There is a room filled with posters of The Beatles and Nirvana. On one side; a drawing of John Lennon looks at me while I hold a bunch of compact discs with strange covers. The stereo marks the last song of the album that changed it all. I’m 10 years-old and while I feel at home, this is not my house.
The bedroom is my uncle’s; who was (is) the rebel soul of the family, and without him knowing it, he influenced me more than anyone else. It was thanks to him, that I discovered Ok Computer by Radiohead.
For a young girl who spoke not a single word of English, Radiohead‘s music was strange; but yet, I was amazed by Thom Yorke’s voice, the sound of hectic guitars, the chaotic mix of everyday noises and the contrasting changes of tempo and electronic beats. However, the most important thing is that Ok Computer spoke to me, in the right moment of my life: My father had recently died in a car accident. He was 35 years old.
In the mist of loneliness and sadness, music became my emotional support. It dragged me away from the bad moments I was going through. Ok Computer was the portrait of me in a world I didn’t feel any connection to. During months, I would alienate myself from my surroundings while trying to understand why everything was the way it was. And even though this sounds awfully depressing, it marked a moment of forced maturity, where I wasn’t just a girl, I was a human being.
After this process of indirect rock and roll therapy, I traveled back to my hometown city leaving Ok Computer behind (obviously, the album wasn’t mine.) But during the following years, I would instantly recognize those songs playing on the radio. It is ironic to say that I used my dad’s old cassettes to record Radiohead’s music. (Actually, that cassette ended up being a strange mixtape of rock music, commercials and background noises of steps, hushes and laughs.)
Then, when I came to the U.S, the first two albums I bought were Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory (Don’t judge me! I still like that band) and of course, Radiohead’s Ok Computer. Also, learning English gave me a total different perspective of the album. Before, it had a basic emotional feeling, now it had a more comprehensive mental state; a complete identity. Tracks that were instant favorites such as Karma Police, Let Down, Paranoid Android and No Surprises were not just pieces of likable music, they now had a meaning. I also started to pay more attention to tracks I used to avoid such as Exit Music (For a Film), Airbag and The Tourist. There was a time when i was obsessed with Climbing Up The Walls and now more than ever I understand the irony of the lyrics of Fitter Happier.
The soundtrack of my life, I call it. The immersive atmosphere of the melodies and the sometimes non-sense sentences are in fact the most perfect album ever created… and I’ll prove it in the next posts to come.
Rating 5 out of 5… for my personal, musical and mental connection to Ok Computer.