While I was in Europe this week Lindsay pointed out to me that, on the 20th anniversary of the album’s release, Pitchfork was dedicating a whole week of articles to Radiohead‘s OK Computer. The content is excellent, from other artists reflecting on the album to art inspired by each song to how the album’s view of technology predicted the current day.
Then there’s “Exit Music (for a Film),” which, four songs in, nearly brings the album to a dead halt, but doesn’t. There must be a thousand lonely bedroom balladeers who’ve tried to play this song and failed, then wondered why. Friends, you’ve been had: “Exit Music” may be still at its center, but only in the way that an astronaut strapped inside a space capsule is still.
It was a huge album for me. I knew and liked (liked, not loved) Radiohead before that, but I remember sitting in my first apartment in Toronto and hearing “Karma Police” on the radio (!) and just sinking into it. Letting it push me around. I was hooked, and it began a deep, fleeting love affair with the band. I’ve been listening to it for the past few days, and it’s just held up so well — maybe even better than Kid A.
Cover photo from Pitchfork.