Find Me On:
Still get excited every time I hear the opening riff to “You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire,” no matter how hard T Mobile tries to ruin it for me.
Wavves – Sail to the Sun, Hippies Is Punks, Cop
VW – Obvious Bicycle
Whenever Arcade Fire releases their next single
And because it happens every year… Hole – Malibu
Ok, so I just gave the full album a listen all the way through for the first time in a while and I realized I had a lot more thoughts about it than I knew. (Bear with me here, this might get rambly…)
First of all, let me just say that this album came along for me at pretty much the perfect time (by which I mean this spring). We were reading Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and later Orwell’s “1984″ in my English class, which tied in perfectly with a lot of the themes on the record.
I’ve always felt the parenthetical subtitles of each song are a vastly under-observed component of this record, for some reason they’ve just always struck a chord with me.
“2+2=5″ is probably my favorite RH song of all time. That transition from “It’s too late now” to the “Because!” and then the chaotic 2nd half of the song gets me everytime.
“Sit Down. Stand Up” is another Orwellian-themed song and I think it’s the best song on the album that is performed predominantly on synths, etc., as opposed to standard drums-guitar-bass. One interesting thing I’ve always thought about is that the repeated lyric at the end of the song might not be “The raindrops,” but “the reign drops,” meaning the people who were being told to sit down and to stand up and that they could be “wiped out at any time” had risen against and brought down the force that was telling them these things.
“Sail to the Moon” is a nice song, but it’s just kind of there for me. Same with “Backdrifts” although a little less accessible.
As a drummer both “Go to Sleep” and “Where I End and You Begin” are always cool listens. I also love Jonny’s Talking Heads-homage guitar solo at the end of “Go to Sleep” and the shifting time signature.
“We Suck Young Blood” is the only Radiohead song (save possibly “How Do You?”) I really dislike. IMO it’s way too long, the open hi-hat hits and the handclaps are both really annoying and Thom’s voice just isn’t very appealing to me on this track. The little jazzy instrumental break is kind of cool, though.
I haven’t seen an RH concert (yet) so I can’t speak to how “The Gloaming” sounds live, but I can see how it may sound awesome live if they turn up the bass in the mix. The studio version doesn’t really do it for me though.
“There There” is undoubtedly one of HTTF’s best tracks. Not much that I can say that hasn’t already been said except that the keyboard during the intro sounds like it’s saying “meow.”
I didn’t like “I Will” at first but it’s starting to grow on me. Same with “A Punch Up at a Wedding.”
I think “Myxomatosis” is one of the more underrated songs on the record. The drum beat & synth riff are both really cool-sounding, and the verses are great, especially the third one.
“Scatterbrain” is kind of like “Sail to the Moon,” in that it’s nice and pretty and all but it doesn’t really stand out. Kind of like a bland version of “The Tourist.”
What can I say about “A Wolf at the Door?” Thom raps. There’s a creepy organ-sounding thing playing that haunting riff. Phil kills it on drums. And, oh yeah, THOM RAPS.
Chris, I think you’re one of the best music writers around, but I don’t really think it’s fair to criticize Go to Sleep for not really sounding like any other Radiohead song, then criticize Sail to the Moon for being too much like Pyramid Song. Couldn’t we say the same about a lot of My Bloody Valentine songs?
Finally I think this will always be remembered as the album that no one can decide what it should be remembered as, if that makes any sense.
Phew, sorry about all that. I got away from myself. :)
That first one-two punch of “2 + 2 = 5 (The Lukewarm)” and “Sit Down. Stand Up (Snakes and Ladders)” is one of my favorite album opening sequences ever.
Also I always found the subtitles a really interesting part of the album.
Wow, you would leave off 2 +2 = 5?
I’d drop Backdrifts, We Suck Young Blood, The Gloaming, and maybe I Will. WSYB is honestly a struggle to get through.
Sacrilege? LOVED that video, thought it’d be on here for sure.
Forget to mention, their “Speaking in Tongues” cover with David Byrne is possibly the best cover I’ve ever heard.
1. The Suburbs
2. Ready to Start
3. Suburban War
4. No Cars Go
5. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
6. We Used to Wait
7. Empty Room
8. My Body Is A Cage
9. Wake Up
With honorable mentions to Rebellion (Lies), The Well and the Lighthouse, and (Antichrist Television Blues).
…they do have 40 songs. 37 on the three full-length studio albums, two on the Hunger Games Soundtrack, two from the deluxe edition of The Suburbs, and that’s not even counting other B-Sides or their first EP.
And Joy Formidable! :)
Glad to finally see someone include Wavves on their list – I thought I was the only one.
It’s working again.
Make #8 QOTSA, push Strokes down to #9, and make Daft Punk #10.
Glad to be able to log in via facebook again. Anyways, here’s my list:
2. Vampite Weekend
4. The National
5. Joy Formidable
6. Local Natives
8. The Strokes
LOVED Wavves. Gonna keep loving it all through the summer as well.
Also worth noting that Hail to the Thief turns 10 on Sunday.
…and I even had my “Stereogum, I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down” coment ready to go once I saw the headline.
The only way this year could get any better is if Morissey finally gets his acts together for a Smiths reunion. That and a new Pavement album.
I like what I’ve heard from MMJ before but I’ve never delved deeper than a few tracks (Black Metal, It Beats 4 You, Circuital). Any advice on which album I should start with? Z sounds like a good place to start.
I’m actually more excited to see this movie than I have been for any other film in a while.
I like how halfway through HE started asking the questions. The interviewee becomes the interviewer.
When I first saw this headline, I just thought you guys were REALLY excited about an album stream.
Can I just ask… did you guys just happen to have a photo of Amanda Palmer using a laptop or did they think that this was a great idea for a promotional picture?