It is fairly common for me to make snide remarks about Radiohead. In a conversation with a friend, I once said they were only a step above Matchbox 20. While I was using hyperbole on my friend (who is a pretty loyal Radiohead fan), I do not like the way Radiohead has gone in the last few years – but I don’t actually hate Radiohead, I just think and know they can do better.
Hail to the thief and Thom Yorke’s solo album were, in all honesty, some of the worst albums I’ve heard this decade. In Rainbows had its moments, but I still think they could have done a lot better. And, like I said, that is the point; Radiohead can do better. Ok, I won’t go so far as saying Thom Yorke is a musical genius, but the man has talent. Ok Computer was not a stroke of good luck, but an extremely well done album – and, in my opinion, one of the best albums of the 1990s. Pablo Honey and The Bends were amazing albums! Even Kid A and Amnesic had their moments, though honestly, I think they both start to show Radiohead’s decline.
So what happened? How did Radiohead go from making one of the best albums of the 90s, to making one of the worst albums in the 2000’s? Maybe its laziness, maybe its lack of inspiration, or maybe its the fact that, in terms of thier fans, they can do no wrong (so again, maybe its laziness). Seriously, Radiohead is the band that you cannot insult. Everytime I post a negative comment about Radiohead on Digg, I get burried so deeply that my comments get deleted! Everytime I mention Radiohead’s decline to my friends, or even complete strangers, I get an earful. Why do people insist on standing so vehemently for Radiohead? I think I would get a warmer response if I were to show up at the Democratic National Convention and declare that Geroge W Bush was the best president we ever had! This is not normal behavior people, and quite frankly, this kind of behavior does not provide the band to do better!
I mentioned earlier that In Rainbows “had its moments.” Honestly, I might rate In Rainbows right in between Kid A and Amnesic. They are on an upswing I believe. Musically, and in other areas too. I have a lot of respect for them saying download In Rainbows and pay whatever you feel like paying. Bravo! Bravo! They could have done a better job with the whole Miley Cyrus incident, though in all honesty, I probably would have added insult to injury, so I suppose I should give them some credit for that. Radiohead might very well be on an upswing, however, it might be the fans that make the difference. I challenge all the Radiohead fans out there to do this: Do not automaticlytreat everything Radiohead puts out as gold. Listen to it, get to know the music, analyze the lyrics, and scrutinize the albums and songs against what they’ve done. Does it hold true to their level of talent? Are they taking chances? Are they utilizing thier creative talents? Does the music still hold the edge that Radiohead is famous for? Or does it sound like the leftovers from previous albums? Ask yourselves these questions, and if you find the answer to these questions is no, then be vocal about it! Don’t just pass it off as just a bad album, get online and blog about it! Tell your friends the new Radiohead album sucks! Let your voice be heard! Perhaps this is exactly what Radiohead needs! And perhaps thier next album will be one of the best albums of the next decade.