Hail To the Thief
Label: XL Recordings
Radiohead beef up the rock here while still playing with wacky alien soundscapes that linger in gloom. A post-9/11, snarky undertone is apparent from the start with "2 + 2 = 5" referencing Orwell's 1984 and the ominous repetition of "Sit Down. Stand Up." reflecting the social phenomenon of obedience. To match the hefty subject matter, Jonny Greenwood's eerie ondes Martenot creeps in and out as cavernous piano lurks around bouncy beats ("There There") discordant whirrs ("Backdrifts"), static, haze, pops and bleeps ("The Gloaming") and, of course, Thom Yorke's chorus-boy quivers.