Music Review: Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’

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Kolja Westhues

OK Computer, the third studio album by British rock band Radiohead, is an experimental masterpiece. When looking at the band’s discography, one can easily notice when they changed from a standard grunge band to one of the most innovative bands since then. Radiohead’s first two albums, Pablo Honey and The Bends, are very well made, and The Bends is one of my favorite albums by the band.

This album combines themes of capitalist nightmare and paranoia for the future. Even in the album’s title, you can see how the themes hold up today. When you use Google’s voice-activated search feature, what do you say? “Ok, Google.”

The best songs off of the album are “Paranoid Android,” which is a fast-paced heavily complex instrumental song with themes from the novel Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglass Addams.

“No Surprises” is a track that plays as a mellow lullaby-sounding song. Its lyrics are heavily implied to be about the repetitiveness of capitalism and the loss of humanity.

“Let Down” is about emotional numbness after having nothing left to lose. Its lyrics signify an individual feeling of constant pessimism after having just an ounce of optimism.

The themes of this album clearly explore the loss of humanity in capitalist machinery. The album does not have an overarching coherent story but instead has a very broad sense of similar ideas that fit into some of the most innovative music of the late 20th century.

This album was the first major left turn for Radiohead—which they have had many of at this point—and will forever have impacted all of music with its experimentation. I rate this album with 5 out of 5 stars.