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Radiohead - Pablo Honey CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.52 | 376 ratings

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3 stars Radiohead's first release in 1993, 'Pablo Honey', is vastly underrated. There, I said it.

It isn't very deep at all. There's virtually nothing about it that is classifiable as prog. Except maybe for 'Blow Out'. But I think there is some promise there of the band that was to come.

If you take it simply as a post-grunge, early Britpop album, you'll enjoy it a lot more. Opener 'You' is a fine alt. rock song, and sounds like it inspired a generation of like-minded bands, such as Muse, for example. 'Creep' was of course a blessing and a curse for the band. It remains their best known song in the mainstream, but it nearly ruined their career. Everyone expected another Creep, and The Bends was something different altogether. Still, Creep is a perfectly decent song. Overplayed, but still good.

Tracks like 'How Do You?' and 'Anyone Can Play Guitar' sound like bratty punk-inflected college rock, and 'Stop Whispering' and 'Thinking About You' are solid pop songs. Coldplay probably took notes from these two latter tracks, actually.

Radiohead probably would have been a long-forgotten footnote in rock history if it wasn't for 'Creep' being included on their first album, though. It's the only track here that is truly essential to 'Head fans. Well, actually, I like 'You' a lot, as well.

Don't expect prog at all. It isn't challenging any musical conventions in the slightest. Remember, this was recorded in 93, when everyone was wearing torn denim jeans, flannelete shirts, and trying to sound like Kurt Cobain. The early 90s Seattle scene was about 'antimusic' and DIY philosophy, much like the earlier punk revolution in the 70s. Radiohead were born out of this scene, but boy, did they evolve into something special.

Give it a spin every once in a while for novelty value. Radiohead fans cringe at this disc. Britpoppers do quite like it, and wish the Head would return to their rock roots.

Hell, The Beatles sounded samey on their first few records before they started branching out...

Kashmir75 | 3/5 |


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