August 15, 2003 |
In 1993, when Radiohead's first hit, "Creep," ruled the airwaves, few would have bet that the British group behind that mopey slice of grunge-pop would amount to anything more than one-hit-wonder status, let alone one day be among the most popular and acclaimed acts in music. The smart money back then was on Pavement, a bunch of quirky indie rockers from Stockton, Calif., who combined post-punk noise with catchy hooks and highly literate, often inscrutable lyrics. But 10 years later, it is Thom Yorke and his crew of mopey Brits who are headlining a worldwide arena tour.
August 26, 1997 |
Sci-fi Japanimation lit the room's video screens and electronic beats whirred on the sound system Sunday night as the British quintet Radiohead opened its Electric Factory show with "Fitter Happier," the only song on its latest CD, OK Computer, to be sung by . . . a computer. On the track, an eerie, processed voice recites an index of contentment indicators: "more productive, comfortable, not drinking too much, regular exercise at the gym (three days a week), getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries.
October 11, 2007 |
It's difficult after just three or four listens to rate this album, but my initial reaction is that In Rainbows (. . ) is as fine a Radiohead album as I have ever heard. The devoted will be immensely gratified, and converts will be drawn in by all the buzz - and what proves to be bewitchingly ethereal, yet altogether visceral, rock music. The 10-song In Rainbows collapses into one tidy package all the Radioheads we have come to know: folk-rock Radiohead, electronica Radiohead, alt-rock Radiohead, prog-rock Radiohead.
August 20, 2003 |
Radiohead doesn't make rock of the fist-in-the-air, we-are-the-champions variety. Its music lurks and broods in the shadows, and strives for connections more personal than the consensus-minded, big-backbeat attack known to transform a large gathering of strangers into a unified body. Its songs investigate dark-side emotions, rarely rallying the faithful with sloganeering affirmations, or anything as pedestrian as a sing-along. And yet, near the end of "Karma Police," during a spellbinding first encore set Monday night at the Tweeter Center, the quintet encouraged listeners to join lead vocalist Thom Yorke as he repeatedly intoned the song's closing refrain.
February 25, 2013
Various Artists Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys (Anti- ***1/2) It goes without saying that the double disc Son of Rogues Gallery , a 36-song compendium featuring Keith Richards and Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Michael Stipe and Courtney Love, Johnny Depp, Macy Gray, Dr. John, and many others, is a rambling, shambling affair. The sequel to 2006's Rogues Galley , the current seafaring collection once again has Philadelphia-raised longtime Saturday Night Live musical director and professional eclecticist Hal Willner acting as the musical captain of the ship.
September 27, 2013 |
Imagine Radiohead without the self-importance, and . . . well, that's more or less impossible. But it's one way to approach the music of Atoms for Peace, which teams Radiohead front man Thom Yorke and producer Nigel Godrich with Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and percussionist Mauro Refosco. Drummer Joey Waronker, most regularly of R.E.M., rounds out the quintet. Yorke and Godrich started Tuesday's show at the Liacouras Center with guitars at the ready, picking out the clipped rhythms of "Before Your Very Eyes . . . ". But stagehands soon took the guitars away, and Godrich retired to a bank of keyboards - musical and computer - while Yorke concentrated on his dance moves.
June 15, 2012 |
There's a not a band in the world better at projecting postmillennial unease on a grand scale than Radiohead, the six-man art-rock outfit from Oxford, England, that spent a lovely late-spring evening in Camden on Wednesday making beautifully jittery music. All century long, ever since the career-redefining Kid A in 2000, Radiohead has been turning inward, relying on fractured polyrhythms, ambient textures, and Thom Yorke's elegantly alienated vocals to convey a sense of sublime digital-age anxiety.
June 3, 2001 |
The work of self-indulgent artistes. Pretentious claptrap. Navel-gazing anti-music copped from Pink Floyd. Experimentation that leads nowhere. And that's just the start. Radiohead, which garnered near-universal praise for 1997's OK Computer, had never before encountered the kind of invective it received last fall for its dense, polarizing Kid A. Many hailed the CD as visionary, but not a few were bewildered. As it tested unusual electronic collages and fractured song forms, burying the voice and trimming back hooks, the musicians once hailed as rock's last original thinkers became an oddity, purveyors of garbled, intentionally impenetrable music.
May 5, 2004 |
What does a rock band like Radiohead mean to the world? The critically revered five-piece from Oxford, England - known for its intense accounts of dislocation and techno-alienation - sells CDs in respectable, though not earth-shattering, numbers. It generates higher-than-average traffic on Internet bulletin boards, with fans endlessly parsing lyrics for hidden meanings. And it does solid business when it performs live, selling its share of T-shirts. Yet those marketplace indicators don't tell half the story.
June 3, 2006 |
Radiohead became one of the biggest rock bands in the world by rarely behaving the way other rock bands do. Thursday night at the Tower Theater, where the experimentalists from Oxford, England, debuted material on a keenly anticipated two-night stand that launched their North American tour, one encore selection was "No Surprises," a pretty ballad about Thom Yorke's favorite subjects: disillusionment and alienation. But of course Radiohead is full of surprises. After first appearing to be a one-hit wonder with 1993's "Creep," the fivesome (Yorke; multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood and his bassist brother, Colin; drummer Phil Selway; and guitarist Ed O'Brien)