4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Sit down. Enjoy., 30 Aug 2003
Radiohead. British band that made two of the greatest albums in recent musical history, then made two experimental albums to clear all the pressure and expectations they were under from their very own artistical path.
After Kid A and Amnesiac, the Oxford-based five-piece still haven't fulfilled their plan. Quite a lot of people still expect them to come up with a new Ok Computer or The Bends, and if you think you're one of those people you will get quite excited when hearing the opening track from their latest work, Hail To The Thief. 2+2=5 features the band in full three guitar layout, climaxes in true Paranoid Android style. It also sets the theme for the rest of the album: living in a messed up post 9/11, post Iraq war world, how one man's decision can affect thousands of others, and how we are constantly watched and controlled from above. This glimpse of a mid-90s Radiohead is followed by piano over techno beats on Sit Down, Stand Up, a song that finishes in an energetic electro ending. By then it is already clear that on this album the band have chosen for a combination of traditional rock tunes such as There There, Go To Sleep and the opening track, and their 21st century experimental electronics, ranging from drum machines and bass effects on The Gloaming to dirty keyboards on Myxomatosis. This results in a fantastic album full of gems, the only exceptions being We Suck Young Blood and Punchup At A Wedding. These two tracks would have looked ok as b-sides, but look quite out of place on this recording. The album concludes with A Wolf At The Door, a song that shares it's theme with No Surprises, and with a chorus that looks like it's come straight off the sublime Ok Computer.
The only reason why this doesn't get a five star rating is that it might not be suitable for everyone: don't buy this if you're a Bends addict.