Monday, November 28, 2011

Radiohead: OK Computer

"I first heard Radiohead at the Hammerstein Ballroom in 1997, during their OK Computer tour. The second song on the setlist was 'Just,' with its octatonic scale spiraling gigantically upward; I was converted. I wrote at the time: 'OK Computer has fewer stately airs than The Bends, but it adds layer upon layer of weird beauty. The sound is somehow tall: ideas unwind in every register. "Paranoid Android" is a symphony in six minutes, moving from a shuffling introduction to a hardcore scherzo, then from a slow chorale on the words "From a great height" to a hammering coda. Throughout the album, contrasts of mood and style are extreme: a couple of the songs could almost have been sung by Sinatra (or so it's fun to imagine), while a couple of others, rescored for bass clarinets, might win appreciative shrugs from new-music cognoscenti at the Knitting Factory. This band has pulled off one of the great art-pop balancing acts in the history of rock'" (Alex Ross, "Radiohead in New York," The Rest Is Noise, 9/25/11).
View catalog record here!


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