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Radiohead
The Best Of
Capitol Records
www.radiohead.com


When Radiohead came out in the '90s, their similarities to The Cure's synth-pop fuzz and REM's melodic-pop hooks were widely noted, but Radiohead's urban tales like "Creep" and "Karma Police" were specifically personalized to the band. The last twenty years has seen the band go from being pupils of REM to being mentors of this generation's alt-pop hipsters. Radiohead have built up a vast repertoire that consists of twenty years of material and to celebrate this endeavor Radiohead has released The Best Of, a collection of songs that have made the band into pop icons.

The origin of Radiohead begins with band members Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar), Ed O' Brien (guitar, vocals), Jonny Greenwood (guitar), Colin Greenwood (bass), and Phil Selway (drums) joining forces as students at Oxford University in 1988. Radiohead's debut album Pablo Honey in 1993 became an unexpected smash with the release of their hit song "Creep," which is included on The Best Of. The lyrics expressed deep insecurities, self-doubts and low self-esteem, which made it an instant alt-rock anthem with audiences. The band demonstrated staying power with the release of their second album The Bends in 1995, whose title track along with a handful of other songs like "Just" and "Fake Plastic Trees" produced more hits for the band and earned their positions on The Best Of.

The band's third album OK Computer, released in 1997, had tracks like "Paranoid Android," "No Surprises: and "Karma Police" which are all on The Best Of and feature the band's experimental leanings for prog rock blends sealed in creaking electronica and post-punk essences. At this stage, the band was balancing rock classicism with futuristic aspects producing an art-pop goulash. Radiohead's fourth album Kid A in 2000 produced a few fan favorites like "Everything In Its Right Place" "Optimistic" and "Idioteque," which are on The Best Of, and the band's fifth studio album Amnesiac in 2001 put the band over the top with the emo-soaked passages and bruised pigments illustrating "Pyramid Song," "I Might Be Wrong," and "Knives Out," all of which have a place on The Best Of. The band's sixth album Hail To The Thief in 2005 replenished the band's prog rock energies with storm-cloaked symphonies like "There There," "2+2=5" and "Go To Sleep," which are on The Best Of.

Though the band just released their seventh studio album In Rainbows in January 2008, they put none of those tracks on The Best Of. Radiohead have earned their stripes as pop artists. Though they have achieved a great deal for themselves, Radiohead do not sound like they are ready to retire. They simply want to wallow a little in what they have accomplished thus far, before moving on to other pastures. The Best Of is a pat-on-the-back for Radiohead, whose material is still greatly influencing a number of musician's music.

-Susan Frances

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