For a decade now, Radiohead has taken the standard practices of the music industry and tossed them in the trash compactor. Instead of riding the wave of OK Computer‘s success and sound back in 1997, they flipped 180 and released 2000’s electronic-laden Kid A… and won a grammy for it. It’s been that sort of “fuck you” ever since, and lately the band has been changing the game again (or maybe going back in time) by releasing more traditional singles and shorter LPs.
The unconventionalism of the all-mighty Radiohead doesn’t always work though, as this year’s The King of Limbs was underwhelming at best, and even die hard fans are starting to get the sense that Radiohead doesn’t seem to really “care anymore”. With their long time producer Nigel Godrich being basically a 6th member of the band, things are starting to seem stale and uninspired. They might very well benefit from a new set of ears and a less comfortable environment.
This week though, they released another two songs on their own in the form of a single: “Staircase” and “The Daily Mail”. Both are live-in-studio takes from the Basement sessions, but mixed and mastered for release.
As I saw on their appearance at The Colbert Report a few months ago, these are the best two tracks I’ve heard from Radiohead in a while. Especially “The Daily Mail”. The songs groove, and either knock you into a trance or get your head a-bobbing. Where were these when it was time to release The King of Limbs?
Seriously. What the hell.
Maybe it’s a good thing. This way, I can still write off TKOL like it never happened and just enjoy these newer releases.
Now you’ve earned my “bravo” guys. So… bravo.
– Clay Lancaster (www.claylancaster.com)