[40] Radiohead, ‘There There’

There There

The one surefooted monster among Hail To The Thief’s dreary missteps, ‘There There’ finds time to play at Bjork’s ‘Human Behaviour’ before letting rip with fiery guitars and palpable thrills. It reminds me of painting my old flat. So does that Zwan album. Decorating in 2003 was all about suspiciously lumpen, sneakily enjoyable rock.

Junior says: “When’s the good bit?” I’d built Thom and Jonny’s axe-clash up a bit. She also suffered a potential lethal blow to her nascent understanding of mathematics, when reading ‘2 + 2 = 5’ on the CD cover.

Best bit: When it cuts loose, obviously.

[13] Radiohead, ‘Fake Plastic Trees’

Now – forget your standard rock candidates – The Bends is The Best Air Guitar Album In The World… Ever! I could never be doing with all that angsty navel-gazing ‘Creep’ stuff, so imagine my surprise when ‘My Iron Lung’ turned up with its friends in tow, with all that melody, warmth, heart and biceps. There was no better album in 1995.

‘Fake Plastic Trees’ doesn’t call on your Aircaster. Junior sat back and listened to her dad’s early morning cracked voice singing along, only livening up with a few giggles and leg-slaps when the soothing keyboard line came in towards the end. It’s a soft, sleepy record about, erm, plastic surgery or something and the, er, fragility of the psyche, living up to modern ideals. Help me here. Ah, it’s beautiful and affecting, whatever.

The whole warmth and melody thing became a bit of a millstone for Radiohead, of course, so they set about excising it from their oeuvre. 

‘There There’ is the only song on Hail To The Thief that I ever play.