I admit it – this is just a gratuitous post because I happen to have listened to some old CDs in the car over the last couple of weeks. Anyway, there is no doubt that Radiohead’s OK Computer has stood the test of time and must rank very high in any list of the greatest albums of the nineties.
It’s a triumph of music and mood over meaning. I haven’t got a clue what he is singing about most of the time. But what a mood they create, somehow in that strange space between exhilaration and despair.
Take “Let Down” as an example. Utterly depressing if you just listen to the lyrics, but somehow the music takes you beyond, as if the line about growing wings is not just a sign of desperation and frustration but some half-acknowledged sign of hope – quickly denied.
I need to go back to the album that came before - The Bends. At the time I preferred it over OK Computer because it was still on the edge of a classic rock album. I’m not sure what I’ll think now.
Jason Hirschhorn at Listverse agrees with me!