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.
Performance CreditsRadiohead Primary Artist
Nick Ingman Conductor
Technical CreditsRadiohead String Arrangements
Colin Greenwood Composer,Contributor
Jonny Greenwood Composer,Contributor
Ed O'Brien Composer,Contributor
Phil Selway Composer,Contributor
Thom Yorke Composer,Contributor
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