Radiohead: power of music and words


I remember when I officially announced that I became a big fan of Radiohead, my parents found it strange, because for them their songs are melancholic, sad and weird which is not fulfilling with positive emotions. Probably I agree with them and even Thom Yorke, the singer of the rock band would agree with them, however, every fan of Radiohead knows they have far more important mission, rather than being emotionally positive and exciting rock band. Radiohead is is not merely producing and selling music, but also creating music which is both about happiness and sadness, love and despair and the beauty and ugliness of life.

For understanding the full power of Radiohead, the listener must fully understand both the instrumental and lyrical parts of the songs. When I personally started to examine their music, their lyrics are powerful and strange, because usually bands do not put so much meaning in their words. However, their lyrics contain not only meaning, but also opinion, poetry, history and even sociopolitical ideas.

In their latest¬†album, “A Moon Shaped Pool”, ¬†they showed that the power of music is limitless and as a band their songs can¬†become “more perfect”.


Besides having a strong opinion about environmental issues, this time their album’s themes are¬†mostly dominated with other themes, such as in ‚ÄúPresent Tense‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúTrue love waits‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúIdentikit‚ÄĚ songs which are mostly about love, despair and faith. The¬†‚ÄúIdentikit‚ÄĚ song is¬†referring to clich√©d perception about beauty and love which is¬†using lines from the Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84” book, ‚ÄúThe sweet-faced ones with nothing left inside‚ÄĚ and some lines from Adele’s song.¬†They also bring back their old songs, the¬†‚ÄúTrue love waits‚ÄĚ, but this time with new instrumental solutions.

Their songs teach us that music is not only about¬†banal emotions which can be triggered with couple of beats, clich√©d words and repetition. Music is power, it‚Äôs a movement and it can have emotional, ideological and even sociopolitical power in it and Radiohead has certainly¬†taken that power. David Gilmour, the singer and guitarist of Pink Floyd rock band, ones told in one of his interviews about the band, “I don’t know about taking the mantle, but there are a lot of people who have tried very hard to move music into a different direction and take it their own way. There’s Radiohead, obviously.

-Gayane Aramyan


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