Listening to more than a few Radiohead songs in a row makes me desperate; I will do anything to get away from Thom Yorke's high, whiny moans and the quiet cacophony brooding underneath. Sad, interesting, audacious music is fine, but Radiohead takes its scratchy strings, plodding drums, and crackles of white noise to an unrelentingly uneasy place. I guess that's the point, but that's not the way I want to feel when I listen to music.
It didn't used to be like this: I thoroughly enjoy "Creep," from 1993's "Pablo Honey," and the undeniably beautiful "High and Dry" from 1995's "The Bends." You can actually detect some sort of structure in these older songs. Yorke was moody but not intolerable back then, not yet having discovered his full-blown talent for dreary wailing. I guess I'm just a sucker for melody. And a beat. And intelligible lyrics. Anyone who can perform with a marching band and still be a downer (check out Yorke's performance at the Grammys) is not someone I can ever hope to understand.
-- Katie Johnston Chase