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Radiohead - Pablo Honey CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.52 | 376 ratings

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3 stars Poor old Pablo Honey. Like Opeth's Orchid, I think PH is unfairly picked on simply because of the greatness of what came later, not because it's actually a bad record.

As everyone points out, this isn't progressive at all. It's an introspective, slightly sour-faced pop- rock record. But for my money it's quite a good one. Both the opener, You, and the closer, Blow Out, are a bit weak and shapeless but inbetween it's pretty much nothing but solid, fairly catchy little numbers.

Creep is THE hit single and the "ch-chunk" of the guitar before the chorus is still one of the greatest moments in pop song history. None of the other singles from the album had this impact, though I quite enjoy the widescreen build-up of Stop Whispering, the very U2-like song that started the U2 comparisons (which seem ludicrous now given Radiohead's later output) and Anyone Can Play Guitar... well yeah it's not that great either but nor is it rubbish, getting a bit of nice grungy guitar in there. A far better single choice than Anyone Can Play Guitar would've been the exciting and hook packed Ripcord, an overlooked belter.

The band also rampages on How Do You, still one of the rockingest things they've ever done, and goes completely the other way with Thinking About You, a bare, painfully intimate acoustic number. Yorke's lyrics here are a bit juvenile but they still resonate a little too closely for some of Radiohead's fanbase- I should know, I was one of them. I Can't is my other favorite from the album and might also have made a good single with its slow, relaxed but catchy and poignant chorus.

No they didn't sound like the future of music but nor is this the pile of poo I frequently hear it described as (sometimes by the band). It's certainly not essential listening for prog fans but it wasn't made as prog so it seems a bit silly to mark it down for not being prog. But if you want some alternative pop-rock, Pablo Honey does the job competently bar a few forgettable moments.

Textbook | 3/5 |


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