Man, every time Radiohead brings out a new album I think it *can't* be possible to again bring out a masterpiece. But every time they prove me wrong!
The first time I listened to this album I was in my car driving somewhere far enough to listen to it in full. I had to focus on the music and the driving at the same time and didn't fully appreciate it at first. Then I listened again when I got home, fully immersing myself in the album.
Wow, then things started flowing in my brain, past memories, mostly sad, depressing kinda stuff. Stuff where I fucked up, especially with relationships and those sort of things.
After reading through the lyrics of the songs I understood why I had these memories triggered: this album was released after Thom Yorke's partner for a very long-time sadly passed away from cancer, and the music reflects that.
Thom Yorke's music has always contained really depressing, self-deprecating, dark lyrics and dark music, leading me to actually start worrying about his state of mind as I followed Radiohead's music over the years. A few songs come to mind, (like Street Spirit (Fade Out), How To Disappear Completely) but maybe that's worth a post of its own.
I will be devastated if we lose his genius because of something like suicide just like we have recently lost two legends: Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington.
How he keeps it together, I don't know. It's possibly only his musical creativity and genius that enables him to channel those heavy feelings and thoughts, thereby serving as a sort of personal therapy for him (in psychology this is called sublimation). Or he just has a brilliant psychologist and on some good psychiatric meds. Or a combination of everything, who knows.
The closer of this album, True Love Waits, is simply one of the most beautifully sad songs ever written in my opinion. And it's inclusion on this album is ironic: he wrote it while his wife was still alive (song was written years ago, people only knew it because of live performances), and it was first officially recorded and released on this album after her death. 🙁
Standout tracks in my opinion:
- Decks Dark
- Monkey Wrench
- The Numbers
- Glass Eyes
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief (only Radiohead is able to pull off a song title like that)
- True Love Waits (which is now fully one of my favourite songs ever)