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Pablo Honey Import
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"Pablo Honey" is most famous for the hit single "Creep," a simple post-grunge pop song completely atypical of the Oxford quintet's style. In fact, the song was never originally intended for the album. As the story goes, Thom Yorke had written it years before and was strumming it in the studio, when a passing record exec heard it and insisted on including it on the record. The rest is history, as they say. Though "Creep" ranks among Radiohead's least distinctive songs, it did put them on the music world's map, for which we should be eternally thankful.
Beyond "Creep," only a few songs stand out: "You" with its driving odd meters; the heartfelt ballad "Thinking About You;" the energetic "Ripcord;" and the dynamic "Stop Whispering," which starts as a catchy pop tune but builds to a ferocious crescendo that foreshadows Radiohead's evolution towards more complex arrangements. "Pablo Honey's" performances and production values are solid but lackluster, and may disappoint those expecting the studio wizardry and technical virtuosity Radiohead would go on to achieve on "The Bends," "OK Computer," and "Kid A."
All in all, "Pablo Honey" is a decent record, far overrated by the indie mavens who disowned Radiohead after they went "art rock," and unlikely to satisfy those more familiar with their later, more progressive work. It's a worthwhile debut, but remains a curio in Radiohead's increasingly impressive and accomplished oeuvre.
From the opening guitar line of "You" it is hard not to get caught by the magic of their musical phrasing. This is all pre-Oasis, pre-Travis. This is indie prog rock in the making, with these guys fabricating a new electric sound in songs like "How Do You?" and balancing it off in others like "Thinking About You" where the acoustic guitar can be just as powerful. Then, combining the two in "Ripcord" and making you feel like rock music first started to be played like this.
"Pablo Honey" is not Radiohead's best work (that honor would probably belong to "OK Computer"). Yet it's an extraordinary production and an even more amazing debut. Many bands since and before them would want to have their best album ever be half as solid as Radiohead's first one.
UPDATE (06/03/08): Thanks for the clarification about "pre-James". Indeed James were making music before Radiohead.
It starts out with the killer musically and lyrically opening track "You" followed up the famous "Creep" which was reuined by too much radio play and the world marking Radiohead as a one-hit wonder. I see how Radiohead could regret writing it but it's still an amazing song and speaks with real honesty. "How Do You?" is a fast paced post-punk rock song about a betrayal. The next two songs are my favorite on the album. "Stop Whispering" has a great catchy guitar riff with light drumming in the background that starts out slowly and rises along with Thom Yorke's vocals. It may not be fancy or really creative but it does something to me inside. "Thinking About You" is a beautiful light acoustic song. The lyrics are about questioning a relationship and weather to pursuit it or not. "Anyone Can Play Guitar" is one of Radiohead's most uplifting tunes. It has an under surface message that really you can do anything in life. It also brings up a funny image of Thom Yorke as Jim Morrison. "Ripcord" has an average silent than loud rock sound. "Vegetable" has a beautiful guitar chord going through while Thom Yorke silently sings. "Prove Yourself" has a great message and really spoke to me when I first heard it. "I Can't" is much like the other songs on the album.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really bad recording. Had it replaced once, still sounds like crap. Would NOT buy it again.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Arrived as promised...the ONLY item in an order of 4! But I'm a RH fan...loved it!Published 1 month ago by Lola K.
This album is just as good as Radiohead's other releases but only having one hit song and that is the obvious song, ''Creep'' which is the most common reason Radiohead fans buy... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jonathan C.