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OK Computer

by Radiohead

Released May 21, 1997 via Parlophone / Capitol

Reviewed May 18, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Paranoid Android (67%), Exit Music (For A Film) (50%), No Surprises (40%)

Radiohead's third studio album OK Computer blew the doors wide off the alternative rock world. Aligning the feeling of impending doom and electricity's translucent blue, a future of uncertainty and calloused consciousness seemed firmly in the cards. Nothing was impossible, not even the tricks brought on by the promises of prosperity. Turning to the electronic ether offers up a fresh start. Albeit one of empty offerings and limp, lifeless handshakes. Men in suits flash the cash, begging for anything that resembles a feeling––never realizing that these things can't be bought. Sleep tight in your blankets of bankrupt emotions and ransacked values. Sweet dreams of gucci little piggies, fridge buzz, and cats tied to sticks. Radiohead's journey into the realm of rock royalty found significant traction with the release of OK Computer. – Peter (10/10)

Radiohead’s seminal album, OK Computer, became a worldwide phenomenon in the world of contemporary rock music, there’s no debate about that. But as time passes, something about it grips me less and less with each listen. Not to say it’s a bad record by any stretch, but I think what soon followed in Radiohead’s discography is much more unique and attention-grabbing than OKC. In spite of that, this album still includes some absolutely incredible highs, “Paranoid Android,” “Climbing Up the Walls,” and “No Surprises” to name a few. Radiohead at their best can create entire worlds in mere minutes, and those moments on OK Computer are far more frequent than any album they’d put out prior. It’s also obvious to note that without this record, we would’ve never gotten what followed. Still, I find that its replay value dwindles. A solid album that’s just grown off me recently. – Ben (Synth) (6/10)

Jacques: 10/10 | Peter: 10/10 | Hadley: 9.5/10 | DeVán: 8.5/10

Jared: 8/10 | Dominick: 7.5/10 | Cam: 7/10 | Ben (Synth): 6/10

Community Reviews:

For me, my perception of music was forever changed when I first blessed my ears with Radiohead’s OK Computer. For an album from 1997, it seems to grow more relevant with each passing year, as we become more isolated individually and become more computer than human. Across this record, Thom Yorke’s falsetto aches against the backing of some of the most grandiose, dramatic, and earth-shattering instrumentation you will ever hear. From the lullaby-like guitar lead of “No Surprises” and the cosmic synths of “Subterranean Homesick Alien,” to the ravine-creating rodeo that is “Electioneering” and the lurching bleakness of “Climbing Up The Walls,” this record’s flow is immaculate. OK Computer is the best album of all time, and to just call it music would be an understatement. It is a lifestyle, because I have not found myself going by a single day without trying to replicate some aspect of this album in the real world. Do yourself a favor, and experience this opus. – @max.crom (10/10)

One of the most expressive and masterfully written albums of the 20th century. From the weight of opener “Airbag” to the quiet end of “The Tourist,” we see a band that understands the world around them just as much as they do translating that into music. Brutal moments of paranoia on “Climbing Up The Walls” are met with bittersweet doubt on “No Surprises.” Once the listener reaches the tired and slow “The Tourist,” it acts as a moment of peace from the many changing musical translations of fear that preceded. A quintessential listen for any music lover. – @maxrosk (10/10)

OK Computer is undoubtedly Radiohead's lasting legacy. One of the greatest gambles in music history, it has shaped music discussions ever since its release a quarter of a century ago. Although not as sonically challenging as Kid A and Amnesiac, or as consistent in quality as In Rainbows, OK Computer showcases the band merging the already established sounds of their first two albums with hints of the band's more electronic future that was to come. Even on an album like this, the band's core sound still is present, and it can feel quite stale at times. Tracks like “Electioneering” and “Climbing Up the Walls” can also bring the album down a bit, but the album's highest points totally make up for it. All in all, it may not be Radiohead's best, but you can't dispute the fact that it has some of the band's highest points, and its unexpected success ultimately saved the band from being known just for “Creep.” –@thisgoodusernameisnotavailable (9/10)


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