Tanner Babcock

Radiohead

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Year Title Rating
1993 Pablo Honey 4.5/10
1995 The Bends 5.5/10
1997 OK Computer 7/10
2000 Kid A 7.5/10
2001 Amnesiac 7.5/10
2002 I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings 6.5/10
2003 Hail to the Thief 5.5/10
2007 In Rainbows 6.5/10
2011 The King of Limbs 6/10
2016 A Moon Shaped Pool 6/10

How can anyone still listen to this overhyped, substanceless, commercialism incarnate? Is anyone still under the impression that Radiohead were inspired or influenced by anything at all? Radiohead is the music industry's shallowest and most successful marketing gimmick since the Beatles. They've successfully tricked the music-listening populous that their hollow bone-dry emotionless studio manipulations are in fact compelling and meaningful. They are simply the next generation of pop music, catchy tunes for the 21st century. They are The Beatles 2.0, an easily-digestible alternative to thinking for the NME PBR-drinking Wonderwall-covering Generation X. Everyone who listens to Radiohead will tell you "oh, Pablo Honey sucks, 'Creep' sucks, but everything else they did is amazing!" What these half-baked Radio listeners don't notice is that every Radiohead album is a reworked Pablo Honey. Every Radiohead song is the exact formula for "Creep", copy-pasted, but with a new little studio trick every time.

"No Surprises" is Creep with bells. "Karma Police" is Creep with piano. "The National Anthem" is Creep with Miles Davis saxophone. "Idioteque" is Creep with Aphex Twin IDM. "Pyramid Song" is Creep with a string quartet. "Life in a Glasshouse" is Creep with a horn arrangement. These studio tricks were decided upon by a team of corporate executives, like the creative elements of every million-dollar pop album. There's a reason Radiohead always manages to stay fashionable. It's because the executives at Capitol and Parlophone ensure that they stay fashionable.

The formula the original incarnation of Radiohead used for their generation-defining smash hit, is the exact same pop music formula The Beatles used for all of their chart-topping dime-a-dozen cute-white-boy "concept" albums. It's the formula of marketing. It's the same formula Pepsi uses to sell you soft drinks, the same formula McDonald's uses to sell you Big Macs and french fries. You like the million-dollar big-budget chart topper because Capitol Records wants you to. This music is safe and accessible by design, there's nothing about it that's particularly alienating or challenging or provocative, because it was designed to sell as many copies as possible.