I’ve been listening to Radiohead since I was 10 years old. I would sneak into my uncle’s room (who was the rebel soul of our family) and listen to all the weird rock music he owned. From his Beatles’ collection to Nirvana and Pink Floyd, I would spend hours trying to decipher what the hell those singers were babbling in a language unknown to me back then. However, none of them amazed me more than Radiohead and their “Ok Computer” album (hence the name of this blog.) I felt connected to their music in such an unbelievable manner that they became my favorite band automatically.
Much changed since those days. I discovered lots of different genres and bands and artists. I learned English and acquired a better understanding of the music I listened to. And although, it’s almost impossible not to fall into the mainstream music trap nowadays; I’m still that childish soul looking for highly dosages of catharsis. Radiohead with their complexity, always seem to work. So when professor Dunphy asked us to analyze “The Daily Mail” I was very excited to do so!
As a fan of the band, I had previously listened to “The Daily Mail” a couple of times. The compelling melodic mood of the song begins with a beautiful and melancholic piano backed up by the sometimes unintelligible voice of Yorke. It might be complicated to understand what he is singing, but to me, it doesn’t matter. The story is there: full of calm and serene emotion. However, the song then falls into a sudden convergence of dissonant but gentle sounds and ends in what is probably my favorite part of the song: crashing chords, powerful drums accompanied by overwhelmingly delicious guitar riffs that seem to be full of anger. Yorke’s highlights the lyrics by using his distinguishable tone changes. It is almost like he is telling you to wake up from whatever hypnotic state you are (the one he actually put you in with his relaxed introduction.)
The lyrical part of the song was a little bit more challenging. I know the title of the song must have some relation to the known British tabloid paper. I’m acquainted with Thom Yorke’s undeniable political and social criticism; therefore, I think this is an indirect message towards those in charge of the journalism industry. He sings:
“Where’s the truth? What’s the use?
I’m hanging around lost and found
And when you’re here, innocent
Fat chance, no plan
No regard for human life
Is he asking the media to show the truth? Does he know he might not be heard? Is he just like us? Lost in a world of too much information? Or is it disinformation? Do we care?
(Probably we don’t.)
It is hard to know for sure what Yorke means. And even though my hypothetical explanation might be farfetched; I believe in it. I enjoy the song much more with that meaning. It’s personal and special.