Hail to the Thief
our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
world has become an unpleasant place over the last few years,
with terrorism entering a new era and war as common as it always
has been. Oxford’s finest have long-been associated with
producing music for depressing TV shows, but the dark content
of nightly news shows has seemingly injected Radiohead with renewed
they were on top of the world when they unleashed OK Computer
on the student market and duly took their place as one of the
greatest bands kicking around at that time. But Kid A
and Amnesiac left fans’ optimistic hearts empty
amid a load of self-indulgent nonsense. Hail To The Thief
takes its name from the title of a book about George W Bush’s
dubious election victory in Florida. That’s all you need
to know, because what with Bush and the world’s other tricky
customers, this is a Radiohead album that says “Hold on,
we’re fed with this rubbish.” It’s a protest
album in the finest sense, not all acoustic guitars but instead
Radiohead’s own unique brand of cool pop, hard rock and
the other stuff we’ve grown to love-the electronic beeps
and blips that traverse musical genres.
To The Thief, a 14-track CD, was penned in the months after
frontman Thom Yorke had his first child and had his attention
drawn to the state of the world. He said: “I wrote a lot
of stuff quickly. Most of it was taken from the radio because,
suddenly being a parent, I’d be confronted by the radio
giving a news report every hour. It was during the Afghan war
and it would ring bells in my head. I’d sit there for make
mad lists on pieces of paper of the people in the public eye that
I had it in for.”
so the lyrics speak for themselves. The opener, "2+2=5,"
asks “Are you such a dreamer to put the world to rights?”
while "Go To Sleep" declares “We don’t want
the loonies taking over.” Or maybe even deeper meaning can
be found in The Gloaming, with “Genie let out of the bottle/It
is now the witching hour/Murderers you’re murderers/ We
are not the same as you.”
content is deep enough to involve anyone, and thankfully the musical
content is also to be commended. "2+2=5" has excellent
tunes within its tight structure, "We Suck Young Blood"
holds a haunting piano melody and there’s plenty of funky
electro to be had in the great "Myxomatosis." But be
in no doubt that the centrepiece of Hail To The Thief
is the incredible "There There," already getting attention
as the first single. The way it builds up and keeps re-inventing
itself makes it the best Radiohead song for many a year.
To The Thief is an accomplished album and, for once, Radiohead
have delivered everything we hoped they would.
02-Jun-2003 9:25 PM
liked Hail to the Thief...
2 + 2 = 5
2. Sit down. Stand up
3. Sail to the Moon
5. Go to Sleep
6. Where I End and You Begin.
7. We suck Young Blood.
8. The Gloaming.
9. There there.
10. I will.
11. A Punchup at a Wedding.
14. A Wolf at the Door