Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Song of the Day: Radiohead - Exit Music (for a Film)

Everybody's talking about The King of Limbs and whether they should be talking about The King of Limbs (see AV Club, Village Voice). Personally, I need at least a few spins before I can come to some sort of opinion about an album. Of course, that opinion will often change dramatically over the course of more listens - I've changed my mind about a record, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, more times than I can count. Many factors can influence a change of opinion - age, where I hear the album, hype, my mindset, and "vegetables."

My first exposure to Radiohead was, of course, "Creep." So when The Bends was released a couple of years later, I was reticent to give it a second thought, despite hearing some good things about it. I finally did give in, and it was (and is) fantastic.

So when OK Computer was released, I didn't need much persuasion to buy the album. I had heard "Karma Police" and seen the video on MTV (yes, I'm dating myself), so I already had some idea it was going to be great. But it wasn't until I was in Boone, NC visiting some friends that I heard the album during an induced epiphany, if you will, and it utterly and completely blew me away. OK Computer is a fantastic sounding record (especially on vinyl), and every song (not every track - I'm looking at you, "Fitter Happier") could be my favorite on a given day.

The sonic detail on the album is amazing, and the details are what keep me coming back. Take today's song of the day, "Exit Music (for a Film)" and listen to how, at the end of every verse, you can hear Thom Yorke finish the word with his lips smacking ("...from your sleep") or his tongue touching the front of his teeth ("drying all your tears"). The cymbals coming in, then the drum roll, the sound effects, Thom wailing "in everlasting peace" - yes, I'm obsessed, but this is a song and an album worth obsessing about. So I'll get back to you on The King of Limbs - but maybe not for 14 years.

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