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Radiohead - Hail To The Thief CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.44 | 450 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Radiohead reviews are always all over the board. You have those who love them and those that hate them and those that are somewhere in between, which I suppose is true for most bands, but if just seems so evenly distributed with listeners when it comes to Radiohead. They are a band that I love to listen to and that I appreciate, but it usually takes me time to get used to some of their albums where others just seem to attract me right off the bat. But, eventually I come to appreciate their innovativeness, their experimentation in different sounds and the genius of their music.

"Hail to the Thief" was one of the ones that took me a little more time to appreciate. Even though I don't consider it their absolute best, it is better than some and it is quite good. When the album was made, the band had decided not to spend so much time in making the songs so "perfect" as they had on the last 2 albums, which were "Kid A" and "Amnesiac" both of which were quite experimental and mostly electronic. This songs were done more spontaneously. In fact, Yorke said that they got to where they were producing and recording a song per day.

This album also sees a return to a more guitar based sound while still maintaining a lot of electronic elements. The songs here are much more varied, some concentrating on the use of electronics and others are more organic using traditional rock instruments. In my opinion, what you get here is a good variety of both styles with quality songs. The music is much more focused and accessible than it was on the previous two albums. Even with it's accessibility, it still has it's share of challenges, and it is a far cry from being traditional pop. There are the more rock oriented songs like "There There", "Punchup at a Wedding", and "Sit Down, Stand Up". And there are the more electronic based songs which are more experimental like the amazingly emotional "We Suck Young Blood", "The Gloaming", "Myxomatosis" and so on. Yet, amongst these tracks there are elements of both styles, and the songs tend to give us the best of both worlds.

I don't think it is necessary to go into a lot of detail about the album beyond this because it has been reviewed a lot on this site and you can read so many different opinions about it here and make your own decisions. There always seems to be a war about whether this band is progressive or not, but I can easily hear the progressive elements because the sound is definitely non- traditional and I can consider it progressive even if the songs are not epics, they don't always have to be, do they? Radiohead always keep their songs around 4-5 minutes or less, but there is always a lot of ingenuity packed into those songs. Even though this is not a masterpiece, it is still an excellent album and I can easily give it 4 stars without hesitation.

TCat | 4/5 |


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