There is even a ray of hope in these lyrics, that there is a way out of the turmoil, even if it means alien abduction. This hard line of cynicism threads throughout the whole album.

Yorke attacks everything from bogus business deals, 'Electioneering', to the cupboard monster 'Climbing Up The Walls'. The monster within the cupboard is of course the childhood nightmare, that impacts adult life in the form of paranoia and fractured personalities. The verses are desperate and a cry from the very heart of a damaged life, "I am the key to the lock in your house, That keeps your toys in the basement. And if you get too far inside, You'll only see my reflection."

The music is dynamic and sprinkled with ambience and hard blasts of heavy atmospheres. Glockenspiel blocks on blocks are heard on 'No Surprises', Pink Floyd's spacy nuances are featured on the final two tracks, and throughout, an almost subliminal droning guitar sound that is at times unearthly and sonically ethereal is heard. White noise competes with beauty and delicate embellishments of keyboard. The music is never allowed to drown out the vocals which are perhaps the best that Yorke has performed.

The booklet is a real master touch, totally cryptic and compelling; it seems to convey the dark shadows of madness and the blurry undefined decay of social corruption, and is totally open to interpretation. The album rightfully is heralded as the pinnacle of Radiohead, it will be found at the top of all time album lists, and will forever be etched into 1997 as one of the albums of the year.

Report this review (#572265)
Posted Monday, November 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Popular reviewer George Starostin said that Pink Floyd's greatest legacy lay in the way they presented their music and not so much in brilliance purely from a melodic or harmonic standpoint. It is not surprising that Radiohead are sometimes called the modern day Pink Floyd because their greatest strength too lies in the way they present their songs and not necessarily always the melodic/harmonic substance (though they can have their bright moments in that respect too). The way their songs are built and paced is what they draw their identity from. Their overall songcraft is what establishes in the view of some, including yours truly, a few degrees of separation between them and most popular rock acts of the 90s, including prog oriented groups like Opeth or Dream Theater. And, like Pink Floyd, they also invest a lot of effort in carefully producing the album to the end of extracting the most value from the studio album format.

The first indication of Radiohead's greatness is when I attempt to describe their style on this album. It defies quick and precise classification. I could loosely describe it as Pink Floyd updated for the 90s but that would not capture the exact nature of the music. Pink Floyd influences are most evident on Exit Music (For a Film) and Lucky but Karma Police has much more to do with the Beatles. The chords on the chorus even resemble Sexy Sadie, no less! And does Airbag already evoke the Krautrock elements that would be more dominant on Kid A?

Thus, the music on OK Computer covers a broad range of styles while still retaining a necessary degree of consistency to make the whole album a cohesive listening experience. Radiohead proceed to stamp their identity on the music on two counts. One is the wide array of guitar textures employed on the album that make them quite unlike many popular 90s groups. Radiohead are skilled enough to write music that accommodates tones as varied as the grungy distortion on Paranoid Android and the soft, clean figures on No Surprises and a lot in between (Subterranean Homesick Alien, for instance).

The other, which I alluded to in the beginning, is their strength in building and pacing their music. Even though they rarely get too far-out in terms of structure, Radiohead's compositions stand out because they are crafted with so much purpose and every moment counts. Exit Music or Tourist are great examples of how music that is apparently slow moving holds your attention by virtue of how well it is developed. This is also one of the reasons they evade quick classification. They avoid choices that may be generic or cliched and their approach to constructing musical moments is what truly reveals their originality. Even though you can hear where some of the pieces of this puzzle come from, you know you haven't really heard something quite like this before and that is an elusive achievement in the prevailing climate in rock music.

Lastly, I had also observed that Radiohead do not necessarily fail to shine in the melodic department. Some of the melodies are great and quite infectious and supply the hooks to Radiohead's otherwise cold, inscrutable world. The coldness comes through in the lyrics as well as Thom Yorke's bitter, whiny style of vocal delivery. But the melodic hooks form an irresistible counterpoint to the cold vocal tone and draw you into the music, creating once again a distinct experience you haven't always come across in rock. Managing a blend of conflicting elements is a mark of great composition and in a broad sense, Radiohead do achieve this to great effect on OK Computer.

Barring Fitter and Happier, this is a very consistent album. Considering its harmless length of under two minutes and the overall significance of this album and the band for modern rock music, that will not stop me giving it all five stars. A masterpiece of modern rock music.

Report this review (#589932)
Posted Saturday, December 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars They don't like to be associated with prog, but there's no denying that on OK Computer Radiohead went full-on art rock. Whilst I don't think it's a five-star classic - it flags a little too much in the second half for that, and Fitter, Happier is just too ludicrously over the top and juvenile for words - it does attain higher peaks than any prior Radiohead album.The album's masterpiece is, of course the pocket symphony which is Paranoid Android - beginning as a political rant, segueing into a strung-out hymn and then returning to the angry diatribe for the conclusion, and in the course of all this proving to the alternative rock crowd that there was something to be gained from cribbing from updating the ideas of the art rock heroes of the past.
Report this review (#628369)
Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've always liked OK Computer, but I don't think it's Radiohead's best album. It was a bit too overrated at the time of release and I'd have to agree with some other reiviews here, it does get self-indugent at times. It lacks warmth and isn't as sentimental as "The Bends". Having said that, it does have some extraordinary moments as well. "Subterranean Homesick Alien", "Let Down" and "No Surprises" are personal favourites and have a lot of emotion in them. These lads have a lot of talent and I saw them put it to use when they toured with this album. There's a lot of enjoyable music here, but the band cannot be compared to Pink Floyd. Three and a half stars.
Report this review (#642610)
Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.2 stars.

Hailed by fans and everyday music listeners as the "Dark Side of the Moon" of the 90s, this depressing, yet satisfying album is a fantastic one. This is the epitome of an album that needs to be played in order and straight through, in order to capture the full effect of Thom Yorke's gloomy and dark subconsciousness. Sometimes blisteringly dissonant and mood- dampening, and at other times melodic and inspired, this musical experiment truly expresses the word "progressive" in the truest sense. "Airbag" is a definite highlight, and "Paranoid Android" is my favorite track (actually, tied with "Karma Police" and "Electioneering" for first place). "Paranoid Android" actually uses a 7/8 time signature, for those of you who adore those types of things as I do. Not to mention that the song is structured in multiple keys and tempo changes and sections. It is progressive in the same sense that "Bohemian Rhapsody" (with which "Paranoid Android" is commonly compared to) is a progressive effort.

This album pushes music and tests out what is possible on instruments. Because of that, Radiohead represents something truly progressive, although not prog rock. All in all, a definite worthy album of any progressive rock fan, and fans of music everywhere.

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Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars If you are considering looking into the second generation of prog rock (Marrilion, Porcupine Tree, etc.) then this is the place to start. Radiohead's third album, Ok Computer is often seen as the modern Dark Side of the Moon. And it is, in my opinion. It is good in creating an environment of music, transitions well, and blends multiple themes in one album still maintaining it's atmosphere.

The album starts with electric guitar and adds in drums. This is "Airbag" the song is about car accidents, which is talked about a lot in the album (ironic how I took drivers ed right when I first started listening to it.) Anyway, there is a good instermental section near 2 and a half minutes, and this song is a highlight for the album. It ends with a beep which takes us into the next track.

Paranoid Android starts acoustic with drumming. It then has some lyrics and progresses into Yorke singing "What's there" and a computer talking in the background about a Paranoid Android. The beginning of it is one of my favorite sections of the album. It changes a little, and suddenly, the electric guitar kicks in somewhere in 2 minutes. It then turns into a loud rock song for a minute, and completely changes. It gets slower then the intro, with many "Ahhs" as Yorke sings "Rain Down" There is also over lyrics after a little. After this, the electric guitar kicks in once again and the song ends with an even better solo. This track is what basically makes this album prog.

We then have "Subterainean Homesick Alien" a title as a play on Dylans "Subteraenian Homesick Blues." The guitar in this song is very alien-ish. The chorus is my favorite part though, singing "Uptight." This is another highlight track on the album.

The next track is quite depressing. "Exit Music (For a Film)." I have yet to see a film with this Exit Music. It starts mainly acoustic, but it won't be for long. A choir is hiding behind the corner and comes in at around 1:27. The song later get's an interesting background noise, sort of avant-grade. Then drums and meletron kick in around three minutes in. It's quite a dramatic song.

Next is one of Radiohead's hits. "Let Down." This song has double lyrics, and a repeating guitar melody. It is a bit hard to understand what Yorke is saying, but that somehow makes this song better. At around 2:30, there is a buildup. This is probably the coolest part. You'll need to listen to this multiple times before you love it.

The next track is one of the best songs on the album for sure. "Karma Police" starts with piano solo and then adds lyrics with drumming and guitar. The lyrics are about hoping someone will get bad Karma. "This is what you'll get." But it is at 2:33 when one of my favorite moments of music comes in. It changes and Yorke sings "For a minute there, I lost myself." It makes me almost faint. The song progresses onward from that. Amazing track.

Then there is one of "those" songs. "Fitter Happier." It is a computer saying some inspirational stuff while music in the background that sounds like it's from Minecraft or something like that.

The next song starts with backwards sound affects. "Electioneering" then adds guitar with the insterment that Bruce Dickenson has a fever for (cowbell). It is a very intense and is about an election.

Then the music gets darker in "Climbing Up the Walls." This song has a deep environment to it. The chorus melody is pretty cool though, especially the guitar and meletron. The song adds more as it goes along and gets scarier in a way. At the end, Yorke starts screaming at the top of his lungs, weird.

Then the mood completely changes in "No Suprises." This song is happier. But it had a glocenshpele. I love that insterment, but this is just kinda boring. I don't really like this one because it is too mellow and sort of ruins the album. Many people love it though, but I don't get it.

Now we have one of the better tracks on the album. "Lucky." Remember how I said how the album has a lot about driving and car accidents? Well this is another one about that. The song is about being lucky not to be in a crash. In the second time the verse comes, there is a choir. It adds intensity to the song and makes it deeper. Lucky is a great song for its feeling.

The album ends in a great way, calming things down. "The Tourist" is the final track. People don't like it because it is too mellow for such a heavy album. However, the melody repeats "Hey man, slow down. Idiot, slow down." With a choir, this part is pure beauty. This song is a perfect conclusion, and it's a good thing that it is, mellow, because, it let's you reflect on the album. One of the best songs for sure.

So, the debate on this is: Is it prog? Yes. In the way you would consider The Moody Blues prog. You can only due so by the whole album.

Ranking of songs: 1. Paranoid Android 2. Karma Police 3. The Tourist 4. Subteraenian Homesick Alien 5. Let Down 6. Airbag 7. Lucky 8. Exit Music (For a Film) 9. Electioneering 10. Climbing Up the Walls 11. No Suprises 12. Fitter Happier

Favorite quote from the album: "For a minute there, I lost myself." -From "Karma Police

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Posted Wednesday, July 1, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm proud to say that "OK Computer" is one of my favorite albums of all time, and that Radiohead is one of my favorite bands.

What "OK Computer" is to Radiohead is a bridge. Any material before "OK Computer" sounds nothing like "Kid A" and other albums and EPs after it. The actual album is somewhere in between - probably more accessible, too, than the before and the after.

"OK Computer" is to Radiohead what "In The Court of The Crimson King" is to King Crimson. Both of different eras and by completely different bands, the albums represent landmarks in their age. Sure, ITCOTCK was King Crimson's first album, and is largely regarded as the first progressive rock album... On the other hand, "OK Computer" is one of the most important albums of the 90s. It has given way to a lot of alternative and progressive rock, and it triggered a minor revival of ambitious concept albums.

It goes without saying that the album created a very pleasing atmosphere. Thom Yorke's vocals are timeless. Pieces such as "Karma Police," "Paranoid Android," "Airbag," and "No Surprises" shine on their own. On the other hand, "Exit Music," "Fitter Happier," and "Electioneer" elevate the album to new heights and act as individual bridges inside the album. Not a single track is out of place.

Radiohead's best album? That may be opinion... One of the most influential albums of the 90s to today? That is fact!

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Posted Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
5 stars After a questionable debut, taking many of the worst aspects of alt rock at the time, and their solid, more refined followup album 'The Bends', Radiohead perfected their initial sound here in their third album, 'OK Computer'. Rather than many tracks that could come off as simple, 'OK Computer' adds layers upon layers of sound to each track, giving the entire album a spacey, futuristic atmosphere, with droning electronic noise on top of distorted guitar, paving the way for some simply excellent soundscapes and atmosphere to complement the alt rock sound that the album has, pushing it far above what would be expected of such an album.

The album keeps its sound very cohesive all throughout, a constant tone that is extremely serious and at times, depressing. The first track 'Airbag' starts the album off extremely strong, with many elements that when listened to closely, almost seem as if they're playing slightly different songs, especially the bass, which plays a riff very similar to that of 'Porcupine Tree's' 'Hatesong' while the other instruments drone on, with the aforementioned electronic noises appearing throughout, all as Thom Yorke sings in his unique way, putting emotion into the music while simultaneously almost sounding as if he doesn't really care, which ends up working out in the song's favour quite significantly. 'Paranoid Android' is an easy choice for best song on the album, or by the band in general, a 3 piece song that simply builds upon itself in each section, starting off with beautiful layered riffs over a vocal melody that set up the extremely dark tone of it, complete with some breathtaking moments, particularly the hook. The song then takes on a much heavier approach, toning down the sonic depth and instead making each individual note from each instrument, along with vocals, be filled with power, all before the third section simply blows everything else out of the water, with some of the most perfect use of vocal harmonies and layering I've ever heard, with amazing use of mellotron on top of this, leading to one of the most powerful moments on the album.

After this point, the majority of the tracks can be put into one of two categories, the extremely atmospheric, relaxing songs, and the ones that are extremely tied to the alternative rock roots of the band. 'Subterranean Homesick Alien', 'Lucky' and 'The Tourist' all fit into this category for me, all heavily focusing on capturing particular emotions and tones, rather than making a catchy song, each sounding simply beautiful, with the last 2 closing off the album amazingly, with a gradual decrease in any sort of intensity, emotional or otherwise, until 'The Tourist' comes on, which is by far the most relaxing song on the album, and by the band in general. On the other end of the spectrum, 'Let Down', 'Karma Police', 'Electioneering' and 'No Surprises' all make for very solid alt rock tunes, with a lot of real depth to each track in terms of sound, even though the songs themselves seem very simple. 'Electioneering' is the exception to this, having a simple structure, but also being very simple and riff driven instead, with a fun, heavily distorted riff that simply allows one to rock out. 'Exit Music (For a Film)' marks easily the most impactful moment on the album, gradually building as everything distorts, starting off as a standard track before ending in something incredibly powerful and cathartic, as even Thom Yorke's usual droning vocals feel much more solemn here. 'Climbing Up the Walls' takes the atmosphere a step further by not making it depressing, as much as eerie, bordering on downright terrifying, with everything having a scratchy quality to it. The song has a very distant, isolated feel to it, with very sparing use of any sort of sound, with the drum beat being incredibly monotonous and simplistic, with any other noise being infrequent, bringing even more attention to the heavy vocal distortion. The other sounds begin coming in as the song progresses, constantly making everything feel more claustrophobic, with even the beautiful string arrangements simply serving to add more contrast to the unpleasant elements of the song, all ending in a chilling scream. 'Fitter Happier' is an odd track to me, because while all it provides is creepiness, I feel like it ties the album together, despite how musically poor it is, since there is very little there other than a robotic voice and minimalistic piano.

This is definitely an incredible album, no matter what genre you insist on putting it in. It's filled with powerful emotion, immersive atmosphere, and expert use of a wide variety of techniques, subsequently leading to a collection of sonically complex compositions, each sounding beautiful and simultaneously impressive when looked at closer. 'Radiohead' significantly refined and improved their sound from their previous two efforts, adding a level of complexity and atmosphere to their alternative rock roots, making for a simply incredible album all around.

Best Songs: Paranoid Android, Exit Music (For A Film), Climbing Up The Walls, Karma Police

Worst Songs: Fitter Happier

Verdict: An extremely good album with a lot of complexity to it, masked by a commercial sound, making it quite easy to listen to while also being quite interesting to analyse. Recommended to anyone who won't whine about a somewhat commercial sound.

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Posted Sunday, January 6, 2019 | Review Permalink
2 stars I recently came across an article about the 20th anniversary of OK Computer as well as another glowing review on PA for Talk Talk's Laughing Stock album around the same time. With neither album being something that I found particularly enjoyable, I figured I would listen back to back after seeing them sit on the shelf for many years to see if I might be wrong about one or both. Here I review Radiohead.

Some people love it but it is not universally hailed as being wonderful is what I have observed. I always liked Paranoid Android but felt the rest was pretty "blah." So what now? Nothing has really changed my overall view and I now realize that the cool parts of Paranoid Android make up but a small part of the song, with the balance being along the lines of the rest of the album. Generic angst is the overall mood I am getting, a "too cool for school" vibe that wants you to either embrace their "vision" or dismiss the whole thing out of hand and they don't really care on which side you fall. These are eclectic but straight forward rock songs for the most part with nothing leaving a lasting impression. You may have the impression or been told you need to hear this album. Trust me, you really don't. 2.5 stars.

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Posted Saturday, January 25, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars Radiohead's OK computer is a classic art rock and alternative rock album. The record has been celebrated by many people and websites, but is OK computer as great as people say it is? The answer would be yes. I am a little biased on the album though as I am not a huge fan of Radiohead and I don't listen to a lot of alternative rock, but I still really enjoyed the album. OK computer has classic songs on it such as Paranoid Android and Karma Police, which are both great popular songs. songs like Airbag and Lucky aren't as well known, but they are also great. All of the songs on the album are great, and the experimentation is there too. I will admit that I do not listen to Radiohead a lot, but they are a great band. OK computer is a classic rock album that is well worth a listen, or five.
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Posted Friday, September 25, 2020 | Review Permalink

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