Radiohead can do anything, oh yes they can?

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One of the recurrent themes in recent reviews of Radiohead is that after the expectation smashing Kid A and Amnesiac they have a clean canvas open to them with no boundaries other than there own creative limitations. Thom Yorke comes asking for advice on their new direction, what do you suggest? Back to basics rock, gamelan instrumentals, Norwegian death metal, show tunes? They can do anything after all, should they?

Billy Dods, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Country and Westren .
A career as Buck Owens back up band

anthony, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Another R*d**h**d thread. :)

Whatever they'll do I'm sure it will be boring/overrated/overanalyzed. Best avant-move they can do now is make Creep II btw.

Omar, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

sp: 'there' = 'their' (which you do get right in your next sentence).

I have only heard recent Radiohead via Later (BBC2). I didn't like it at all.

I think they should spend some time lobbying their powerful chums in the record industry to release more material by Lloyd Cole and the Sundays.

the pinefox, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Can they stop telling us obv. bleeding generalisations about 'the modern world', politics, the media, angst, loneliness etc. then? That'd be nice.

Andrew L, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

atmospheric dark metal ala In The Woods/ Katatonia or incorporating a hybrid sound ala Arcturus and Ulver.

DJ Martian, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

They should thoroughly indulge their gabriel-era-genesis/van der graaf generator tendencies, and do a big double konzept album. (this to me = good thing. Your opinions may, and probably will differ)

xoxo

Norman Fay, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Double concept album: quite possibly a good thing.

Double concept album by Radiohead: probably bad.

the pinefox, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

i would have absolutely no problem if radiohead decided to call it a day now.

gareth, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The Van Der Graaf-style double concept album is a great idea, especially if they make it a vinyl-only release with an incredibly elaborate cover that unfolds like a roadmap, plus an accompanying book.

Patrick, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

They should become a Tallulah Gosh tribute band.

DG, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Actually, they could combine the two:

"ta-luuu-laaaa goooossshhhhh...." (3 hr mellotron/minimoog solo in 7/8 time)

This would rule. Admit it.

xoxo

Norman Fay, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Hey! I tried something like that myself.

the pinefox, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

IMHO I'd like to see them get Bobby O out of retirement and do an album of Hi-NRG. Thom Yorke covering shoot your shot sounds ok by me.

I'd keep the mellotron solos though.

Billy Dods, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

An album of grunge covers, in collab. with and mixed by the Warp crew.

Sterling Clover, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Radiohead is boring.

JM, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Did anyone already mention that Radiohead are really boring?

duane, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I think someone mentioned that upthread already.

Josh, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Alternately, they could reinvent themselves as a boy band.

Sterling Clover, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Mmm, what about Globalization: The Rock Opera?

Omar, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Did you see the Kid A : The A is for Attitood spoof of Radiohead/Backstreet Boys on the web?

masonic boom, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

yeah, I saw that Kate, it was fairly funny, too.

Mitch Lastnamewithheld, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Calliope music. Lots of it.

adam, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Radiohead's new direction...

Hmmm...

Well, I kind of wish they would try 'fucking off' for a long time.

Nick Southall, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

1. They should fire Thom Yorke as singer.

2. They should engage Liam Gallagher as singer.

3. They should call themselves radioasis.

4. They should never release anything under this name.

5. And they should disappear into the wide and open space forever (with or without Thom).

P.S. They could take Björk and Jonsi from Sigur Ros with them to have a more international touch.

alex in mainhattan, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I love Thom Yorkes voice. It sounds as yerning and lonely as the best country singers.

anthony, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm feeling them going rap.

Ally, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

"But he has cancer - in his ass!"

Nicole, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I thnk Radiohead should come over and pack all of my shit. I HATE MOVING.

Dan Perry, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

a pj and duncan direction maybe.

our radiohead rocks.

you lot really don't like radiohead do you?

radian yelof, Tuesday, 17 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I like Radiohead a lot. I just dread the idea of packing all of my stuff and wish that someone would do it for me for free.

Dan Perry, Tuesday, 17 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I didn't use to, but I do now.

Robin Carmody, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I loved Creep when it came out. Nowadays I find it unlistenable. Somehow this image of Yorke as a creep has stayed in my mind. After that nothing touched me for a while. Then there was the Help sampler for the children of Bosnia and the standout track was Lucky, the best song they ever made I guess.

Kid A did not impress me, Soft Machine and King Crimson have made similar stuff in the early seventies. I used to love those groups but somehow progrock has become a bête noire for me.

A week ago I purchased Amnesiac and I am still not sure what to make of it. The first track I liked was Knives out where the sadness in Yorke's voice really hit me. Of course Pyramid Song is great as well. The progressive stuff I have to listen to again. But the big problem with Radiohead I guess is Yorke's voice. It really touches me in the beginning but after listening to one whole album or several times to one song, it really gets annoying.

I do not really hate Radiohead but I hate all the fuss about them. They are a group like all other groups. They will not save rock music. On the contrary I think maybe rock has saved Thom Yorke's life (remember that Lou Reed song?).

alex in mainhattan, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

which King Crimson album would that be?Radiohead have committed the crime of releasing albums that have to be listened to in their entirety,and all of a sudden they are prog-rock?they do one song that's got a bit that's not in 4/4 time and they are prog-rock? examples,please - but try not to list Pink Floyd.it's partly the truth,but it's also lazy.

Damian, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

What's wrong with being prog? Oh, and RH were only prog circa OK Computer.

Sterling Clover, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Radiohead were prog for a few minutes in Paranoid Android,and as far as I'm concerned,that was it.I don't hate prog - hell,I like King Crimson and Yes - but just because Radiohead made something thematic and remotely complex,it doesn't mean they are prog,does it?They used mellotrons - does that make them Genesis?I don't think so.

, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Ok. Ok. I guess I have to row back a little. The prog-rock comparison is maybe a little dubious (OK Computer nevertheless is not so far off this drawer) considering that Radiohead reinvent themselves every two albums or so. But the point is something else. They are deeply eclectic. And not in a way like Beck who I think is the genius of eclecticism (where is he now, haven't heard of him for a while). They do not create anything groundbreakingly new. The sum is not more than the parts in their case. But the press celebrates them as the most innovative group of our times which they are definitely not. When I listen to them I always feel that I have heard it before. They are chameleons. Yesterday brown today green. They do not have a distinctive sound except Yorke's voice. And that is something I really have to reproach them. Every great band has a unique sound, be it The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Fall, The Cure, Joy Division, The Cocteau Twins, The Gun Club, My Bloody Valentine, Nirvana just to name a few.

alex in mainhattan, Friday, 20 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't really know what to say to that to change your mind, but I really disagree. At the very least, I think that the guitarists, drummer, and vocals together make them pretty distinctive, when they're playing like a "real band" with instruments in real time etc. The last two albums are pretty distinctive, too, in my opinion. One might cynically say that they just sound like the sum of their influences, but for the most part they still sound distinctive even when you might be able to say, e.g., "this sounds like a Warp Records outtake".

Josh, Friday, 20 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I thought that part of the beauty of the new Radiohead was that you could turn your radio on and hear something fucked up and there was always a possibility that it could be a new Radiohead song - there's an element of surprise that none of the wouldbe Radioheads can provide.A distinctive sound is something that surely can only be established through repetition,isn't it?And that's something that can only sustain itself for so long,which is why it was fitting that you used Joy Division and MBV as examples - their music is great,but there isn't much of it.

Damian, Friday, 20 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The last time that I turned on MTV and was actually *surprised* and intrigued by something that was playing, lo and behold, it was the video for Paranoid Android. That said, I really haven't watched MTV much in the past 3 or 4 months. But really, that was the last time I really went "WTF?"

Not so much to the song itself, but the fact that it was being played on primetime MTV next to the... uuhh... whatever was popular back then which has thankfully slipped my mind.

Kate the Saint, Friday, 20 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Miami Bass yo

gareth, Friday, 20 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

my incomprehension of Radiohead is profound

james edwards, Saturday, 21 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

paranoid android was my favorite song on ok kkkomputer. does this mean i should get into prog?

ethan, Saturday, 21 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I believe Beck is now doing (has done???) a cover of "Diamond Dogs" w/Timbaland, and is filming some big film w/the director of many of his videos, Steve Hanft.

1 1 2 3 5, Saturday, 21 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Ethan - I think Ethan Explores The World Of Prog is a great idea. If you have a turntable, go to any used record store that sells vinyl and pick up a bunch of King Crimson and Jethro Tull records and stuff for 2 $ each, and make periodic reports to ILM on your findings.

Patrick, Sunday, 22 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Also: Van der Graaf Generator, Barclay James Harvest, Henry Cow and Gong.

mark s, Sunday, 22 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

three years pass...
radioasis

burton, Friday, 22 April 2005 22:57 (fourteen years ago) link

They should start playing small clubs, shopping malls, county fairs and truck stops doing COLDPLAY covers!

Roman (Roman), Saturday, 23 April 2005 01:28 (fourteen years ago) link

I love Thom Yorkes voice. It sounds as yerning and lonely as the best country singers.

-- anthony (anthonyeasto...), July 16th, 2001.

I will quote you on this, you realize.

Sundar (sundar), Saturday, 23 April 2005 02:01 (fourteen years ago) link

YOU ARE ALL WORTHLESS.

Open your eyes; you can fly! (ex machina), Saturday, 23 April 2005 02:07 (fourteen years ago) link

Ned - ouch!

The main point I was making is that their rampant and admirable experimentalism might be also applied to exploring emotional tones beyond the already exhaustively explored nuances of alienation etc, and that being wildly successful and acclaimed for over 10 years might have, you know, cheered them up to the extent that they might feel able to musically explore different the lighter side of life without compromising their artistic integrity.

"However, the kind of emotional palette you seem to be talking about, a simple personal misery, they moved past years ago."

The recent material still sounds fairly downbeat and glum to me, sorry! Thing is, Thom has talked in interviews about wanting to celebrate both the “highs and lows” of everyday life, and I don’t really hear much celebration of the former, despite their having becoming the most acclaimed band on the planet.

"Does having millions of fans ease an existential or spiritual conflict?"

And millions in the bank don't forget - well, err, sorry but yes, I genuinely imagine it would bolster the ego somewhat, reconcile you to the world to certain degree, and generally take some of the edge off your existential angst – who knows, it might even nudge you towards the occasional joyful moment which you might then occasionally reflect in your music, rather than remaining emotionally monochromatic. Even if they weren't feeling on top of the world, they might want to try writing something joyful just for the hell of it, just for the sake of experimenting.

Re the supposedly funny/humorous aspects to Radiohead's music/lyrics - I must confess bafflement. I love comedy, and indeed the darker the better eg Monkey Dust and Peep Show, but the supposed 'humour' in their work is clearly too subtle for me insofar as it doesn’t make me laugh. That is what humour is supposed to do, right?

FWIW just in case anyone interprets this as random hating, I should make it clear Radiohead are easily my favourite band, and that I just wanted to voice an honest criticism.


dave marsh, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:06 (thirteen years ago) link

They're fucking rubbish at pop songs these days though.

I'd like to suggest that the fact that they don't have scantily-clad girls singing in unison on their refrains doesn't mean that they don't do pop songs anymore but I'm afraid you'd hit me.

Dan (There There Is A Fantastic Pop Song) Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:10 (thirteen years ago) link

I do like how the opener for this thread is that Radiohead could do ANYTHING. What did they do? Boring mush. Way to go guys! Confound those expectations!

js (honestengine), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:11 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm really unclear as to how this joie de vivre should manifest itself in their music. Should they sing about circuses? Cute kittens?

How many bands really sing about being happy and joyful anyway?

Melissa W (Melissa W), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:13 (thirteen years ago) link

Plenty of bands make emotionally uplifting music - have you really not come across any of them?

dave marsh, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:17 (thirteen years ago) link

I don't listen to Christian music.

Melissa W (Melissa W), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:17 (thirteen years ago) link

(joke, but honestly, no not really... haven't come across many bands singing about the joys of life that I find worth actually listening to)

Melissa W (Melissa W), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:19 (thirteen years ago) link

"Emotionally uplifting" isn't always the same as "happy and joyful", though, is it.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:22 (thirteen years ago) link

I mean the most emotionally uplifting piece I can thin k of is Shostakovitch symph 13 "babi yar" and that certainly isn't happy or joyful.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:23 (thirteen years ago) link

Ha! Fair enough Melissa!

dave marsh, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:23 (thirteen years ago) link

"Emotionally uplifting" isn't always the same as "happy and joyful", though, is it.

No, it isn't the same as emotionally depressing either.

dave marsh, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:25 (thirteen years ago) link

The most emotionally uplifting, happy and joyful music I can think of right now is Parliament, are you a fan Melissa?

dave marsh, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:28 (thirteen years ago) link

Anyway, if Radiohead ever made me actually *laugh* via their music I'd be concerned.

There is humor, but I prefer the dark and subtle strains of it, the vaguely absurd.

I don't see what the point of aiming for actual laughter would be. It would just be distracting and weird, some goofy or overly joyous song sitting in the middle of one of their albums.

Radiohead themselves are pretty silly though, and I'm absolutely sure they don't take themselves nearly as seriously as most people seem to think they do.

They find joy in the act of exploring and creating interesting music, I think that's enough.

(x-post, no)

Melissa W (Melissa W), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:31 (thirteen years ago) link

D.J. Andesron OTM.

not song, album, band, genre, music can be everything anyway.

not that i'm a big fan of RH, but what sort of criticism is it to say that a band doesnt experiment with enough emotional variety (even if it WAS true in this case, and it may not be)?

AaronK (AaronK), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:45 (thirteen years ago) link

I laughed at the 2001 post suggesting they hire Bobby O and cover Divine disco hits. But when I thought about it all I heard in my mind was Erasure. When I thought about the recent "more humorus" thread at first I came up with Zappa, all those insufferable bathroom jokes and the just plain stupid ditties they played between their really cool numbers. But I like dave marsh's pointing to Parliament as a funny dance band model, however I'm having a hard time hearing radiohead/funkadelic in my head. What I came up with sounded like Benny Hill fronting New Order.

JB Young (JB Young), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:53 (thirteen years ago) link

I'd like to see them write more than one good song per album.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 17:58 (thirteen years ago) link

I'd like to see people come up with something more interesting to criticize them over than what Alfred just said.

Dan (Let It Go Already) Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 18:02 (thirteen years ago) link

Well, that's really where the matter ends for me, Dan,OK Computer excepted (it's got many good songs).

"Good Radiohead song" = Thom Yorke's dystopian mewling subsumed by atmospherics and ugly-loud guitars.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 18:21 (thirteen years ago) link

Did they have scantily-clad female singers doing the refrains back on Pablo Honey?!

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:02 (thirteen years ago) link

No. This is one of the many reasons why Pablo Honey is awful.

Dan (Unforgivable Album In Almost Every Regard) Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:08 (thirteen years ago) link

Haha. Aha.

When did they last write a pop song? Something that a busker could cover?

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:11 (thirteen years ago) link

There's plenty a busker could cover on Hail, but if they don't want to that's their deal. (And frankly given my experiences with the buskers in London I'd actually give them some money if they did that if only to feel relieved it wasn't Bob Marley, David Gray or Coldplay.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:17 (thirteen years ago) link

When did they last write a pop song? Something that a busker could cover?
Did the definition of pop change while I was asleep last night?

Melissa W (Melissa W), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:21 (thirteen years ago) link

On my visit the buskers near Kings Cross performed Ace of Base's "The Sign." Damn good version it was too.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:22 (thirteen years ago) link

I didn't say that was a definition of pop.

Change my previous statement to "when did they last write a song that someone could and would do at karaoke?", which I'm sure will wind people up even further.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:23 (thirteen years ago) link

i only like music that someone could and would do at karaoke.

inert false cat (sleep), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:27 (thirteen years ago) link

i only like music that someone could and would do.

AaronK (AaronK), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:36 (thirteen years ago) link

I can name that tune in no notes.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:37 (thirteen years ago) link

Because my statement was predicated with "Only music as thus is any good at all, all the rest is shite" wasn't it?

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:38 (thirteen years ago) link

"As far as I can see the only humorless people here are the ones complaining that Radiohead/their fans lack a sense of humor."

tis fair enough to say, but doubtful...as having run into more than my fair share of RH fans/fanatics, i can say w/ some amount of experience that NONE of them had any doubts about the direction of RH @ any point, nor did they think ANY joke pertaining to RH was funny in the least.
i'll admit, i don't see almost ANY humor in them. unless it's packed tightly amongst the b-sides i've never sat down and listened to. (and i've been subjected to a huge slice of their catalog, unfortunately)

perhaps it's just this guy's opinion (in fact, it IS!), but RH are pretty much w/o a smile anytime i've ever seen them!

and yes, the millions in the bank, the critics hanging on they're every bleep/bloop, the fans fawning over them like earth-bound godlings that just got outta bed- all this should amount to some sort of 'good tidings' and cast out a portion they're constant dread.

all that said, maybe they should just all pick up some guitars and hang up the political blather they're so fond of, for just a second maybe?

eedd, Tuesday, 21 February 2006 21:32 (thirteen years ago) link

That Alfred Hitchcock. His classic films were so dark, so menacing, so lacking in "emotional uplift". How could anyone possibly have enjoyed them?

drewo (drewo), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 21:39 (thirteen years ago) link

pretty solid

rizzx (Rizz), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 21:44 (thirteen years ago) link

"when did they last write a song that someone could and would do at karaoke?"

There There
Drunken Punchup At A Wedding
Go To Sleep
We Suck Young Blood
The Gloaming
I Will
Myxomatosis

Dan (Off The Top Of My Head) Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 21:53 (thirteen years ago) link

maybe they should just all pick up some guitars and hang up the political blather they're so fond of, for just a second maybe?

Maybe you should offer the band your consulting services.

Nigel (Nigel), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 21:56 (thirteen years ago) link

RH are pretty much w/o a smile anytime i've ever seen them!

To echo what Melissa said - surely no one who's seen them live in more recent years (since the Kid A/Amnesiac era, anyway)could mistake them for miserable bastards.

Deluxe (Damian), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 21:57 (thirteen years ago) link

You go to fucking weird karaoke, Dan Perry.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 21:58 (thirteen years ago) link

Hitchcock films totally have emotional uplift!

deej.. (deej..), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 21:59 (thirteen years ago) link

ah the infamous karaoke standard

wtf

rizzx (Rizz), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 22:08 (thirteen years ago) link

I am not saying that music is only god if you can do it at karaoke, you fucking morons.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 23:25 (thirteen years ago) link

They're fucking rubbish at pop songs these days though.
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000001FZK.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpghttp://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000005RS5.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

inert false cat (sleep), Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:04 (thirteen years ago) link

I'd like to suggest that the fact that they don't have scantily-clad girls singing in unison on their refrains doesn't mean that they don't do pop songs anymore but I'm afraid you'd hit me.

Bananarama >>>>>> Radiohead anyday

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:07 (thirteen years ago) link

(Sorry for the disjointedness, I'm trying to reply to a lot of stuff out-of-order while trying to keep my contributions to the discussion vaguely original after other people have already said them better than I can)

Maybe it's just that all their success hasn't gone to their head (or as Meeting People is Easy shows, their success only served to make them uncomfortable). Maybe they really believe in their anti-corporatist/capitalist/consumerism rhetoric and don't find acquiring huge sums of money to be as fulfilling as it's made out to be. At least they're consistent. I really wish that people would stop harping on this point in this discussion; it's perfectly reasonable to me that success hasn't/shouldn't changed their artistic direction. Whether they should expand an "emotional palette" for other reasons (stagnation, variety, so Stylus popists can hack away at them in the Singles Jukebox) is at least a coherent argument, but it seems totally ridiculous to me to ask an artist to "be happier" and change their direction solely because they've achieved a high level of success. It would be baffling to ask, say, Bergman or Herzog to "lighten up, you're the toast of the town, pitch us a romantic comedy". Some artists simply work better with darker material (and I'm not a "radiohead's gawd, and there's no way around it" fan, I haven't even listened to anything before Kid A or b-sides in probably a year, so don't accuse me of pretension when I'm throwing around words like Artist) and if you don't appreciate it there's really no reason to keep annoying yourself.

I mean, are all artists supposed to cover the entire emotional spectrum? I'm getting different expectations from different people here - what do you think this new direction should look like? Drop the political bits and go back to The Bends, but janglier and with a catchy chorus? I don't understand what you're trying to say with "joyful" - it seems crass to me, to go out and write something specifically (what do you really mean by joyful? I just don't understand) for the novelty, to take a completely opposite tack from the rest of their career. I know I keep repeating myself. Maybe they have tried different material and it hasn't worked out for them. Must their records be a complete mirror of their emotions? I know it's abstract and probably impossible to answer, but what do you think you'd get out of it? What would they say? Do you want a love song? A song free from irony about how everything is going to be alright?

I also don't understand this emotional monochromaticism. Are we just talking subject material here? A general feeling like depression? I'll admit there is a lyrical tendency towards despair, alienation, fear, and weakness - but musically (and I don't mean strictly tonally) there's a pretty wide range of feeling. Yeah, there's claustrophobia (Climbing Up The Walls), grunge-angst (Just), emotional distance (Morning Bell), paranoid fear and anger (A Wolf At the Door), but there are also moments of humor (the lightly bitter humor of Sulk, the boozy whimsicality of Life in a Glass House, the absurdity of We Suck Young Blood) and beauty (Pyramid Song). So much of their material is multivalent in feeling if not literal lyrical meaning, it's really a disservice and critical laziness to just call it depressing and walk away without really trying to get more out of the songs. I mean, isn't that what really appreciating music is? Digging deeper than the surface-level impression to derive a greater meaning? If that's not what you get from this group, fine (I'm not picking on anyone specific here), but plenty of people do get a lot more out of it (as someone upthread said about life-affirming Hitchcock or Shostakovitch).

As for the humor... well, no, it isn't really ha-ha humor but gallows irony and absurdity (Thom on Let Down: I was pissed in a club, and I suddenly had the funniest thought I'd had for ages - what if all the people who were drinking were hanging from the bottles... if the bottles were hung from the ceiling with string, and the floor caved in, and the only thing that kept everyone up was the bottles?), at least within the music itself. Those lyrics shouldn't all be taken seriously all the time. Outside the music, you get stuff like the ridiculous alternate titles from HTTT, Ed's never-departing onstage smile, Thom's put-on Byrnian seizuring during their performances, and the weirdness of their website. Admittedly there's more humor both in and out of the music nowadays; remember, only HTTT is at all recent, the Kid A sessions were 98-99 and they were in a much darker mood back then - I'm confident the next album will in fact be a bit more "joyous" and playful relative to their material from seven-ten years ago, as they're a lot more comfortable in their skin as musicians and (I hope) well-rounded human beings.

D.J. Anderson, Wednesday, 22 February 2006 02:41 (thirteen years ago) link

I should have done more than a quick google search to find that link... I was thinking of a specific study and statistic, but I saw that that page had the gist of what I was looking for (lower happiness levels in industrial countries, the rapidly dimishing returns of additional happiness with yearly incomes greater than $25,000). I don't know how much it'd help my argument to link to a psychological study, but the wealth/happiness debate is specious anyway.

D.J. Anderson, Wednesday, 22 February 2006 03:29 (thirteen years ago) link

Typos always go will with defensive ire.

Dan (LOL At Nick) Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 22 February 2006 04:50 (thirteen years ago) link

Should I say something or not or...?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 22 February 2006 04:51 (thirteen years ago) link

You were SUPPOSED to revel in the irony!

Dan (Mr. Joke Ruiner) Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 22 February 2006 04:56 (thirteen years ago) link

"Maybe you should offer the band your consulting services.

-- Nigel (sellout...), February 21st, 2006."

if they would like, i would gladly offer my undivided attention to them;)

as always, it seems, w/ RH, there's just no middle ground.
i guess i'll just remain in the dark concerning they're gawd-like status amongst folks...and not really care until given reason to...

eedd, Wednesday, 22 February 2006 15:47 (thirteen years ago) link

Haha, I kind of have given my favourite band my consultancy services, it's ace!

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Wednesday, 22 February 2006 15:49 (thirteen years ago) link

thirteen years pass...

Ed O'Brien solo album reportedly on the way. Here's an excerpt to whet your appetite:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG-Od2-OTdg

pomenitul, Saturday, 5 October 2019 13:03 (one week ago) link


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