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Radiohead - OK Computer
Label: Capitol Records
Release: 1997

Paranoid Android
Subterranean Homesick Alien
Exit Music (For A Film)
Let Down
Karma Police
Fitter Happier
Climbing Up The Walls
No Surprises
The Tourist
OK Computer - Radiohead
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Average Blamo User Rating: (87 votes)

This is an album I don't want to skip a minute of. You know how most albums have some songs that are just too long and you skip ont he the next track before the song is over? Actually, honestly most albums have at least one or two whole songs that you skip over. Well "OK Computer" isn't most albums.

The first song "Airbag" has a great ending that entices you to keep listening, but it's the second song, "Paranoid Android" that really sets the stage for the album. The song has a beautiful melody and unique song structure coupled with some good old rock guitar for good measure. The song also introduces very well a sort of theme for the album. The album probably means something different to everyone but to me it's about people who feel alienated and have trouble coping with todays hi-tech world, both at home and at work, but who will get theirs eventually against the many heartless people that seem to handle the same issues so easily. Snippets of a computer talking can be heard throughout the song, and you can hear the entire monologue later in the album, after their Beatles-worthy song of pop perfection "Karma Police"

They take inspiration from Shakespeare with a song based on the story of Romeo and Juliet, "Exit Music (for a film)" that is a melancholy gem of a song with sparse instrumentation like the two star crossed lovers of the play are speaking from the grave.

Then the music cheers up (but maybe not the subject matter) with the beautiful "Let Down" - great chorus, shimmering catchy music, and yet like all great pop they sneak in enough substance you can still listen to it over and over. Then comes the aforementioned Karma Police (maybe the Beatles come to mind because of the piano in the song, whatever it is Beatles-like may be the highest compliment I can give a song)

There are maybe two more songs I'd like to mention. The gentle music-box melody of "No Surpises" and the unforgettable "Lucky" stand out near the end of the album.

C'mon you don't get much better than this -- you owe it to your own ears to at least listen to OK Computer. I doubt once you start you'll want to miss a minute either.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

A brilliant album, frankly. Radiohead's best & one of the finest records to appear in the '90s.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

Not since "Dark Side Of The Moon" has an album had such an explosive impact of the face of British music. Undoubtedly the Oxford five-piece's greatest work, OK Computer takes twelve snapshots of the world sticks them in your face, no matter how hard you try to ignore them.

The album takes a slow rise and fall shape, with tensions rising through the first 7 tracks and exploding in cacophonies of noise in "Electioneering" and "Climbing Up Walls". "No Surprises", "Lucky" and "The Tourist" (a Jonny Greenwood piece) provide the calm after the storm. The first 7 tracks contain elements of tensions which explode momentarily - in the hyper-complex, modern prog-rock masterpiece "Paranoid Android", producer Nigel Godrich's fine clipping of Greenwood's effects at the end of "Airbag" and in a fuzz bass driven cacophony in "Exit Music (for a film)" - one of the two songs Radiohead submitted to Baz Luhrmann's production of Romeo and Juliet.

Denied to be a concept album by Yorke, "OK Computer" undeniably comes from a man who is looking at the world and does not like what he sees. Similary he knows that there is nothing he can do to escape it for longer than about 4mins 30 secs ("Paranoid Android" being the exception). The desire to escape seems to permeate through the album as the only real consistent theme, apart from brief appearances by fear and paranoia. The exhiliaration after a avoiding a car crash ("Airbag"), exagerrated emotions (Paranoid Android), belief in aliens ("Subterranean Homesick Alien") and losing yourself in the rapid hubbub of the modern world ("Let Down") all prove to be short-term methods of freeing yourself from the invitable. In the end however, escape is impossible - the only option is to lie back and be satisfied that the world is not the way it is supposed to be, but fuck it - "i'll take a quiet life, a handshake - with no alarms and no surpises."

"OK Computer" is a unique album in the sense that it appears to be everything it complains about - a concept, which has changed the way we think about ourselves and the world. It is not a new thing to state that the world is heading for a cataclysmic emotional apocalypse, but the fact that someone has done it as well as this almost reduces a thinking person to tears. The greatest album of all time? Yes.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

My Favorite Radiohead album, and a masterpiece of music and experimentation gone right. The emotion this record exudes can still be resonated the same way as when I first listened to it. This is by far their best album and one of my favorites of all time. I don't think Radiohead will ever top themselves after the release of OK Computer. This album has such special meaning and feeling to the true radiohead fan's heart. We love it and wouldn't trade it for anything.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

I was only seven when this was released, and have only discovered Radiohead recently. I decided to buy it having held a love for the song Karma Police. But I wanted something 'different' to listen to and knew at least that this album would provide that.

So I listened to it once. I wasn't hooked, or 'blown away', but interested in the strange music filling the room, and in particular, Thom Yorke's cracked, haunting voice.

So I listened a second, this time becoming more interested.

And on the third time around, I found that I was gripped.

Truely, truely, this is a stunning album. I might not have the multitude of hit singles expected from records carrying the tag of 'greatest album of all time', but no matter. It is simply because the songs are too complex and, in some cases, subtly beautiful to be released on their own. But this does nothing to detract from how good they are. At all.

There is not one single song on this album that could be excluded without reducing the album in some way. There are no filler tracks and every one have a point to prove. Similarly, I could not choose what my favourite song from this album is. I loved every one.

You have to buy this album. In twenty, thirty years when you dig out your old CDs this is the one which will stand out. This is the one which will silence yours kids when they laugh at the music you listened to when you were their age. Play them this album - that'll shut them up.

Reviewer Rating of CD :


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