Hail to the Thief [Explicit Lyrics]

( 45 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Since the release of 1997's OK Computer, Radiohead have grown consistently more adventurous -- and, in some ways, consistently more obscure. Hail to the Thief, which was initially described as something of a return to the song-based dynamic of the band's earlier work, is anything but; it is, however, another fascinating turn on the long and winding road that Thom Yorke and company are staking out. The jarring tone of the thrashing "2 + 2 = 5" seems to indicate that a heavy rock mood is in store, but that supposition is set aside by densely layered electronic tracks, such as the 9-11 meditation "The Gloaming" and "Backdrifts," an ambient piece that swirls like the more ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Since the release of 1997's OK Computer, Radiohead have grown consistently more adventurous -- and, in some ways, consistently more obscure. Hail to the Thief, which was initially described as something of a return to the song-based dynamic of the band's earlier work, is anything but; it is, however, another fascinating turn on the long and winding road that Thom Yorke and company are staking out. The jarring tone of the thrashing "2 + 2 = 5" seems to indicate that a heavy rock mood is in store, but that supposition is set aside by densely layered electronic tracks, such as the 9-11 meditation "The Gloaming" and "Backdrifts," an ambient piece that swirls like the more elegiac end of Spiritualized. Yorke has grown more confident about standing -- figuratively speaking, of course -- naked before his audience, and Hail has its share of stripped-bare moments, the best of which might be "Sail to the Moon," a piano-laced ballad that threatens to drift into the ether. Yorke is equally revelatory on "I Will," a fretful wisp of a song that hints at a fear of impending apocalypse. His mates don't exactly slough off, of course: Jonny Greenwood's guitar elevates the surprisingly warm "Scatterbrain," while his bass-slinging brother Colin takes the reins on the fuzzy, enveloping "Myxomatosis." While not as whiplash-inducing in its innovation as some of Radiohead's albums, Hail to the Thief is richly textured and whip-smart enough to keep fans bowing in awe.
All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Radiohead's admittedly assumed dilemma: how to push things forward using just the right amounts of the old and the older in order to please both sides of the divide? Taking advantage of their longest running time to date, enough space is provided to quench the thirsts of resolute Bends devotees without losing the adventurous drive or experimentation that eventually got the group into hot water with many of those same listeners. Guitars churn and chime and sound like guitars more often than not; drums are more likely to be played by a human; and discernible verses are more frequently trailed by discernible choruses. So, whether or not the group is to be considered "back," there is a certain return to relatively traditional songcraft. Had the opening "2 + 2 = 5" and "Sit Down. Stand Up." been made two years before, each song's slowly swelling intensity would have plateaued a couple minutes in, functioning as mood pieces without any release; instead, each boils over into its own cathartic tantrum. The spook-filled "Sail to the Moon," one of several songs featuring prominent piano, rivals "Street Spirit" and hovers compellingly without much sense of force carrying it along. Somewhat ironically, minus a handful of the more conventionally structured songs, the album would be almost as fractured, remote, and challenging as Amnesiac. "Backdrifts" and "The Gloaming" feature nervous electronic backdrops, while the emaciated "We Suck Young Blood" is a laggard processional that, save for one outburst, shuffles along uneasily. At nearly an hour in length, this album doesn't unleash the terse blow delivered by its two predecessors. However, despite the fact that it seems more like a bunch of songs on a disc rather than a singular body, its impact is substantial. Regardless of all the debates surrounding the group, Radiohead have entered a second decade of record-making with a surplus of momentum.
Rolling Stone - Toure
There are so many delicious melodies here, so much that's both soothing and twisted and catchy, so much to sing along with, even if our prognosis is grim.
Spin Magazine - Will Hermes
Thief seesaws between the chill of sequencers and the warmth of fingers on strings and keys, like roommates having a stereo war. Yet the tension somehow holds things together. (A)
Entertainment Weekly - Rob Brunner
[There's] more focus on writing songs -- icily elegant compositions that move and build on themselves and carry you along with them, not just out-there textures and effects. (A-)

There are so many delicious melodies here, so much that's both soothing and twisted and catchy, so much to sing along with, even if our prognosis is grim.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/10/2003
  • Label: Parlophone (Wea)
  • UPC: 724358454321
  • Catalog Number: 845435
  • Sales rank: 30,868

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Radiohead Primary Artist, Track Performer
Colin Greenwood Bass, Strings, Sampling, Synthesizer Strings
Jonny Greenwood Guitar, Glockenspiel, Voices, Ondes Martenot, Ondes Martenot, Toy Piano, Analogue Synthesizer, Ondes Martenot
Ed O'Brien Guitar, Vocals, Voices
Phil Selway Percussion, Drums
Thom Yorke Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Voices
Technical Credits
Radiohead Composer
Nigel Godrich Producer, Engineer, Operation, Engineering
Colin Greenwood Composer
Jonny Greenwood Composer
Ed O'Brien Composer
Phil Selway Composer
Thom Yorke Composer, Lyricist
Graeme Stewart Engineer
Stanley Donwood Paintings
Darrell Thorp Engineer, Catalog Reissue Supervisor
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(31)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Album

    When I first started listening to Radiohead I could only listen to the more "poppy" songs in the Bends and OK Computer. After a while I realized Radiohead's real genius is in their more recent music. Hail to the Thief is by far my favorite Radiohead CD. It's great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Another great album from a great band

    Radiohead is a band that has explored many different techniques and styles throughout their time together. They grow with each album, and Hail to the Thief is no exception. Great albums achieve unity as a whole, but incorporate variety to keep interest. Hail to the Thief is a CD that I have to listen to all the way through; there aren't any songs I want to skip. It has a great energy about it that ties it all together, whether it is a calmer song like "Backdrifts" or the powerful "Myxomatosis." The CD also seems to have an overall theme, which honestly I’m not sure I can pinpoint. It has an overall unity in the ups and downs of the energy, yet it’s not monotonous or repetitive. A great album must have brilliant musicians and Radiohead has some of the best around. Thom Yorke has the ability to make lyrics that to the average person could seem illogical seem intriguing. Of course the lyrics are only a part of what makes the music great, each musician has amazing ability at several instruments and they combine their abilities into a masterpiece. There’s an energy in the music that they put together that cannot be overlooked. Not one part of any song is ever lacking, the drums-amazing, guitar-wonderful, bass-brilliant; and they always know which part to emphasize. The composition of the music is obviously carefully thought out because as artists they couldn’t bare to produce anything less than perfect. A truly great album can also withstand the change of time. This album will be just as powerful and intriguing 5 or 10 years down the road, it’s a CD that will not be forgotten. While it’s only been a year since the release, I still find myself craving to enter the world that they created. Even people who aren’t Radiohead fans tend to say that they don’t necessarily like them, but that they can recognize their talent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great, unique stuff

    Radiohead is a quite distictive band with distinctive music, and this album showcases this quite well. Personally, I love all of the songs, just because of the cool and unique structure and sound but I would have to admit that if I could only listen to one song on the cd, it would be "wolf at the door". Truly powerful and awesome are the only words I can use to desribe this song. If you don't believe me, listen to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Unique Sound

    I'm not a huge Radiohead fan, but I bought this album and am consistently intrigued by their songs. The lyrics seem to ride the line between meaningful and pointless gibberish sometimes, but the sounds they use are intriguing. I'd just like to add that one of my favorite tracks is turning out to be "Punchout at a Wedding (no no no..)", due to its prominent bassline and more minimalist jazzy tone, so I reccomend that one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Cabeza del Radio::::::::::::::

    Thom and co. come in with some very very impressive licks here. Radiohead is quite simply the greatest band of all time. They have covered more rock and freaking roll ground than any other band in existence. The bbbbbbeats and shear genius of 'The Gloaming' cannot be matched. CANNOT.'2+2=5'rocks your lame buttocks. 'Sail to the moon'is unbelievable. Quite. Just as good as the mighty 'computer' and the amazing 'bends' or EL KID A. Hail, hail, h a i l.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Radiohead delivers again

    I was a little apprehensive when I bought this album (yet I felt it was my duty to buy it, given that I am obsessed with Radiohead.) My advice: ignore all the negative reviews and give this album a listen anyways. It's really, really good, and contains possibly some of the band's best work ever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    They've done it again!

    Hail To The Theif is another Radiohead and rock achievement . It sound more intimate and there is a piece of every album . So it sounds like your listening to all their albums on one CD . Radiohead still rules ! LONG LIVE RADIOHEAD .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dense, layered masterpiece.

    Usual Radiohead brilliance with hard-hitting lyrics and dense, dark atmosphere. Musically Radiohead are always trying something new and adding layers, but "Hail to the Thief" also includes fantastic lyrics that are absolute poetry. This is also a very timely record. Radiohead's "Hail to the Thief" could not be more appropriate in our paranoid world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    For Intelligent, open minded people

    It's definitely not an accessible album, and doesn't have the out of this world songs like OK Computer, but it's very challenging and to glean the goodness you have to have some sense of appreciation for the artists and what they do. The songcraft is taken to another level. I agree with a previous reviewer in saying that the Pablo Honey fans won't take much liking to this album; this is true, because Pablo Honey is the black sheep of their discography. Excellent stuff here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    subtle yet powerful

    Every time I listen to this cd I like it more. Great rock album. We had not been paying attention. yep.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A fine piece

    Tough its mixed recieving, this album is one who every music lover should listen to. Radiohead won't make new fans with this album - as they have so many fans already - because it combines OK Computer with Kid A and Amnesiac. Yet they try to push further. Maybe some songs could be left out - hmmmm, or maybe not, i miss them already :-).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Spectacular!!!

    I LOVE this CD! I've been listening to Radiohead since Pablo Honey, and do you know what I've noticed? I've noticed that they have always sounded agitated in the studio. Eaven when they came out with OK Computer they sounded like they were trying too hard to make the perfect studio release. When they put their heads together to make Amnesiac, Radiohead had finally did make the perfect studio release. Now with the release of Hail To The Thief, Radiohead continued to head in the direction that Amnesiac pointed them in an created annother tour de fource!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Another brilliant Radiohead album

    Even though it may be a little difficult on first listening, as most of RH albums, this one grows on you quickly. Its unique sound drives you to new, magical worlds and every RH fan, from The Bends through Ok Computer and Amnesiac should be satisfied.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Far from their best!!

    I'm having great difficulty following Radiohead's evolution (if it can be called that). Some may call it artistic expression or musical genius or their "new sound". Yes, there is some creativity but the bottom line remains the same: too much fluff and little substance. The band's songs used to be guitar-driven (rock and acoustic) and very melodic (remember Pablo Honey and The Bends and OK Computer?). Now, the songs are excessively electronic (didn't it get on everyone else's nerves when the trend was for bands to use excessive electronic effects and call it music during the early 80s???????). Radiohead is progressively sounding more like a jazz band rather than a rock group (for a lack of a better term). When Radiohead came out with OK Computer, I thought it was pure gold and the most impressive step up from their previous work. Since then, they've not put out anything that's greatly impressed me. The electronics and attempts at writing songs on piano (which sounds more like jazz) are only distractions from their real musical talent and creativity. Anybody can disagree with me. I can't stand to listen to Backdrifts, The Gloaming, or I Will. The worst song on the CD is We Suck Young Blood. Was the in-your-face clap throughout the song really necessary? Maybe it was a joke. 2 + 2 = 5 sounded much like their heavier stuff from The Bends. Go to Sleep is great, with the acoustic guitars. Thom's best songs have been written on an acoustic. There There is awesome. My favorite song on the CD is Scatterbrain. It's a little jazzy but the melody is so pretty that it's maybe one of the best songs in a long time (Knives Out was the only song I liked on Amnesiac). I hope the fans will not support this work but will beg Radiohead to lay off the electronics and pianos and please get back to the guitars!!! Strip away the fluff and turn out some real gold. Regardless of their new stuff, there are no better songs than Airbag or Fake Plastic Trees or High And Dry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Disappointment

    During the sessions for this album, the word was that this was going to be Radiohead’s return to guitar-based rock. Well, no such luck. 'Hail To The Thief' is a continuation of the experimental leanings heard on 'Kid A' and 'Amnesiac', but with diminishing returns. The band is still staying away from anything resembling traditional verse-chorus-verse songs, and your enthusiasm for the album will be in direct proportion to your tolerance for the direction their music has taken. Even so, this is not a strong set of songs; the music is simply unmemorable, with little to draw the listener in and stay in the mind. Atmospheric and impressionistic, but ultimately self-indulgent and snooze-inducing, it’s their weakest album.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Nothing New

    Those Radiohead fans who've been listening since "Pablo Honey" aren't likely to hear anything new or innovating or exciting on this cd. Those fans that climbed aboard after hearing "OK Comptuer" will probably enjoy this cd. Even though they've pulled back a little bit on the electronic noise it's still very "Amnesiac" and "Kid A" like. Other than the songs "2+2=5" and "Go to Sleep" this album is sadly uneventful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Radiohead strike again ...

    I suppose it is sort of cliche' to praise radiohead at this point. Sometimes I wonder with all the critics constantly droaning about the band's brilliance (of you never know if you should believe critics at any time). Hail to the Thief, is of course, spectacular. The boys from Oxford continue to do more of the same, (namely a lot of the blips and whirs of the post 'OK Computer' era) and mix it with new things that blow you away -- like the dirty bass line heading my favorite track - 'myxomotosis.' Quickly approaching my 30s, I remember discovering the band in college w/ Pablo Honey. As many fans will say though, the record that will hook you is "The Bends." It was all over for me. Now, I can't seem to tolerate the 'fridge buzz' of mainstream radio; and radiohead are my solace. I am seeing them for the first time at the Auburn, WA show -- Aug. 31. I have a feeling it will be something of a religious experience. The moral of the 'review?': Buy this record, buy all the others, buy the maxi-single / imports, and buy the DVD "Meeting People is Easy." You're doing your musical conciousness a huge favor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Too soon to judge new Radiohead

    Everyone is saying the new Radiohead is either a mix between Ok Computer and The Bends, or OK Computer and Kid A and Amnesiac, and they are basically right. It contains elements of all those albums, but that doesn't really make it better than any of them. This is a very good album, I'd say better than Amnesiac and Kid A, maybe better than the Bends, but not better than OK Computer. Now that I'm writing this I'm not sure why I feel the need to rank all the Radiohead albums, especially since this one just came out so it's really impossible to tell how it will hold up. The thing about this album is, about 75% of the songs are incredible, and the other quarter are just decent. Other Radiohead albums are more consistent. Thom Yorke said this is a good album to listen to with a lover, or it's a romantic album, he said something to that effect, but who knows what the hell he meant by that. I think it's a good album to listen to while chopping vegetables for dinner. By the way, Bastone, thanks for recommending Nirvana, I never heard of them before.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Radiohead The Last Great Rock Band

    Before "Hail to the Thief" was released I was thinking, "Radiohead can't get any better. They have reached the pinnacle of genius. I don't see how the new album can be that original." Fusing jazz, techno, straight ahead guitar rock with Thom Yorke's signature passionate voice Radiohead have proven to me once again that they are more than just another cryptic, artsy-alternative band. Lyrically the songs on "Hail to the Thief" are more literal and less esoteric. Thom sings about love, loneliness, being the outcast, being ugly, being a freak with sincerity, passion and absolutely no melodrama. This album lacks the pretentiousness of "KID A" (thankfully) and the obscurity of "Amnesiac." If you are still reading this you are obviously a fan and therefore already know all this. If you don't know what I'm talking about GO OUT AND BUY THE CD!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Is it your birthday?

    Yes it's a procession of progress and it's ok. He got his sixgun back but was amnesia just a holiday? Trust me that's all I am going to say. Ok... ok. Yes they're exhuming angels with one foot on display. It's the shiny spires that are showing the way.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews