I remember being asked what album I would bring to a deserted island. The fact that I questioned the use of electronic gadgets in an island without electricity didn’t make my interviewer happy; however, I knew the answer already: Ok Computer by Radiohead.
My friends and family know that for a long time I was a huge fan of Linkin Park, a mainstream band completely different to Radiohead. I actually consider them to be my two favorite bands, one next to each other because they influenced me in different ways throughout my life. However, Radiohead has a more deep emotional attachment; it’s not just about lyrics and innovative music, it’s also about the memories of a sad stage of my life.
Personally, Ok Computer is still relevant. Musically, it should be the same. In a world of gatekeepers, hollow entertainment and lazy minds, Radiohead modifies its structure constantly, representing a challenging puzzle: uniqueness, meaningfulness and innovation set to the real artistic factor of music. Ok Computer was born in the early beginnings of a technological revolution which affected the music industry ;( negatively or positively, I’m not sure.) But I think Ok Computer was ahead of its time. By taking diverse human conditions and mixing them up with electronic sounds (truthful resemblances of a “modern” society, ) and basic rock based instrumentation (guitar-bass-drums), Radiohead successfully represents the evolving mindset of a globalized world.
Thom Yorke’s personality is plastered all over Ok Computer but the effectiveness of his voice and lyrics falls into the power of absorbing the listener to the point of making him/her believe that his problems (or his characters) are our own, and equally our own are everyone’s.
Airbag is a song (which I should have explored more) I relate it directly to the car accident in which my family was involved and my father was killed. Literally, it marked a breaking point in my life… (“I was born again.”) Paranoid Android is eccentric but magnificent. Subterranean Homesick Alien and its out-of-space atmospheric feeling and the undeniable allusions from someone who feels that doesn’t belong to this planet. Let Down, a song that accompanied me during the most relevant cultural adaptation of my life. Karma Police, the most extraordinary song I’ve ever heard. Fitter Happier, a how-you’re-supposed-to-live-your-life list that should be taken as a criticism to the organized structure of occidental thought… (“a pig in a cage on antibiotics.”) Electionering is my rebellious jamming song. Climbing Up the Walls was my musical obsession for long time. A song which talks about our darkest fears. No surprises is a basic song but it’s a harmonious little piece of heaven. Lucky and its references to death, reminds me of something that has followed me all around and I still can’t accept it. And finally, The Tourist a soft engaging song that actually talks about our fast-paced ways of living.
Ok Computer is a construction of emotive and challenging lyricism along with memorable fine musicianship. The words behind each song, the capability of adapting your own meaning to each track and the shocking beauty of Thom Yorke’s voice is what makes me passionate about Radiohead music.
For this, I rate Ok Computer: 5 out 5. / 10 out of 10 / 100 out of 100 … just take your pick!
Update: While finally finishing my album posts, which were more challenging that I previously thought… I’m looking for affordable tickets for which it will be my first Radiohead concert experience… (Well, I hope so!) I also read again a book I bought a while ago called Radiohead and Philosophy in which the band’s cultural and social significance is looked at thoroughly from obsessed (but better writers) fans like me. If you’re interested, you can find it here.
….and someday… I’ll be here: