I’m familiar with exactly two Radiohead albums, “The Bends” (1995) and “OK Computer” (1997). I quite enjoy both of the albums, and decided that reviewing one would be good for my soul, after the disappointment that was Snoop Dogg, and the struggle that was Michael Bolton. I figure I’d go and review the better of the two albums, “OK Computer” seeing as it has one of my favorite songs of all time on it – “Paranoid Android.”
I could probably write an entire piece about “Paranoid Android”; critically analyze the lyrics, dive into how it’s tempo and mood swings make me feel, but what about the album as a whole? Not every song on “OK Computer” blows me away like “Paranoid Android” but every song doesn’t need to. “Subterranean Homesick Alien” lulls me into an awe-inspired daydream with guitar and keyboard harmonies, “No Surprises” is just a downright beautiful song with a moving xylophone part; almost every song on “OK Computer” is pleasant to listen to at some point or another thanks to thoughtful instrumental composition and the delivery of emotion through Thom Yorke’s voice. I say almost every as “Electioneering”; with it’s rocking cowbell banger attitude, doesn’t sound like it belongs and doesn’t match the tone of “OK Computer” and its larger motifs.
One of the last things I have to say about “OK Computer” is that I find it emotionally flexible; which may have more to do with myself and how I interpret and feel out the songs, but nonetheless I felt like ending this piece by mentioning this. I don’t feel like Radiohead forces any single emotion throughout the album, or even in a single song. Everything is complex enough that given the right conditions any song could make me feel one thing, and then another the next time I listened to it. Whatever mood you’re in, Radiohead’s “OK Computer” has you covered.