Radiohead For Dummies: Ten Songs To Listen To Ten Times
How To Become A Radiohead Fan Completely
Brace yourselves… a new Radiohead album is fast approaching. The ultra top-secret ninth album could drop at any moment, with the iconic British rock group keeping an impressively tight lid on when and how the album will hit the streets.
Some of you might be wondering what all the hubbub is about. You’ve heard songs like Creep and Karma Police, and you can’t figure out why everyone goes totally ape whenever Radiohead puts out a new album. You don’t “get” Radiohead, and you aren’t sure why the band’s millions of fans are so incredibly devout, almost as if each new album is some sort of religious experience for them. But have no fear… I’m one of those devout fans, and I’m here to help.
You Won’t “Get” Radiohead In a Single Sitting
The thing a lot of people fail to understand is that Radiohead isn’t a pop group. Their songs aren’t as simple as, say, Adele, or Arcade Fire, or some other pop artist or group. Radiohead’s music is high art, and to truly appreciate it, you can’t treat it like something random you pulled off the radio or some miscellaneous track that queued up in Spotify.
Radiohead songs are multilayered masterpieces. You have to listen to a song repeatedly to catch every detail. Sometimes, you’ll pick them up rapidly. Other times, it might take years, or even decades, to discover every secret. And each of those layers has the potential to expose you to a new emotional experience as well; a song that made you feel happy might later bum you out, or a song that made you hate someone for that thing they did might make you fall in love all over again.
None of this is to say that Radiohead’s music isn’t enjoyable. They wouldn’t have sold millions upon millions of albums if people couldn’t just pick them up and fall in love with their music right out of the gate. But to really form that insane emotional bond some of us have? That takes time. That requires you to really breath in each song in ways you probably won’t do with other artists.
Ten Radiohead Songs To Listen To, Ten Times
If you really want to try and appreciate Radiohead and/ or understand why their fans are so devout, you’ll need to complete a little homework assignment. For this, you’ll need a decent pair of headphones, some free time, and the ability to listen to music intently, without texting your friends or Googling piano cats. Can you do that? Excellent! Let’s get started.
Below is a list of ten Radiohead songs, listed in no particular order. These aren’t necessarily their “best” songs or my “favorite” songs, but they’re all excellent, and each one has multiple layers to it in ways no other artist recording today can really pull off.
You mission, if you choose to accept it: listen to each of these songs ten times, in whatever manner you’re comfortable with. Mix the songs up into a randomized playlist, or don’t. Listen to them consecutively, or take your ten repeats randomly, allowing each song to offer you a break from each other song… do it however you want. But you should definitely listen to each son, at least two or three times with headphones, and definitely try your best to pay attention to the music itself. The lyrics are great, but the music is even better.
And that’s all I’m going to tell you. The rest is up to you to discover for yourself. I won’t tell you anything about the songs, or the albums they came off of, or anything else. Just kick back, open a tasty beverage, and enjoy your slow descent into Radiohead fandom. You’re welcome, and I’m sorry.
Climbing Up The Walls (OK Computer)
How To Disappear Completely (Kid A)
All I Need (In Rainbows)
Everything In Its Right Place (Kid A)
Pyramid Song (Amnesiac)
Exit Music [For A Film] (OK Computer)
Optimistic (Kid A)
There There (Hail to The Thief)
Lucky (OK Computer)
Nude (In Rainbows)
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Matt Terzi is a political satirist and essayist from Binghamton, New York, who has written for some of the most prominent satire publications in the country. He’s now moving into more “serious” subject matter, without losing touch with his comedic roots