Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Radiohead, Musicians at the Crossroads

in his book kill to live Author and cultural critic Chuck Klosterman claims to be convinced that “ baby a is the official soundtrack to 9/11, 2001, even though it was released on October 3, 2000. it’s not about the disc announced The phenomenon that marked the 21st century, but his songs, heard after the fact, feel like an involuntary foreshadowing of what was to come.

Klostermann’s detailed explanation baby a Another example of how Radiohead’s fourth album became more than just another collection of songs from a successful rock group. It was as much for those composers’ attempt to give their careers a Copernican turn as for the public who gave those ten songs and interpreted their music and their texts. Because, ultimately, like any other work of art, inscriptions are what their creators intended, but they are also what their recipients perceive them to be.

Radiohead, Thom Yorke, European Tent Tour, Vercher, Belgium, 11 July 2000.  (Photo By Gie Knaeps/Getty Images)

Thom Yorke shortly before the release of the album ‘Kid A’ in Belgium in 2000

G Naps / Getty

about all of this, what does it mean- mean- baby a About its conception, the reason for it and the way it was made, and what followed is a book by music critic Steven Hyden. This is not happening. Radiohead’s Kid A and the beginning of the 21st century ,

Hyden, a self-confessed fan of Radiohead and baby a In particular, it seeks to explain before, during and after the work that marked a turning point in the career of the British group led by the band’s vocalist and chief composer Thom Yorke. By that time, Radiohead had released three albums ( Paul Haney , turn why ok computer ), and although his success was not immediate, with ok computer They had become the band everyone wanted to see and hear, the press everyone wanted to interview. They were the band that meant the existence of a way of understanding music after half a century of rock. Epic lyrics, guitars, destined to fill stadiums. And he suffered from an overwhelming popularity, as did others before him.

Palbra D Thom York

after more than two decades baby aThe disc has been published. Panic in the area!the book in which Thom Yorke described Radiohead (and Alzheimer’s, the second album he also released in 2000). Like fragments of a disconnected diary of someone with a permanent anxiety attack, the book compiles not only song lyrics but also lists, various notes arranged in a certain way in a way. cut paste Similar to the one they used to make discs. These were all accompanied by illustrations by Radiohead’s regular collaborator, Satanlee Donwood, in a graphic representation of his work. Drawings that are in perfect harmony with the text in its gloomy form, which also evoke the fears and anxieties that the verses suggest. between darkness and light. such as “We will shed blood to feed all of Inopia”; Or “the ink of the words has run out”…

,Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood
Panic in the area!
Translation: Esther Willarden
sixth floor. 312 pages. 22 euro


One of Stanley Donwood’s illustrations is included in the book Fear Stacks the Land!

sixth floor

is a documentary easy to meet people About the world tour done by him after 1997 ok computer , which pretty well sums up how the group feels. Tired spiritually and creatively. And he decided that things had to change.

It took almost three years for them to produce, record and release their next album. and when baby a appeared, the truth is that it did not receive unanimously positive reviews. There were exceptions, yes, but most of the music press – and the general press – were troubled by the turn the group had taken. A Sample: For the Magazine Critic melody maker , baby a He was “a scruffy-looking-mom-I-can-suck-my-own-dick trash”. It was hard to understand that he changed guitar epics for electronic sounds (York had become a fan of Warp label musicians such as Aphex Twin, Autarche or Boards of Canada) and that his songs were far more enigmatic than before. Which helped lend itself to all kinds of interpretations.


‘Kid A’ album cover

And for Hyden, the record that emerged from a moment of crisis – a crisis for the group but also a crisis in a world that faced the new millennium with fears and uncertainties – stands as a spokesman for its times. : “A depressing record for anxious times”. An album that put music – and some words – into the anxieties caused by the changes to come: the Internet and new technologies, globalization, the climate crisis, terrorism, the age of misinformation. .. in the words of Hayden “ baby a It seemed like there was a soundtrack to all those changes.

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Despite the initial jitters, the album soon began to expand its recognition. Pawn He chose it that year as the best of 2000 and already in 2009, as the best of the decade. and magazine Rolling stone recently placed it at number 20 in their compilation 500 Greatest Albums of All Time , In Hyden’s words, the key to that success from a twenty-year perspective lies in the fact that “ baby a It embodied the way things felt, looked and sounded.

It was a risky bet perhaps, but time seems to have proved them right.

steven hyden
,This is not happening. Radiohead’s Kid A and the beginning of the 21st century
Translation: Aixa de la Cruz
Books. 256 pages. 23 euro

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