Eric Lyon on Radiohead

I think Radiohead has
everything going for them except their music. Radiohead initially came
to my attention after they sampled Paul Lansky’s "mild und leise" (an
excellent early computer music composition, available on Lansky’s
website) for their song Idioteque. Paul likes what they did with his
sample much more than I do. I find the drum track weak in comparison
with DnB practice which was so much further along by the late 90s, and
the voice is plaintive, thin, lacking all conviction. Radiohead looks
good on paper, a fusion of modern techno-derived computer music
techniques with rock music, but in practice, the tunes are
uninteresting, and the sound production is unexceptional. Another one
of many post-MBV disappointments that understand the ideas but not the
spirit of My Bloody Valentine. I don’t enjoy criticizing Radiohead
because they clearly mean well, and their music is carefully and
thoughtfully assembled. But they just don’t deliver brilliant musical
goods, and I’m somewhat puzzled by their mass success. But I am pleased
by it. It’s nice to see rock intellectuals getting serious attention.
And their recent Internet marketing experiments deserve attention, just
for trying something different. But I’d take the Pale Saints’ fully
realized "The Comforts of Madness" over any Radiohead album, by a very
large margin.


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