I always found Exit Music (For a film) to be an unfitting song for Ok Computer. It’s a hate/love relationship. 13 years ago, I’ll simply avoid it. I suppose the darkness of the song was too much for me to bear at that age. I felt it was too scary and creepy. Nowadays, I value more its composition and melodiousness but I find the lyrics a little too simplistic. Plus I have a problem with the use it was given. But first, I’ll talk about the song.
The musical simplicity of the acoustic guitar introduction and Thom’s voice is as always, a perfect match. The chorus with its haunting voices and conflicting noises in the background is disturbingly spine-chilling. It’s followed by a steady and soft cymbal sound that inevitable hints a discharge of sadness and grief with drums, a distorted bass and the loud dynamics of Yorke’s voice. This monumental and emotive moment is my favorite part of the song; it does it what is supposed to: wrap your brain with a sheet of profound misery.
Lyrically, it’s beautiful in its most gloomy and sinister way possible, but it doesn’t really attract my interest until the last couple of lines:And you can laugh a spineless laugh, we hope your rules and wisdom choke you. And now we are one in everlasting peace, we hope that you choke, that you choke, we hope that you choke, that you choke, we hope that you choke, that you choke.
I believe that this part encapsulates perfectly the allusion to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet’s tragic story. However, the fact that Thom wrote Exit Music for the 1996 film version starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes, it’s what I hate the most about the song. First, I believe that movie is a piece of crap. I don’t understand why Radiohead allows their songs to be used in films as bad as this one. One of their latest examples is their song 15 step from their In Rainbows album. They allowed that song (which is awesome) to be part of the Twilight film. (Don’t ask me how I know.) I just think it is a bad idea because I’m a huge fan of movie soundtracks, and when I listen to a song in a film, my mind always make the connection between the two. I know it’s my stupid personal problem, but that’s the way I feel.
For its great musicality, the average lyricism and its unacceptable use, I give Exit Music… 3 out 5.