Radiohead's third album got compared to Pink Floyd a lot when it came out, and its slow drama and conceptual sweep certainly put it in that category. OK Computer, though, is a complicated and difficult record: an album about the way machines dehumanize people that's almost entirely un-electronic; an album by a British "new wave of new wave" band that rejects speed and hooks in favor of languorous texture and morose details; a sad and humanist record whose central moment is Thom Yorke crooning "We hope that you choke." Sluggish, understated, and hard to get a grip on, OK Computer takes a few listens to appreciate, but its entirety means more than any one song. Radiohead's third album got compared to Pink Floyd a lot when it came out, and its slow drama and conceptual sweep certainly put it in that category. OK Computer, though, is a complicated and difficult record: an album about the way machines dehumanize people that's almost entirely un-electronic; an album by a British "new wave of new wave" band that rejects speed and hooks in favor of languorous texture and morose details; a sad and humanist record whose central moment is Thom Yorke crooning "We hope that you choke." Sluggish, understated, and hard to get a grip on, OK Computer takes a few listens to appreciate, but its entirety means more than any one song. --Douglas Wolk
Radiohead's third album got compared to Pink Floyd a lot when it came out, and its slow drama and conceptual sweep certainly put it in that category. OK Computer, though, is a complicated and difficult record: an album about the way machines dehumanize people that's almost entirely un-electronic; an album by a British "new wave of new wave" band that rejects speed and hooks in favor of languorous texture and morose details; a sad and humanist record whose central moment is Thom Yorke crooning "We hope that you choke." Sluggish, understated, and hard to get a grip on, OK Computer takes a few listens to appreciate, but its entirety means more than any one song. This 2 LP vinyl edition comes presssed on 180 gram vinyl.
Up through 1990, a raw, raging mix of ferocious punk and heaving hard rock might have become an underground hit-but a #1 pop album? The times they were a-changin', and this was the record that changed the whole ball game, relegating pop-metal to the background and putting the grunge and alt-rock bands on top. It's been 20 years since Nirvana took over the rock world with one of the most influential albums of its time. Nevermind returns to us in remastered form on CD, in deluxe form on 2 CDs or four 180-gram vinyl LPs, or in a Super Deluxe box set! All editions contain their watershed smash Smells Like Teen Spirit plus Come As You Are; Lithium; In Bloom; Polly , and the rest of the original LP. The deluxe editions add live versions of Drain You; Been a Son , and Polly ; unreleased Smart Studios recordings of In Bloom; Immodium (a.k.a. Breed ), and Lithium ; unissued BBC recordings; a wealth of unreleased boombox rehearsals, and other ultra-rarities. The Super Deluxe set includes everything already mentioned plus two further CDs with the unissued Devonshire mixes of the entire album (minus Polly ) and the "Live at the Paramount Theater" concert from '91. To top it all off, you get the DVD of that Paramount concert-the only known Nirvana concert shot to film-plus the Smells Like Teen Spirit; Come As You Are; Lithium , and In Bloom music videos! The ultimate celebration of a watershed moment in American rock music!
2000 release, the fourth album from the groundbreaking British Alt-Rock group. A commercial success worldwide, Kid A went platinum in its first week of release in the UK. Despite the lack of an official single or music video as publicity, Kid A became the first Radiohead release to debut at #1 in the United States. This success was credited variously to a unique marketing campaign, the early Internet leak of the album, and anticipation after the band's 1997 album, OK Computer. With every record, Radiohead jump off higher and higher cliffs, daring fans to take the plunge in their artistic feats of derring-do. The journey from that scratchy bit of raw guitar angst in "Creep" (from 1993's Pablo Honey) to any song on Kid A amounts to a high-wire act that few, if any, bands in popular music have ever attempted. It's hard to believe both records come from the same planet, much less the same band. Likewise, the grandiose, Pink Floyd-esque thematic scope of 1997's extraordinary OK Computer is nowhere to be found here. Quiet, contemplative, and less confrontational, it opens with a lack of bombast, as "Everything in Its Right Place" builds tension with ghostly voiceovers, a dry pulse, and a shadowy organ motif. That tension appears over and over on Kid A. On "How to Disappear Completely," the unsettled, atonal keyboard waxing in the background offsets the plaintive Thom Yorke vocal, and on "Idioteque," detached, inorganic rhythms make the melody's despondent aimlessness that much more nerve-racking. Throughout, Radiohead fearlessly explore dissonance and structure, melding twisted, Brian Eno-meets-Aphex Twin sonic landscapes with utter discontent in the world around them. They may sometimes overreach, letting artsy ambition prevent them from giving us the arena rock-god goodies. But their commitment to restless creativity also yields pleasures that don't fade but instead become more resonant upon repeated listenings. If OK Computer was rock's most relevant expression of millennial angst, Kid A is the opposite; it's the 21...
How is it that Kid A's opening track, laden with an electronic vocal stuttering "bleh, bluh-bleh bleh bluh" is the most fascinating statement made in rock & roll this year? Because somehow, even when Radiohead blathers and blips nonsense, it's profound. The band's future-perfect musical grammar may be hard to decipher, and the melody is even more subliminal, but the journey traveled with Radiohead reveals them to be not only rock music's greatest adventurers in 2000, but teachers as well. This 2 LP version comes pressed on 180 gram vinyl.
Emotional struggle is central to Imagine Dragons' ethos. From the beginning it's been the group's goal to take the pain they've each experienced in life and spin it into something redemptive and uplifting. That transformation of emotional pain into art is what drives them as people and it's also what inspired their first hit. I wrote It's Time during a very transitional period in my life, Reynolds recalls. It seemed like everything was going wrong. I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life, trying to figure out how seriously to take music. I was making decisions about who I was. I'm a pretty young guy and I m still trying to figure out the answer to those questions. With the release of Night Visions, Imagine Dragons finally have a chance to show the world what that magic sounds like. They start off with a big statement in Radioactive, which blends a throbbing backbeat with delicate acoustic guitars and deals lyrically with facing the apocalypse. We want people to hear that song and feel empowered, Reynolds explains. Meanwhile, the delicacy of tracks like Demons balances the album's expansiveness with a sense of human intimacy. The album title came together very organically, Reynolds recalls of the records overall theme. We all sat in a room and wrote out what the band and sound of the album means to us. We all deal with our own demons and anxieties but we find that nothing calms the mind more than creating. Many of the songs on the album were written late into the night, and some of the lyrical themes came from dreams I've had, even some nightmares. So when the title Night Visions came up, it just seemed to fit perfectly. We hope it inspires other to create, and push through their own struggles.
Coldplay's massively anticipated new album, X&Y, is the follow-up to 2002's 16-million selling 'A Rush of Blood To The Head' and includes the single 'Speed of Sound'. X&Y was recorded at studios in the UK and has been produced by Danton Supple (Morrissey, Elbow), Ken Nelson (Badly Drawn Boy, Kings of Convenience) and the band themselves. US pressing features the hidden bonus track, 'Til Kingdom Come' which is available on all other pressings. EMI. 2005. Things have gone ridiculously well for Coldplay since 2002's A Rush of Blood to the Head. The group's global album sales have soared past the 10-million mark, putting it in the same stratosphere as megabands U2 and the Dave Matthews Band. People have offered up their bank accounts, cars, and even bodies for tickets to its shows. And, in a interesting twist, frontman Chris Martin married Gwyneth Paltrow and set the tabloid world aflame. Funny thing, then, that the British quartet's much-anticipated third album, X&Y, is all about staying grounded. In the powerful opener, "Square One," the singer insists people are fundamentally the same no matter what their stature: "You just want... Somebody listening to what you say," he sings. On "Fix You," Martin grapples with imperfection and missed opportunity: "When you love someone but it goes to waste... Could it be worse?" Meanwhile, the vibrant single, "Speed of Sound," is all about reconnecting with the spirit and soul in the face of the paparazzi's flashbulbs. Musically, the band has never sounded more adventurous, referencing everyone from Kraftwerk ("Talk") to the Pogues ("Swallowed in the Sea"), all the while sweeping aside those Radiohead-lite comparisons to embrace a massive, moving sound that makes simplicity seem sublime. --Aidin Vaziri
"We are more than excited to release Babel into the world. We had started writing new songs well before we got into the studio to record. At first, we peeled ourselves off the road quite reluctantly. We love playing live, obviously, but it had also become an important part of our creative process, we had been writing and rehearsing in soundchecks, and sort of road-testing new songs on our very gracious audiences. But then we fell in love with recording again. The album started to come together, and with the help of Markus Dravs once more (and engineer Robin Baynton), we started to relish the challenge of making this album. As a band, we ve never been closer or more collaborative, all working to our strengths. And so we feel that this record is a natural progression that we re proud of, and we cannot wait to take it out on the road." -Mumford & Sons
With Taking the Long Way, the Dixie Chicks are putting themselves out there like never before. For the first time, every song on the album is co-written by the Chicks themselves, exploring themes both deeply private and resoundingly political. Taking the Long Way covers an impressive range of territory and includes the defiant and autobiographical first single "Not Ready to Make Nice" as well as the tracks "Silent House," "It's So Hard When it Doesn't Come Easy," and the album version of the gospel-inflected "I Hope," featuring a blistering guitar solo by John Mayer. Nothing changes folks like babies and war, and since the release of their last album, 2002's Home, the Dixie Chicks have been forever altered by both. If that album showcased the trio as precocious young adults, Taking the Long Way finds them sobered and matured, and in a grown-up state of mind. Produced by the celebrated Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers), who saw the Chicks as "a great rock act making a country album, not a country act making a rock album," their new record impresses both as beautiful sonic tapestry (peppered with myriad Beatlesque hallmarks) and forthright yet vulnerable portrait of three women shaken by the personal and political events of the past few years. As they make clear in the defiant "Not Ready to Make Nice," they still smart over the backlash from their 2003 Bushwhacking. But as they assert on the equally autobiographical "The Long Way Around," they could never "kiss all the asses that they told me to" and just follow others aimlessly--and silently--through life. This means that the Chicks are simultaneously prideful and scornful of celebrity ("Everybody Knows"), and that as new mothers they increasingly treasure the refuge they find in life with their families, out of the spotlight ("Easy Silence," "Lullaby," "Baby Hold On"). The push and pull of both passions drive this record, which also touches on the personal issues of infertility (with which sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison both dealt) and Al...