Song of the Day #4,514: ‘Go to Sleep’ – Radiohead

Radiohead had a great 90s, with its three albums moving them from Nirvana-wannabe alt-rockers to one of the most acclaimed bands in the world. Their albums The Bends and OK Computer have been hailed as two of the most important alternative albums ever.

The 2000s saw Radiohead embrace their critical darling status by steering their music away from the mainstream and into electronic, art-pop territory. 2000’s Kid A and 2001’s Amnesiac were embraced by critics and called modern rock masterpieces.

I didn’t get it. While I loved The Bends and OK Computer, the newer material felt increasingly droney and boring, and the over-the-top critical response seemed like a case of the emperor’s new clothes.

I was off the train by the time 2003’s Hail to the Thief came out. This album, written in response to George W. Bush’s administration, is a step away from the sonic experimentation of its two predecessors, but not a big enough step for my taste.

I hoped to be pleasantly surprised by this album, to hear some of the great songwriting I loved on the band’s 90s work. Nope. Hail to the Thief makes some interesting production choices, and at times seems to be on to something, but ultimately the songs just aren’t very strong.

Take today’s track, for example. It starts off promising enough, but doesn’t go anywhere new. And this is the closest thing to a good song I heard on the album.

[Verse 1]
Something for the rag and bone man
Over my dead body
Something big is gonna happen
Over my dead body

[Verse 2]
Someone’s son or someone’s daughter
Over my dead body
This is how I end up sucked in
Over my dead body

I’m gonna go to sleep
And let this wash all over me

We don’t really want a monster taking over
Tiptoe ’round, tie him down
We don’t want the loonies taking over
Tiptoe ’round, tie him down

May pretty horses
Come to you as you sleep
I’m gonna go to sleep
And let this wash all over me

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,514: ‘Go to Sleep’ – Radiohead

  1. Dana says:

    Well, I wasn’t a fan of Radiohead’s purported good stuff, so I’ve got no use for the ones you don’t even like.

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