Radiohead - OK Computer - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Radiohead - OK Computer

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:1997-05-01

Whilst one suspects some kind of pre-millennial hysteria prompted Q magazine's readers to vote OK Computer The Greatest Album Ever Made scarcely five months after its release, it certainly doesn't look stupid up there in the pantheon. Following the hot red rock attack of 1995's The Bends, OK Computer heads out into the cold deep space of prog-rock and comes back with stuff that makes mere pop earthlings like Stereophonics tremble. Whilst the eight-minute-long "Paranoid Android" comes across like "Bohemian Rhapsody" with a gun held to its head, and "Electioneering" is a little too like a kiddy-version of Blood And Chocolate-era Elvis Costello to be truly revelatory, the rest of OK Computer spans the sublime to the ridiculously sublime. Thom Yorke had been obsessed with Ennio Morricone during the recording of the album (in a haunted mansion, fact-fans), and it shows on the expansive space-dream of "Subterranean Homesick Alien" and the endlessly comforting closer "The Tourist". And if neither "No Surprises" (played on a toy guitar with Yorke and Ed O'Brien harmonising like a two-man Crowded House) nor "Lucky" (recorded in one day for the Bosnian aid album War Child--it reduced Yorke to tears the first time he heard it played back) make the hairs on your skin spit with electricity, then maybe you're with the Q reader who voted for Anita by Anita Dobson. --Caitlin Moran

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