OK Computer: OKNOTOK 1997 2017 [2 CD]

OK Computer: OKNOTOK 1997 2017 [2 CD]

by RadioheadRadiohead


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Using the textured soundscapes of The Bends as a launching pad, Radiohead delivered another startlingly accomplished set of modern guitar rock with OK Computer. The anthemic guitar heroics present on Pablo Honey and even The Bends are nowhere to be heard here. Radiohead have stripped away many of the obvious elements of guitar rock, creating music that is subtle and textured yet still has the feeling of rock & roll. Even at its most adventurous -- such as the complex, multi-segmented "Paranoid Android" -- the band is tight, melodic, and muscular, and Thom Yorke's voice effortlessly shifts from a sweet falsetto to vicious snarls. It's a thoroughly astonishing demonstration of musical virtuosity and becomes even more impressive with repeated listens, which reveal subtleties like electronica rhythms, eerie keyboards, odd time signatures, and complex syncopations. Yet all of this would simply be showmanship if the songs weren't strong in themselves, and OK Computer is filled with moody masterpieces, from the shimmering "Subterranean Homesick Alien" and the sighing "Karma Police" to the gothic crawl of "Exit Music (For a Film)." OK Computer is the album that established Radiohead as one of the most inventive and rewarding guitar rock bands of the '90s. [OKNOTOK is the 20th anniversary edition of OK Computer, a reissue endorsed by the band, whereas the 2009 Collector's Edition was not. Both the 2009 and 2017 deluxe editions are double-CD sets -- OKNOTOK also has accompanying Super Deluxe and vinyl editions -- and the bonus material on both is largely identical, rounding up the B-sides that appeared on the various singles pulled from the album in 1997 and 1998. All the live tracks that appeared on the 2009 reissue -- including a BBC session from May 28, 1997 -- are excised, along with two remixes of "Climbing Up the Walls," but what's in their place is more than welcome: three previously unreleased songs, including the semi-legendary "Lift." Radiohead often played "Lift" during their 1996 tour supporting Alanis Morissette and, among fans, it's been considered the bridge between The Bends and OK Computer, a song that could've been a radio hit if it showed up on the latter. "Lift" does indeed sway to a hopeful lilt that suggests pop even if the tune itself isn't particularly catchy. Nevertheless, it's a mini-marvel of sustained controlled mood, overshadowed somewhat by the dramatic unabashed prog of "Man of War" but not "I Promise," a nice ballad that's the least of the trio of new tracks. That said, all three are strong songs -- sometimes stronger than the released B-sides -- and they're reason enough for serious Radiohead heads to pick up this anniversary edition.]

Product Details

Release Date: 07/07/2017
Label: Xl Recordings
UPC: 0634904086824
catalogNumber: 40868
Rank: 21603

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