Radiohead is one of those bands.
Yes, they’ve had massive success, even your grandmother probably knows the band exists and maybe even heard “Creep” on Muzak (yes, it happens).
But in reality they’re a band for critics and music geeks. They’re the musical equivalent of Forrest Whittaker.
A few days ago, Radiohead got a cryptic. They erased their FB & Twitter, blanked out their website and sent weird postcards to members of their fan club and people who had recently purchased from their website.
“Something has to be coming!!!!”, the masses screamed.
And today, lo and behold, they pulled a Beyoncé (who has been pulling a Radiohead/Nine inch Nails for her last few releases). Here, ladies & gents, is “Burn The Witch”.
Now I’ll admit I like Radiohead. I don’t love them, but i do see a certain genius in a lot of their work. This, though?
For years Coldplay wanted to be a more mainstream Radiohead. Listen to any song off 2008’s Viva La Vida and you’ll hear a band desperate to be taken seriously. Of course then they did a duet with Rihanna and went shitty pop. I blame Gwyneth. But I digress….
Listen to “Burn the Witch” again. Then listen to the title track from “Viva La Vida” and try not to laugh. Yes, after 23 years of pushing boundaries and “blowing minds”, Radiohead have put out a single that is essentially a super mopey retread version of a song released by a band that was trying to sound more like Radiohead 8 years ago. Need a flow Chart? I have a headache.
Let’s be honest. Radiohead have been believing their own hype for years. The Bends & OK Computer were fantastic, Kid A was claustrophobic and engrossing, Amnesiac was slightly more filler than killer, Hail to the thief was mostly misses, In Rainbows regained some glory, but King Of limbs was really listenable to critics and diehards only. What we have is a band determined to seal their legacy by becoming a bit more self-indulgent every single album. They might as well become a prog rock band. And not a good one like Yes or Dream Theater. no, they’re becoming The Mars Volta bad (another self-indulgent hype loving crap fest).
Radiohead is one of those bands that people feel important for loving. So I wonder what those people will do now that Radiohead is a step away from releasing The Scientist?