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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 31 March 2017
20 people gave this 1 star. They obviously don't like Radiohead. So why buy it.?
It's an absolute classic.
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on 18 November 2015
Radiohead fans have an accumulated reputation for being silly faux-poetic hipsters who take themselves too seriously, and to be honest, we deserve that a little bit. So, just to quickly dispense with that and offer a non-hyperbolic, unpretentious, level-headed review:

Radiohead are a very talented group with a near-unique sound, even now, and OK Computer is arguably their most refined, well-rounded and cohesive album. Thom Yorke has a memorable and lovely voice that hits the highs without cracking and he manages to convey real emotional depth with it even while singing pretty vague and odd lyrics that (unless you like to read ten miles between the lines) aren't about much at all. Every song is meticulously put together and the whole thing sounds like a set of musicians who have worked with each other for a while, taking their time and doing their absolute best for the sake of the craft. There is no slack - no wasted instruments or filler tracks, no sense of padding. It's one of the few albums on which I don't feel the need to skip any songs.

The musical style occupies a niche; their particular mix of pretty piano melodies, raw guitar riffs, accoustic backing and engaged, dynamic drumming hasn't been entirely reproduced by anybody quite so well since, which is a pity but definitely makes this album indispensable. It never sounds as dreary and generic as the bulk of Brit Pop, keeping an enjoyable level of energy and creativity, while having enough heart and sensitivity to avoid sounding juvenile and thrashy. It never devolves into a tedious navel-gazing unplugged session or monotonous distortion-heavy rock. Radiohead blend many softer and harder elements that other bands can only produce individually, and that's what made them a hit; the key to this album's enduring likeability is its variety.

OK Computer was an instant classic that inspired a host of successive pop acts, but it had a certain sincerity and passion that those subsequent acts haven't quite nailed. It had the privilege of forging a subgenre; all similar work since has sounded less brave and explorative, because it exists in Radiohead's shadow. So if you've enjoyed any modern indie/Brit pop or light rock of the past twenty years and haven't heard it yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a go, because it's the apex of its genre.
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VINE VOICEon 13 February 2015
I remember reading a review of OK Computer years ago that asked the question are Radiohead human? And I can see what the reviewer was getting at. Listening to this album is like bring enveloped by an alien spaceship that is experimenting on the listening sections of your brain. The sheer variety of sounds that are fired at you is astounding. OK Computer is not, though, just a sound collage, it is a collection of magnificent songs that, just when you think they can't get more spectacular , keep on coming. The drum sounds are massive, the guitars soar, the virtually unintelligible lyrics nevertheless affect more than any perfectly enunciated words ever could. I was entranced by OK Computer the day I first heard it in 1997. I still am; it being a staple to listen to in my car.
This is a truly classic album that deserves to be ranked alongside Dark Side Of The Moon and Selling England By The Pound as an exemplar of British progressive (note the small "p") rock.
For you to go through life not having heard this would be a tragedy.
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on 5 September 2014
I bought this, basically, on the strength of their previous record's last song, "Street Spirit (Fade Out)", which I adored immediately, and favored over the often a bit too "college rock"-y sound of the other songs of the album, as well as that on their first record. The heavy electronic treatment of Mr. Greenwood's guitar on "Paranoid Android" reassured me quickly that this was indeed something else, and it was rather soon clear that the game changed with this album. The experimentation of sound, the guitars in particular, reminded me of progressive rock bands from the past, but here the guitar almost works against the songs, providing an unease and a nervous edge which complement the lyrics about isolation, and it is filling up all the space that is left by the other sounds, making the music feel trapped. The only time when I lose my 100% interest is when "Fitter, Happier" plays. It works for me almost like an intermission, and perhaps that's what it is! It is certainly needed, because there are a lot of things going on, and concentration is a must. For those who can stay concentrated there is an award waiting.
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on 3 May 2014
No. Not the Beatles, not Oasis or Led Zep. OK Computer by Radiohead is indeed the most compelling case for "best album ever status".

It is timeless, and haven't aged a bit since 1997. It's been MANY years since i last listened to it, and was shocked by how good and modern it still sounds. Unlike many bands befor and since,Radiohead created their own sound and atmosphere. This is a brilliant and varied album, with great tunes and a lot of heart.
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VINE VOICEon 11 February 2017
Radiohead are a band that I sadly seemed to miss when they were releasing their hugely popular stuff in the mid 90's and I only started listening to their stuff via their greatest hits a bit later and realised how great it was.

I've now got myself a turntable and started to collected some of the classic albums that I missed from bands that I like and this was high on the list.

So I got this last Saturday, opened it up and started to listen.... absolutely fantastic, I haven't stopped listening every night since.

It's wonderful. Yes it's Radiohead, it isn't dancing bunnies and happy pop, but to my ears it's a fantastic, complex and brilliantly put together album with barely a bad track across all four sides.

I can see why this did so well. A genuine classic.
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on 6 January 2004
i discovered the wonders of Radiohead when reading a certain magazines recent top 100 poll in which OK Computer was 2nd, The Bends 4th and Kid A 37th, or something like that. I had always had an impression of OK Computer as being a weird album of electronics and machines - this was prior to actually hearing any songs, a reader of this magazine had commented 'it is like floating down a river and being hit by a marshmallow'. Well. if you say so. As a result i purchased The Bends, Radioheads magnificent 2nd album, a 100 times better than their debut Pablo Honey, which while good in parts (Creep, Anyone Can Play Guitar and Prove Yourself) lacking a general consistency, that characterised their next 2, to make it a great album. So, The Bends proved to be an inspired buy packed with intelligent lyrics, mental guitar but also emotion. I then resolved to pluck up the courage to buy OK Computer. I still hadn't heard any songs - not having the music channels and they are rarely, if ever, played on the radio but i like to take risks and often this is the best way and i bought the album. Now if you are still with me i will explain why it is probably my favourite record ever. My first listen left me slightly unconvinced (as many do) however, my concentration on it was limited as i attempted to revise for my physics gcse. The next day i went for a walk with the dog and took my walkman loaded with a OK. Now if you ever want to get into a cd this is the best way - on your walkman. The music pumps straight into your ears, other sounds are blocked out and yopu begin to hear the little intricacys that make albums great - hidden guitar, wondrous vocals, a surprising drum beat. All of these hit me as i listned to OK Computer and since then more and more have come to light and that is the pleasure of this album - every time you listen to it something new and amazing can happen that you have never heard in it before. The 1st track 'airbag' is unfortunately perhaps the greatest let down of the album it just doesnt do anything special apart from the great lyric 'in an instellar burst, i'm back to save the universe' a great statement of intent from Thom Yorke as this album may not save the universe but it will restore for those who have lost their love and faith in music a little sanity. 'Paranoid Android' is where this album really kicks off - at just over 6 minutes long and in 3 sections that has led to the Bohemian Rhapsody comparisons but thankfully without the scarabuche bit. Jonny Greenwoods awesome guitar riffs lift this onto a different planet. 'Subterranean Homesick Alien' is surely one of the weirdest but best song titles in recent times and the song is equally as good, like the rest of the album containing beautiful, tortured lyrics with brilliant musicianship. Exit Music is surely the most beautiful song ever written it is packed with emotion and Thom's finally refrain 'we hope that you choke' along with the excellent acoustic guitars is simply undexcribable in terms of quality. 'Let Down' is another fantastic anthem 'let down and hanging around squashed like a bug in the ground'. It is followed by the exceptional Karma Police, and then Fitter Happier a change in style from the left field guitars to computerised voice lamenting the modern world but this shouldnt but anyone of as it is another highlight which segways perfectly between Karma Police and the up tempo if still downbeat and critical 'Electioneering' probably their fastest song ever. 'Climbing Up Walls' claustrophobic feel is the perfect intro to 'No Suprises' with the glockenspiel clanging and Thoms call for a handshake of carbon monoxide as long as he gets 'no alarms and no surprises'. Lucky the penultimate track would have been the perfect ending with an almost sing along quality but Radiohead lumped 'Tourist' on the end which in many ways doesn't stand up to the rest of the album - none the less this album is a must buy for any music fan there is no way that you will regret it - unless you dont like it - but that wouldn't happen, would it?
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on 16 December 2016
I lost my original copy some time ago, but heard "No Surprises" on late night radio recently and decided to buy the CD again. It's just as good as ever and has definitely had a major influence on bands of the last 20 years.
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on 23 November 2014
I was listening to this album today in the gym (yes seriously) and although it's music and it's lyrics are never far from mind, I was struck again with just how amazing this album is. It's so accomplished, so moving and so utterly timeless that it's the only album I'll ever need if I come to ever end up on on one of those so-called desert islands. Lot's of albums over the years get the classic status thrown at them but we all know that most of them have one or two filler tracks. OK Computer is that rare beast. A work of art which transends head and shoulders above anything else.
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on 17 October 2007
I'm probably going to kick myself for writing this review, as I still haven't really come to terms with this album and, in truth, quite unprepared to write this. I've only had access to this album since October 6th, and one thing I've learned about Radiohead's OK COMPUTER is you won't get it the first time you listen to it.

As for my own knowledge of Radiohead, it's pretty much zip, zero. Indeed, I always thought they were just a one hit wonder band with "Creep," a song which doesn't really do much for me. I only found out about this album this year, and this discovery AMG. Trying to get their other releases, but for now this is all I have. I do know the title KID A is supposedly a reference to the first cloned human being, which York thinks already exists..

The simple fact is this: OK COMPUTER is a difficult record. Lyrics dealing with technology stripping away your identity set to very layered and groundbreaking, innovative music does not make for easy listening. This is an album you put in your CD player, hit player, and fifty three minutes later you wonder where in the world that came from. To use a cliche, the sum is greater than its parts. To fully appreciate OK COMPUTER, you need to listen to the whole thing, because, while every song on here (save for "Fitter, Happier," which works in context of the album, but is not really a stand alone "song" of any sorts) is very strong, you don't get the full effect unless you listen to it straight through. The album is one that demands your attention, and requires multiple listens to fully appreciate what is going on. Like any great album (or wine for that matter), the more exposure you get to it the more you realise what a gem you have here. The first time I listened to it I really didn't get it or why everyone thought OK COMPUTER was so great, but after a week of getting to know the album I'm (sort of) getting why everyone thinks this is so great.

My favorite facet of this album, however, is the fact that it gave us conclusive proof that modern music can actually produce worthwhile art. With music being dominated by flaccid and artistically inept bands whose sole goal is to get on the radio, it's nice to have a band out there like Radiohead doing something truly worthwhile with music.

Another great thing about this album is that my own generation now posses an album for ourselves. This album's outlook is molded from a viewpoint in which everywhere one looks technology is there, and indeed, the outlook does not know what life would be like without technology. While there has been some sort of technology since the Industrial Revolution, life's firm basis and very conduct has never been so reliant on it as it does now. This album could not have been made in the 1970s, or if it had, OK COMPUTER would be approached as a science fiction piece which turned out to be a prophecy. And while other quintessential albums in the rock canon are often viewed with great respect, there is a distance between them and my generation's lives. Sure, SGT. PEPPER revolutionized music and gave a legitimacy to rock that had otherwise been lacking, yet it really doesn't capture or feel nearly as relevant to our everyday lives as this does.

Now's the time for the obligatory Pink Floyd reference. The closest relation OK COMPUTER has was released a full 24 years before this release hit the stores. DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, Pink Floyd's best album, deals with modern life as no other album that I have heard does. DARK SIDE shows us with deep morose the hollowness of modernity. Being a Christian, I believe the answer to this hollowness is Jesus Christ. Do with that as you will.

OK COMPUTER does likewise, with this same theme updated too the 1990s and firmly rooted in the technology driven society we now find ourselves in. Both bands make their prospective albums relevant to our lives by communicating what we all feel inside. Both albums are tremendously popular. The paranoia, fear of losing your identity, the absolute bucking of letting technology strip away humanity, and the desire to be made more human is why this album became such a success.

Musically complex, lyrically thematic of searching for something higher, this album was destined to be a classic, and shows us why Radiohead stands as one of rock's most creative bands.

Mike London.

P. S. It is not for anything that there is a Douglas Adams reference on OK COMPUTER. The title of one of my favorite songs on the album, "Paranoid Android," is taken from HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, a book that deals with trying to discover the meaning of the universe. Adams was a "radical atheist," and HITCHHIKER clearly portrays that. It also explores the essential meaningless of life and tries to come up with a solution to a life without God. After having experienced Adams' stories for myself, my own conclusion is this: I'd much rather believe in a God and it prove to be a fraud than live in a universe such as the one portrayed by Adams. With no God, there is no purpose, no meaning to life. HITCHHIKER shows us this quite clearly, and for myself Adams shows the utter hopelessness of life. OK COMPUTER in an assured manner that humanity will prevail while acknowledging the pain we feel.

P. P. S. The other essential 1990s album is AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE, by REM.

P. P. P. S. "Subterranean Homesick Alien," for those who don't know (which will be few) is a reference to Bob Dylan. As for album of the year, OK COMPUTER is more deserving of that honour than TIME OUT OF MIND.
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