on 16 April 2003
So Radiohead are not the old rock indie guitar band they once were, that much is obvious. Judging by this new single, they aren't about to return to that mold anytime soon, but who says that's a bad thing? Judging by this offering, I'm not wishing for their return to straight ahead rock anymore, but looking forward to future releases with much curiosity and anticipation. "There there" is a pulsing driving beast of a song, that owes much to the electronica that they have experimented with on their previous two albums. However, there's a slightly more acomplished and less naive take on the electro rock that they exhibited on "Kid A" and "Amnesiac". I will miss that certain innocence a little, but the fact that they have become confident and diligent with their pursuit of electronic forms of music melded with melodic guitars becomes clearly apparent in this song. The B-sides are refreshing and original, equally comparable to other tracks on "Hail to the Thief" in terms of quality. Overall, an essential single for any Radiohead fan.
on 4 June 2003
'There There' is without a doubt the best event to happen to a Radiohead fan in a long while. The song has several cool guitar riffs which make it immediately addictive and just sends a shiver of euphoria down your spine just hearing it.
The Drum beat is enhanced by the sounds of bongos throughout the song, the whole song is incredible with the sound of a full rhythm and melody.
Basically, BUY IT!!!
on 10 May 2003
The star rating given is based on the track 'There There' which has been played on the Radio for the last fortnight, less than a month before this single is released. Ignoring the fact that several tracks from Radiohead's new album have been leaked onto the internet, this is the first real taste of how they wanted us to hear the forthcoming 'Hail to the Thief'.
The track itself is brilliant, mixing what they've learnt from 'Kid A' and 'Amnesiac' and combining it with their most famous work from 'OK Computer' and 'The Bends'. This turns out to be a surprisingly good descision, with the chilling computer-based vibes being joined by the eerie sound that only Radiohead seem to be able to wrench out of their guitars. Those, who loved the early guitar rock of 'Pablo Honey' and 'The Bends' will be pleased to know that the album has a bias towards guitars over the computer music, and 'There There' shows this. Thom's singing is bang up to scratch and the band as a whole has consilidated their musical talents to churn out the best they have to offer.
The two b-sides are tracks left out of the Album, but that does not mean in any sense that they are only sub-standard. Radiohead has a history of great B-sides, such as 'Maquiladora', 'Polyethylene' and others which have been used in films ('Talk Show Host' is an instantly recognisable song from Luhrmann's "Romeo & Juliet")
At the moment, I can only recommend this album to you on the strength of the title track, 'There There', so if your not buying the album it's worth getting this. However, if you are like me, and find the B-sides as good as the 'A' material, this single should not be overlooked with it's two new tracks.
on 5 June 2003
'There there' has often been presented like the long-awaited return of guitars in Radiohead's music. It's true it is somehow reminiscent of Paranoid Android and of all the OK computer-era but we've all already heard that song anyway. When listening to the the B-sides though you see that Kid A-like electronic experimentations are far from being forgotten. There are plaintive violins, electronica bleeps, ethereal voices, complex bass rhythms and so on... Radiohead seems to try putting more 'challenging' tracks as B-sides (a very good idea in my opinion). It doesn't always work, but on 'There there' it certainly did.
on 16 April 2003
Well the single isn't being shipped yet, but those of us in the know have already heard it either from one of the KROQ boradcasts or from the British xFM broadcast. By now, most anyone who cares has listened to the leaked copy of "Hail to the Thief" which was stolen from a recording session in February and distributed online. However a lot of people still don't know what they have is not a final mix. The band and producers have clearly stated that they are upset that the leak is not even finished work, claiming the finals are something to be proud of and what they wanted us to hear. Well luckily, we won't have to wait until the full CD is released to find out.
Although it's not clear at this time what additional tracks will be included on the single, it's likely that we'll hear an entended version of "There There" featuring some of the 50-60 seconds that were trimmed for the radio plays of the song. After hearing both, the leaked and final mixes of the song, I can tell those who have only heard the leaked take that there are several noticable differences. The drums are much fuller with a metallic plate-like echo effect on them. The vocals seem to have been compressed a bit, making them pop out of the mix more. The guitar work sounds much cleaner. Whether it was just EQ'd or actually rerecorded I'm not sure, but the texture deffinately sounds more like what we'd expect from Radiohead. The intro of the song has been trimmed, meaning the vocals drop in almost 30 seconds sooner. The ending is also revised, leaving us with the fading reverb from an isolated drum fill/attack. Overall, the mix just sounds more professional, fading levels subtly in just right the places to keep your attention focused where it should be.
Bottom line, if you like the leaked version of any live versions of this song, you NEED to hear the mastered single. While some will have the patience to wait for the full CD, those of us who just can't wait will relish this single and are sure to enjoy whatever additional tracks are included on it. Displaying the constant evolution that is Radiohead, but yet still familiar enough for comfort, the guys have shown the nay-sayers that proper mixing really does matter.
on 20 April 2003
Oh boy.We've waited a long time for this.
The debate still rages as to which was the better album, The Bends or OK Computer.The boys decided not to extend the debate by producing "Non-Guitar" based follow up albums.Whilst Kid-A/Amnesiac were great albums, taking mainstream rock into it's biggest experimental strides since the heyday of Floyd,There were no world conquering,anthems to our lives that we sooo desired.Pyramid song V Street Spirit.No contest.
A lot have questioned their change in direction, and whilst undoubtably their last two albums have had value, most of the general public yearn for the 'head to return to their former paths.To challenge a revitalised U2, and an ascending Coldplay as the biggest bands on the planet.And by God,If there there is anything to go by, they have finally shedded the shyness, grown balls and given Johnny back his banjo.
The track starts with a simple,tribal drum beat and what sounds like a Digirido which slowly melts into a chugging guitar rift.A classically styled Yorke vocal drifts in (maybe a little Like fake plastic trees in tone, no distortion just..there).The main chorus "just beacuse you feel it...dosn't mean it's there" is understated but has grower written all over it.It's around the three minute mark the track comes into it's own.The vocal goes nearly choral (think the rain down of Paranoid Android) with the lyric "we are accident's waiting,waiting to happen",and fractured Yorke voices combining in harmony.I don't know yet weather my love of this track comes from the fact that it may genuinly be great, or that it is so truly good to hear Radiohead doing this style again.Admittedly it's moved on from the day's of OK Computer, it's taken in some of the audio techniques of the past two albums and it is the better for it.The last minute where the drums & lead guitar go mental,around wirling in the ether,anchored down by a simple three note guitar ping, you kinda witness the simplistic, complex anarchy witnessed in the guitar horse nay of Just and the closing moments of Paranoid Android.This is what Radiohead were born to do,and if this track is an indicator of what is to come on "Hail to the Thief", then the debate about which is Radioheads best album might be about to be declared a no contest.
on 20 April 2003
Most 'Radiohead fans' (because lets face it we are a unique breed) will agree that this is one of the most exciting singles to date and firmly places them back on their footing as the best band currently active, even from the UK, currently a hotbed of new and developing talent.There There combines the previous utilisation of percussive beats and guitars albeit in a combination previously undocumented. The differences between this single and the anticipated upcoming work is different from the Amnesiac/Kid A material in some more subtle ways than others. The lyrics seem to have a subject, as the title of the LP would seem to suggest, which although not previously undocumented is a nice change from "yesterday I woke up sucking on a lemon."Although for those otherwise unexperienced in Radioheads music, this isn't the most accessible song, however, for those with an open mind and an appreciation of musicality this is sure to blow you away.
on 30 April 2003
A great little tune this. It starts off with its groovy drums and funky bassline, but appears to have a fairly weak melody, until it climaxes half way through in almost schizophrenic fashion with a very strong guitar riff and vocal refrain and drums REALLY pounding. When this kicks in you get one of the strongest guitar pop songs released in years (by these guys included).
It loses one star on account of not being long enough (you could almost fill in the gaps yourelf, the climax and guitar solo are too short and ending too abrupt). It's almost as if the band themselves were trying to avoid making a downright classic which it very nearly achieves. It also happens to be the shortest sounding 5 and a half minute song (you'll see what I mean when you hear it, which I'm sure you will many, many times). A guaranteed top 5 hit both here and Stateside; highly addictive and very, very catchy.
on 13 May 2003
Well what more can be said, 2 years have passed since "Knives out" managed a measly #12 in the single charts (due to the overly strange Michel Gondry video?) and now the long-awaited follow up is finally upon us. Having seen the remarkable quirky new video plenty of times now, I can only pray that the song will drag Radiohead kicking and screaming into the musical limelight with their first #1 single, rather than a wierd video hampering the sucess of a strong track.
"There There" bears a passing resemblance to Radiohead songs of old with the newfound experimentalism as prevalent as it was on "Knives out". Thom's voice once again takes over as the main instrument in what casual fans hope will be a straightforward rock affair; all I can say to them is dream on, never mind rock, Radiohead are re-writing musical history.
on 10 May 2003
So here they are again, back with another single and an album to follow. And what a surprise, it doesn't exactly sound like any of their previous efforts. Sort of like the experimental progressions of 'Amnesiac', but with a catchy melody and - whisper it - a hook more reminiscent of their earlier work. More than anything it just sounds like the next stage in Radiohead's magnificent evolution. Many people did not like the less accesible direction they moved in with the last two albums and will no doubt welcome the return of a more melodic sound, but no band should allow themselves to stagnate. All the best bands in the world just do what they feel like without regard for what other people may want, and that is why they get the best results. Radiohead are no exception. Fantastic!!!!!!