Ranking The Radiohead Songs – A Moon Shaped Pool!

It was a promising start; interesting singles which indicated a step away from the turgid, uneventful, unimaginative beats and loops and droning dirges of The King Of Limbs, an eleven song track list, and a studio album appearance of one of the band’s finest ever songs in True Love Waits. Sadly the end product is more of the same – an album where the production counts for more than the song writing and where the songs feel like the afterthoughts of Thom’s bewildered ego. The layers peel back to unveil more interesting qualities and sounds versus peeling back King Of Limb’s thin transparent veil to reveal nothing. Unlike King Of Limbs, there are standout songs; more accurately, A Moon Shaped Pool actually contains songs. Daydreaming is the best song they’ve written in years, but it’s a re-tread of songs they’ve done better already.

I appreciate the lovely, otherworldly use of strings throughout and would love to see Radiohead’s next iteration double down on the orchestral side. There are infrequent moments of beauty, harmony, melody, emotion, showing us that somewhere underneath the shell the band has become is a group of artists frustrated in their attempts to exude and recapture a fraction of what made them interesting, special, unique in the first place. I’m hoping one day the album might click with me, but I have neither the time nor the patience to find out. I do enjoy it significantly more now than I did upon release and I have an inkling that I’m simply not in a place to become familiar enough with the songs to fully appreciate them. As such, the ranking below is more arbitrary than most and if I were to do this exercise again tomorrow the whole thing would be ordered differently. Ultimately, unlike in their heyday, there are better and more interesting bands out there making better, more interesting music. One final positive – at least none of the songs are completely skippable, an improvement over The King Of Limbs, though the general crappiness of True Love Waits and how much it strives to stain the ‘true’ version means I can’t listen to this album version.

  1. Daydreaming
  2. Glass Eyes
  3. Decks Dark
  4. Full Stop
  5. Desert Island Disk
  6. Burn The Witch
  7. Present Tense
  8. The Numbers
  9. Identikit
  10. Tinker Tailor
  11. True Love Waits

Let us know in the comments what you think of A Moon Shaped Pool! 

Ranking The Radiohead Songs – The King Of Limbs!

While I love the premise of The King Of Limbs and most of its ideas, the songs themselves and the execution of those ideas feel hollow, mishandled; ultimately, the end product is shallow and lacks any real emotional or intellectual connection. As with their next album, the protracted wait between albums, the seeming lack of effort, and the general shoulder-shrugging-meh nature of the individual songs and the whole package leaves a sole, self-evident aura of laziness. There’s almost nothing here worth listening to more than a handful of times. As is consistently the case with Radiohead, these latter day songs take on a superior experience when played and heard live, but then you have to deal with sweaty Radiohead obsessives and morons shouting ‘CREEP’!

  1. Give Up The Ghost
  2. Codex
  3. Morning Mr Magpie
  4. Little By Little
  5. Lotus Flower
  6. Seperator
  7. Bloom
  8. Feral

Let us know in the comments what you think of The King Of Limbs!

Ranking The Radiohead Songs – In Rainbows!

By all accounts, In Rainbows was the return to form which critics and fans had been looking for after Hail To The Thief. I’m still unsure which album I prefer, but In Rainbows is (at time of writing) Radiohead’s last good album. This was also around the time the band began leaving huge gaps between releases – generally a sign of a band either becoming a tour-outfit, getting bored with being in a band, or draining creatively. We did get various solo and non-Radiohead material around this time so while creative juices were still flowing, the potency of those juices had become severely diluted. Add to all of this the fact that I had moved on to other things and Radiohead was no longer the force in my life that they had been, I wasn’t impressed by this at release and it took me many years to become invested in it.

I did eventually become invested in it, and I can understand how people rate this just as highly as Kid A. Or even OK Computer. It has a wider range of songs than Kid A and more songs in my regular rotation than either Kid A or Amnesiac have, but it doesn’t have a single song on par with How To Disappear or Motion Picture Soundtrack. It’s very consistent, with none of the songs hitting the lows of the previous three albums (or the next two), and most of the songs I’ve placed in the bottom half of my list below are just as good as those in my top half. Bonus points too for all of the Easter Eggs and connections to OK Computer – not as exciting as they could have been, but fun all the same.

  1. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
  2. Videotape
  3. Reckoner
  4. Nude
  5. All I Need
  6. House Of Cards
  7. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
  8. 15 Step
  9. Bodysnatchers
  10. Faust Arp

Ranking The Radiohead Songs – Hail To The Thief!

Hail To The Thief was a transitional album for Radiohead. I’m positive they were aware of the immediate fan reception to their last two albums, and at the time that reception was both frosty and dismissive even if the critical response was positive. I’m also positive Radiohead always does whatever the hell they want, but given Thom is a bit of an egotistical knob he would have heard the whispers – Radiohead? Nah, they’ve lost it. I used to like them, but now they just make weird music because they’ve forgotten how to write real songs. This is a much more commercial album that Kid A or Amnesiac but is also one rife with doubt and experimentation. It’s some sort of strange art rock hybrid with more traditionally structured songs and instruments, but there’s an awful lot of, if not filler, repetition. It’s also an album which probably should have been called ‘I Really Don’t Like George W Bush’.

I saw the band at Glastonbury in 2003, and having been completely off my tits, I commented the following day that I was disappointed that they didn’t play much from their new album. I was informed by my less inebriated friends that they had in fact played almost half the album. It took a few pints of Scrumpy to bring it all back to me – mostly that they’d played the shitty half. Here’s a list:

  1. Myxomatosis
  2. Where I End And You Begin
  3. Punch Up At A Wedding
  4. 2+2=5
  5. Scatterbrain
  6. Sit Down Stand Up
  7. I Will
  8. There There
  9. A Wolf At The Door
  10. Go To Sleep
  11. Sail To The Moon
  12. Backdrifts
  13. We Suck Young Blood
  14. The Gloaming

Let us know your ranking in the commetns!

Ranking The Radiohead Songs – Amnesiac!

Greetings, Glancers! Coming barely a year after Kid A, Amnesiac now admittedly feels like an outtakes album and the first true example of the band taking the piss. Too often in the years since has the band taken the piss – releasing substandard fare, releasing rehashes, not releasing the songs we know they have in studio form. Then again, it’s Radiohead and they can do whatever the hell they like, and they have more goodness in those same years than most bands – a flurry of one-off songs, a live album, and a couple of good studio albums. The year between Kid A and Amnesiac was peak Radiohead fandom for me – the fact that we knew a new album was coming had me thinking momentarily that Kid A was just a novel creative aside and that Amnesiac was going to be their next real album, the sequel to OK Computer we were expecting. Then they started playing some of the new songs live and we realised that this new Radiohead was here to stay.

It didn’t matter to me; while I was likely convincing myself that I liked the new sound more than I actually did, but the positive was that they still could write a couple of songs better and more interesting than 99% of what anyone else could, and the other songs still sounded superb live. It was September 2001, merely days after the towers fell, that I saw the band live for the first time. I had just started University and it looked like the world was about to collapse. It was a strange time. Good gig though, even if Thom seemed on the brink of walking off on at least two occasions. At the time I preferred Amnesiac to Kid A, but the time since has proven the opposite to be true. There’s not a lot here I would ever come back to, and much of it is tied up in nostalgia.

  1. I Might Be Wrong
  2. Like Spinning Plates
  3. Hunting Bears
  4. Pyramid Song
  5. Knives Out
  6. You And Whose Army
  7. Dollars And Cents
  8. Packt Like Sardines
  9. Life In A Glasshouse
  10. Morning Bell/Amnesiac
  11. Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors

Let us know your ranking in the comments!

Ranking The Radiohead Songs – Kid A!

Greetings, Glancers! Although I had been listening to Radiohead on and off since the Creep days, they didn’t really become my band until the late 90s. Kid A was the first album I was there for, ready to buy on Day 1. It was one of those seminal times – you’re in your late teens, nearing the end of School, ready to grab the world by the throat and make it give you whatever you want, and you spend your days and nights talking about music with like-minded mates. Nobody was expecting Kid A. Radiohead was the biggest band on the planet, the hype was ridiculous, and Kid A made a lot of people, if not all people, emit a confused WTF in unison. It was enough to shred the fandom down the middle – many casual fans threw their heads up and went off to wait for Coldplay’s arrival, while others too blinded by their obsession proclaimed it as the second coming. As with anything, I liked parts and disliked parts. Sure I would have loved another extension of The Bends or OK Computer, but I appreciated the daring, the balls, and the one-mindedness of the band to do whatever the hell they wanted. Plus the live versions of the songs were bangin’, man. Over time, my opinion of the album hasn’t changed much – songs I like, songs I dislike. I only wish the band had taken further departures from the sound they achieve here – while they have continued to grow and experiment, essentially every album since has been a version of Kid A, except for those scattered attempts at subverting guitar based rock. It’s a good album, it’s not the second coming.

1: How To Disappear Completely

2: Motion Picture Soundtrack

3: The National Anthem

4: Idioteque

5. Everything In Its Right Place

6. In Limbo

7. Optimistic

8. Kid A

9. Morning Bell

10. Treefingers Let us know your ranking in the comments!

Ranking The Radiohead Songs – OK Computer!

We all know it’s Radiohead’s best album. As much as I prefer The Bends, and as much as hardcore fans try to convince themselves that Kid A or In Rainbows is superior… this is their high mark. It’s one of the best albums of all time, and you do yourself a disservice by missing out on it.

  1. Paranoid Android
  2. Exit Music
  3. Let Down
  4. Electioneering
  5. No Surprises
  6. Lucky
  7. The Tourist
  8. Airbag
  9. Karma Police
  10. Subterranean Homesick Alien
  11. Climbing Up The Walls
  12. Fitter Happier

Let us know your ranking in the comments!

Ranking The Radiohead Songs – The Bends!

In the spirit of keeping things brief, I’ll simply say that The Bends remains my favourite Radiohead album. Is it their best? Well, there’s not such thing as ‘best’, is there? It’s the album which contains the highest number of my favourite Radiohead songs and unlike every other album there isn’t really a single song I skip. Here’s my ranking:

  1. Black Star
  2. Fake Plastic Trees
  3. Street Spirit
  4. The Bends
  5. High And Dry
  6. Nice Dream
  7. Bullet Proof
  8. My Iron Lung
  9. Just
  10. Bones
  11. Planet Telex
  12. Sulk

Slap your ranking into the comments, daddy!

Ranking The Radiohead Songs – Pablo Honey!

 

Greetings, Glancers! Don’t worry – I’ll be keeping these short so that I can knock out as many lists as possible as I hurry through some of my favourite bands and artists. We move on to Radiohead. This is their first album. I rank it quite highly, unlike most Radiohead fans. Here is my ranking of the songs. The first four are interchangeable. The next four are interchangeable. Blow Out is always last. I like Blow Out. See, that was quick!

1: Anyone Can Play Guitar

2: Thinking About You

3: I Can’t

4: Prove Yourself

5: Stop Whispering

6: Ripcord

7: Vegetable

8: Creep

9: Lurgee

10: How Do You

11: You

12: Blow Out

Let us know your ranking in the comments!