Wednesday, February 11, 2009
On Vinyl: Radiohead - OK Computer
This was probably my introduction to good music, and definitely the album that made me love music. Although I was too young to hear it when it came out, I discovered this in early high school and instantly fell in love.
I was asked by a fellow music friend that I used to go to shows with in high school "which band changed your life?" I told her I didn't understand the question, I don't think any music in fact change my life. She told me to think of the band that I truly loved, the band that inspires me, the band that made me love music. Radiohead changed my life.
OK Computer started me on a journey to find good music. They made me look for bands that would give me the same uplifting feeling and would make the hairs on my arms and neck stand like they have so many times. I have had many successes and failures, but it all started here.
Through that search I have found it hard to find an album, as a complete album, that matches up to this one. It is the best album of the 90s, hands down, there is no question about any album that comes close in depth, musical ability through the instruments and vocals, and most important consistency. Every song on the album is excellent, and the album as a whole tells a story and flows from start to finish. There are not many bands in history that have accomplished such a feat.
The singles on the album, while great, are so well fitting into the album that it does complete injustice to leave these alone and simply listen to them on the radio. You must dedicate the time to listen through the whole thing. I don't pick through the songs, I listen from start to finish to get through their musical novel.
It's incredible to think of where Radiohead were before OK Computer, the monumental status that this album gave them, and the path they took thereafter. They match up as one of the greatest, most original, and brilliant bands of all time.
I really recommend dedicating time to this album. Pay attention to the layered guitars and piano, lyrics, feelings, production, and buildups that the record is so acclaimed for. It takes time to process, because the music is not simple, but that is always the type of music that is most rewarding.