Skip to content

Radiohead TKOL RMX 1234567

October 12, 2011

When King of Lambs came out earlier this year my judgment was that it was not the greatest Radiohead album ever, but I liked it.  In fact my only criticism at the time was that I thought it was kind of short at little over 30 minutes.  There were a couple of tunes I would put on my own Radiohead best of mix (about all you can expect from any album from a band you love – most bands are only allowed two full album masterpieces in their catalog – Radiohead has arguable three – but as you see I only count two).

I appreciated that Radiohead threw us all a bone with the free singles Supercollider/The Butcher this summer to make up for the short album.  I am not enough of a fan to have paid for and kept track of the endless remixes of The King of Lambs songs that have come out over the last several months.  But I am enough of a fan to have picked up the two CD collection of these remixes for $12 bucks at my local Best Buy this week.

I have listened to the collection a few times now and some of the remixes I really like.  Others I just don’t get.  Now let me take the opportunity to say I don’t get most techno, electronica, dubstep or whatever you want to call it (and I assume that what these remixes are).  But keep in mind I am middle aged and not particularly adventurous in my listening (more than most my age, but more often than not I would prefer to listen to a classic Steely Dan side on vinyl).

I have no idea if the right audience for this music would think this stuff is cool or not. Pitchfork gave it a 6.0 – which by their standards is pretty good.  They gave James Blake a 9.0 – which I find unlistenable.  So I guess means this means this Radiohead remix is at the Katy Perry level (that is, Radiohead bubblegum remixes).  Anyway I would say I like about half of the songs here.  I prefer CD 1 as I can still hear Radiohead in most of the remixes. CD 2 deconstructs some of the songs to the point that you would not even know the source artist – maybe that is cool, but I did buy a Radiohead album.

Let me give you some background on my own experience with Radiohead.  I picked up The Bends when if first came out – I must have read a review or something.  I was completely blown away by it.  This was the most excited I had been about a new band since U2 first came on the scene.  I found it completely original pop music (that you could actually listen too – most “original” pop music is over my head – at least at first).  Everyone I played it for thought it was cool too. I learned reading magazines that cool music heads (AKA music snobs) thought it was cool too.  Wow – I was riding on the edge of hip pop music.

I could not wait for the follow up OK Computer and was not disappointed – it was even better.  Then came Kid A.  I distinctly remember my first contact with it.  I bought it the day it came out, I brought my daughter to gymnastics and had uninterrupted hour to kill (now this was a time in my life with small kids when an hour uninterrupted to listen to my favorite band was about as good as it gets).  I listened with an enthusiastic ear and I was devastated – I did not like it, in fact I hated it.  What at the coolest band in the world done?  Had they completely lost their mojo?

Then I learned the devastating news – all the music taste-makers said this was a breakthrough album – a work of genius (for example see Pitchfork’s rare 10.0 review).  Oh no.  I was no longer hip.  I continued to try and listened to Kid A over and over to see if I could learn to like it.  Maybe it would be one of those albums that I could learn to like and love (in my cannon that would be Miles Davis Bitches Brew and The Rolling Stones Exile of Main Street – albums I genuinely did not get at first but learned to love).  But it never stuck.  10 plus years later I can kind of get it, but not really.

Needless to say I have purchased about everything Radiohead has commercially released on the hopes of getting that Bends/OK Computer high.  In Rainbows and King Of Lambs are getting close – reasonable reminders of the band I once loved.  With that I can endorse TKOL RMX as a something a Radiohead fan will get a kick out of, but not something for the casual fan.  I would be curious what someone more hip than me would think.


From → Music Reviews

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: