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OK Computer
     

OK Computer

4.8 58
by Radiohead
 

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The creative leap Radiohead made between its first album, 1993's Pablo Honey, and its second, 1995's The Bends, was both unexpected and expansive, effectively unburdening the group from the one-hit-wonder status they'd lugged around since the success of their gimmicky debut single, "Creep." But if

Overview

The creative leap Radiohead made between its first album, 1993's Pablo Honey, and its second, 1995's The Bends, was both unexpected and expansive, effectively unburdening the group from the one-hit-wonder status they'd lugged around since the success of their gimmicky debut single, "Creep." But if The Bends garnered the English quintet some much-needed artistic credibility, the astonishing emotional and compositional complexity of 1997's OK Computer catapulted the group into the realm of idolatry. Essentially a post-Orwellian meditation on the debilitating clutter of modern life and the desire to escape from it, OK Computer is art-rock at its most rewarding and contradictory -- subtly layered but startlingly bombastic, melancholic but beautifully serene, fractured and chaotic but completely sure of its own sonic ambition. With Thom Yorke's cracked yowl as its center, the album takes countless schizophrenic twists and turns -- from the multi-segmented anxiety opera "Paranoid Android" to the bleak, languorous despair of "Exit Music (for a Film)" -- all the while maintaining its sense of dark, slowly unfolding drama. Figure in waves of disorienting guitar effects, barely there rhythmic undercurrents, and eerie, ambient washes, and you've got one of the few rock masterpieces of the '90s.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Using the textured soundscapes of The Bends as a launching pad, Radiohead delivered another startlingly accomplished set of modern guitar rock with OK Computer. The anthemic guitar heroics present on Pablo Honey and even The Bends are nowhere to be heard here. Radiohead have stripped away many of the obvious elements of guitar rock, creating music that is subtle and textured yet still has the feeling of rock & roll. Even at its most adventurous -- such as the complex, multi-segmented "Paranoid Android" -- the band is tight, melodic, and muscular, and Thom Yorke's voice effortlessly shifts from a sweet falsetto to vicious snarls. It's a thoroughly astonishing demonstration of musical virtuosity and becomes even more impressive with repeated listens, which reveal subtleties like electronica rhythms, eerie keyboards, odd time signatures, and complex syncopations. Yet all of this would simply be showmanship if the songs weren't strong in themselves, and OK Computer is filled with moody masterpieces, from the shimmering "Subterranean Homesick Alien" and the sighing "Karma Police" to the gothic crawl of "Exit Music (For a Film)." OK Computer is the album that establishes Radiohead as one of the most inventive and rewarding guitar rock bands of the '90s.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/01/1997
Label:
Parlophone (Wea)
UPC:
0724385522925
catalogNumber:
552294

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OK Computer 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago