Hail to the Thief

I just picked up the new Radiohead this morning in the nifty special edition package. I haven’t even heard the last 4 songs on the album yet, so don’t consider these my final impressions.

I don’t like it that much. The music is so alien, aloof, and obtuse that there is really nothing in it to latch on to or distinguish the songs from each other. Even at their most abstract, Radiohead has always maintained a level a pop sensibility in their music. Think of the bass line in ‘Pakt Like Sardines in a Tin Can’ or the breakbeat and Egyption sounds of ‘Airbag’ and you’ll know what I mean. Hail to the Thief seems to have none of this. Or, at least, what’s there is boring and all sounds the same. ‘There, There’, the first single, is the only song I can even distinctly remember off the album. Maybe I should say it’s the only one that doesn’t go out of it’s way to make use of weird, unsatisfying chord changes and uncommon time signatures for no understandable reason. At least the lyrics as printed in the packaging look promising…and incredibly, characteristically ambiguous.

Well, whatever. I thouroughly enjoy every previous Radiohead album, so maybe I’ll feel the same about this one in a week.

With a few exceptions your description (“alien, aloof, and obtuse”) perfectly describes my response to ALL radiohead, so I probably won’t like this one either.

I’ve been listening to most of these songs since last summer and had that leaked mix from back in February. This album is definitely a grower. 2 + 2 = 5 is a great opener and Backdrifts is one of my favorite Radiohead tracks now. Sit Down, Stand Up is phenomenal live, the album version really doesn’t do it justice. Go to Sleep is as sensically popical as anything they’ve done since OKC.

There There has lost something since they first started playing it, and that’s really too bad. The album version is nice, but last year it kicked ass. Where I End and You Begin is beautiful, plus the ending is great. And A Wolf at the Door is yet another excellent closing track. I can’t see “alien, allof, and obtuse” describing these songs at all.

There are a few clunkers. Sail to the Moon can go, We Suck Young Blood is filler and Scatterbrain has never worked for me. And it’s not like they needed filler, this album is long for them anyway, and 14 tracks? What the hell, guys?

Anyway, it’s my fourth favorite RH album, which isn’t such a bad thing since I like OKC, Kid-A, and Amnesiac so damn much. It’s a holding pattern, but they’re still one of the most creative bands to come along since I’ve been paying attention to music.

I still maintain that everything after The Bends pales.

And everything after OK Computer was/is complete dogshit.

The last two tracks on Amnesiac are better than the entire Radiohead catalog before OK Computer.

I think Knives Out is my favorite Radiohead song.
I like this album. They’re ok in my book.

The more I listen, the more it grows on me. I think eventually I’ll end up liking it very, very much.

The new Fountains Of Wayne also came out this past week; I think it’s at least as strong as UTOPIA PARKWAY. Just a fantastic guitar pop record with some surprising depth and staying power.

I like it alot. I’d been listening to the botleg that hit usenet a few months back. I’m glad they’ve backed off a bit from the synth stuff, but maintained the experimental qualities they’ve fostered over the last 3 albums.

Thought this thread was about Garrett and Thief 3… nevermind! carry on!


After two complete listens, it’s starting to grow on me. We suck Young Blood, with it’s extremely discordant sound, is practically unbearable, and I don’t really care for the end track that much, but it’s definetly growing on me. In the long run, though, I expect to only like this one more than Pablo Honey, my least favorite. That’s not bad, because even Pablo Honey is a great album, IMO.

The new Fountains Of Wayne also came out this past week; I think it’s at least as strong as UTOPIA PARKWAY. Just a fantastic guitar pop record with some surprising depth and staying power.

I’ll have to check this out. I’m in the mood for happy pop, and I liked the one you’re talking about.

Listened to it three times so far in a strong effort to like it. So far the closer (wolf at the door) is the only one that I really like.

Does anyone else thing this album sounds a bit like Blur’s Think Tank?

Maybe a little bit. It really really reminds me of Think Tank, though, in the sense that both initially put me off. However, I’m now coming around a bit to Thief, but Think Tank is still not that great to me after 5 or 10 listens. It’s boring. Blur’s past catalog is so entertaining, even most of 13, but Think Tank is dull. I like the first song, though.

Have to agree on Think Tank…from what I heard before the album came out, it sounded like it had promise. Unfortunately, most of the album is either unlistenable or boring. And now that their guitarist left, I have little hope for a return to form for Blur…

I’m going to pick up the new FoW as well…I saw them live a few months back, and the new stuff sounded very good. Looking forward to hearing the new one quite a bit!

I bought it and liked it, but the copy protection (on my Canadian version) is driving me crazy, especially since some of the tracks won’t play properly on my DVD-ROM, meaning…you guessed it…DL’ing the affected tracks so I can listen to them on my PC. Blech.

God I hate that. I have been a radiohead fan since Pablo Honey, seen them in concert 3 times, but if I can’t count on playing the cd on my computer, I’m just going to Kazaa the tracks. Maybe I can find someone who has it that I can borrow it from, to test if it will work first.

The US version plays just fine in my Philips CD-RW drive, as well as in my Xbox. The Canadian disc must be the one that’s copy protected.

That’s probably the case. Next time I might be able to save myself some grief by importing the U.S. version of a CD.

This sounds like a good reason to…


with their beady little eyes, was it really a surprise?

Back to Radiohead, who are awesome: tour dates.

Great, no California dates. Which genius thought this up?