July 15, 2003

I Hate Radiohead

For details, see my latest review at American Enterprise Online.

UPDATE: TAEmag.com has undergone a redesign; my review is now located here.

Posted by John Tabin at July 15, 2003 10:30 PM

fag. you probably listen to puddle of muddddd and limp biskit or however the fuck you spell those two stupid bands names. retard.

NOTE: the above was not actually written by me, obviously; the commenter simply signed my name to demonstrate his boundless wit. -JT

Posted by: John Tabin at October 8, 2003 04:23 PM

If you don't get it, why do you review it? Look at the crowd that admires Radiohead. People of all ages intent on questioning societal taboos, establishment, motives and actions of political leaders, corporations, media... People who insist on thinking for themselves and caring for each other. Have you even been to a Radiohead concert? Have you felt the vibe of thousands of people singing along to Karma Police or Just? I doubt it. But if you have and you've missed out on one of the most genuinely uplifting experiences, I feel sorry for you.

Posted by: Artem at October 9, 2003 11:03 AM

Whoa, what a shocker. Radiohead once again gets a bad rap for not following corporate music trends in sounding like everything else. They said the same shit about the Beach Boys in the 60's and Pink Floyd in the 70's. Thats what bonafide rock stars are supposed to do LIVE BY THEIR OWN CODE. Most don't because they're afraid they won't get to buy that shack out in the hills. Mainstream makes me vomit. John, do your homework. And Radiohead, stay punk.

Posted by: eeels at October 9, 2003 11:34 AM

First poster: Well, that was a compelling argument.

Artem: You've obviously misunderstood. It isn't that I don't get it-- I don't like it. (And it ain't that I haven't given it a chance-- I've listened to nearly the whole catalog from Pablo Honey through Hail to the Thief, the whole gradual transition from solid but unremarkable pop band to hit-or-miss experimentation straight on to full-out self-parody.) If you're suggesting that only those who worship a band are entitled to evaluate their work, all I can say is you might want to stop reading music criticism. Also, you really need to get your Army-of-Heaven mythmaking straight-- is it "people who insist on thinking for themselves" or a crowd of "thousands of people singing along?" The two images aren't obviously compatible. I've been to hundreds of amazing concerts by both pop and classical artists, but I hope that even in my most asininely condescending mood I never say "I feel sorry for you" to someone who doesn't enjoy the same music I do. You sound like a born-again Christian bothered that his friends are going to Hell and desperate to save them. Newsflash: you like a band. Good for you. Now chill out.

eeels: You think Radiohead is "punk" and you're telling me to do my homework?

Posted by: John Tabin at October 11, 2003 12:40 AM

there is no good argument here, except for jt's. there are two kinds of people who dont like radiohead: people who like music that makes them feel happy, and ignorant idiots who dont get what radiohead is doing. well, for people who dislike the sad messages of radiohead, grow up! there is tons of shit in this world that give radiohead the right to make sad-sounding music. also, its kind of contrived to think that they sound sad. this may seem quite irrelevant, but its true.

by the way, i'm not calling people who like happy, upbeat music ignorant or immature. and if you want an alternative to radiohead listen to The Postal Service.

Posted by: sean at October 11, 2003 05:56 PM

John, you say you've been to hundreds of amazing concerts? I'd be very interested in knowing which acts you think are the "best live bands"? Also, you think are too into the lyrics . . they only mean so much. It's the music that really matters, at least to some people. And give Thom some freakin' credit. He is an amazing and unique vocalist. I also don't understand why people seem to think Radiohead is so damn depressing. I know I've been to 5 Radiohead shows and I have never left a show feeling the least bit depressed. I don't think their music has ever made me feel depressed. Their music is intense in many ways. Maybe some people just can't handle the intensity. It can be "in your face loud" intense (ex: My Iron Lung) and also be a "sort of soothing, goose bump" intense (ex: Exit Music). Whatever it is, it is great music, period.

Posted by: Tweaker at October 11, 2003 09:55 PM

Radiohead is good. I really don't care what you think about it either. If you don't like Radiohead, it is always and only by your own fault. You do not understand Radiohead. Don't bother telling anyone about it.

Posted by: I am always right at October 12, 2003 12:47 AM

now lets see, radiohead are the best band in the world, but unless a competition is held, it will remain an opinion, and everyone is entitled to theirs. but the music by no means is deppressing, its just about experiences and thoughts etc, and to one man they may seem deppressing but to me its very uplifting and passionate. i hate all these fuckin losers hate it though just because they have no interest in it or think its 'whiny'.
i mean, what the fuck does that mean?

Posted by: afshin karimi at October 12, 2003 04:40 PM

Tweaker: the majority of concerts I've seen have been classical, and that goes double for good concerts-- I worked several summers at the Ravinia Festival, which is a first-rate place for classical (it's the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) but middling for pop, though they were starting to get some bigger names to come through last time I was paying attention. (I describe a small piece of music history I saw at Ravinia here.) Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, though, are phenomenal live musicians (and if you're into fusion, also check out Jazz Mandolin Project.) Ben Folds Five (which never came to Ravinia but which I've seen elsewhere) is no longer touring together, but you might catch Folds solo, and he puts on a good show-- go with musicians and watch the look on their faces when he slams his stool into the keyboard of a $60,000 piano.

You might be making a fair point about the lyrics (I'm very word oriented-- that's why I'm a writer), but if they "only mean so much" why bother putting them in the liner notes? After all, Kid A only had fragments of the lyrics scrawled into the liner art, which seemed somewhat appropriate; the fact that it's lined up in black and white in the Hail to the Thief liner suggests that the words are meant to be integral to the album. (What did they do on Amnesiac? Someone loaned me that one without the liner.)

As a response to several of these comments, let me just say I'm highly suspicious of the notion that, when someone doesn't like a piece of music, it's the listener's fault for "not understanding"; That's just too convenient an excuse. But I don't mind that you enjoy Radiohead, any more than it bothers me that 20th-Century classical snobs enjoy twelve-tone composition (which sounds like death warmed over and is meaningless unless you've studied the underlying mathematics.) What I do mind is the condescension. I can't stand people who turn their noses up at classical crowd-pleasers (think any symphony that you've heard in a commercial), and Radiohead fans, not least those in this thread, behave exactly the same way.

Posted by: John Tabin at October 13, 2003 01:09 AM

Well john, when i read alot of the posts above me, i almost felt embaressed to be a raidiohead fan... but then i realized i am an individual who likes radiohead, not a member of some organization or cult. As a writer you understand that art has many purposes, as tolstoy writes art is a reproduction of the artists interpitation his world, or feelings. I relate to radioheads music, i like how it feels, I also suffer from depression. I'm not depressed because i listen to radiohead, it's just music i can relate to. Props to you for liking what you like cause you like it, not cause someone talked you through it.

Posted by: polyesterday at October 13, 2003 11:49 AM

you are a fucking idiot, so why don't you keep your mouth shut

Posted by: ryan thompson at October 13, 2003 02:50 PM

well, I have read the comments alright, and no one in here seems to actually "hate" Radiohead!!!! so why bother making this site. If you "hate" Radiohead then keep it to yourselfs.

Posted by: The Street Spirit at October 16, 2003 02:56 PM

oh john answer me this you wise donkey you
should all lyrics have some definite, concrete
meaning ... or should abstract thought be thrown out the window ... sometimes oh i don't know people leave what they say or write or paint or whatever to the imagination of someone with a brain bigger than a walnut ... just my two cents ... and your choice of music is fine (i am a classical enjoyer as well) ... it's just when you insult my other choices i am compelled to defend

Posted by: the jay at October 17, 2003 11:45 PM

Um, yeah...I used to like radiohead, then I developed as a musician and realized how contrived and lame their music is. What a prime example of a band playing "left handed just because they can". Get with it folks. Radiohead is a top 40 band....(yes, they are on the chart at your local crappy record chain). It seems to me that the only people who "get" their music are people who can't play instruments....and yes everyone I know who can make music and listens to radiohead is a shitty musician. It's been years man. Radiohead have always been such a huge hype machine, and you bought it. It's like everyone here can't seem to see that the only reason they think radiohead is genius is because their record label told them so. Just because someone can work a synthesizer doesn't make them gods of rock. They'll earn due respect when they stop being so pretentious, and start playing music.

Posted by: bosco at October 20, 2003 03:26 AM

Why make a whole site dedicated to how much you hate Radiohead. If it's not your kind of music ignore it. You're putting yourself in a pathetic spotlight.

Posted by: meep at October 21, 2003 01:42 AM

I'm going to make a website now: ihatejohntabin.com

Posted by: meep at October 21, 2003 01:43 AM

meep: This isn't "a whole site dedicated to how much [I] hate Radiohead." This is in fact a short post on my blog linking to a review of mine. At the moment this is one of 478 posts, and, if I'm not mistaken, the only one that even mentions Radiohead. Perhaps when you learn such internet basics as the difference between a "page" and a "site," you'll stop making such a fool of yourself.

Posted by: John Tabin at October 21, 2003 02:30 AM

Keep up the good work John.
This site is great. Finally relief for those of us that listen to Radiodead and are appalled at this divel.
Hey followers of Radiomeds. Go away. We don't crap, just allow us to be fascinated by it, ok?
The music is well suited to some situations. Like if I was doing heroin...perfect!
Tom is a self-indulgent jerk who even hates those that follow his music. He's so screwed up he sets himself up as this "tortured artist" who's feeling so much pain, then makes fun of those that identify with his moaning.
The music sucks. The concerts suck. But what is most appalling is the bands self-righteous attitude.
Poor Tom he's had it so tough. Poor Tom everyone else is so stupid and your so smart. Poor Tom he hates everything, but of course for good reason.
Reminds me of what my grandmother used to say, "Get off the cross, we need the wood."

Posted by: Dave Raffi at October 21, 2003 10:21 AM

This is hilarious. I like some of Radiohead's work, and some of it is crap. Ah well, such are my tastes.

But my, my, my, the personal attacks on John for simply stating an opinion are such good reading. It's almost like John shot their dog.

People are funny. Stupid people are really funny.

Posted by: andy at October 23, 2003 11:07 AM

And stupid funny people who love Radiohead are even funnier than that, even.

I'll echo Kafkaesqui here however and say; Who is Radiohead? Is that Jon Bon Jovi's old band?

Posted by: Brent at October 23, 2003 08:29 PM

I heard "Creep" when it came out and thought it was decent... everything else that Radiohead has ever done, however, has been an intolerable waste of time! He doesn't have a voice, he has a horrible, horrible, god-awful whine that makes me want to shoot myself -- and that sentiment has absolutely nothing to do with lyrics, trust me! Now, please excuse me, I have to go make myself vomit at the thought of that sound!

Posted by: awesome at October 23, 2003 08:53 PM

Its all bullshit anyway. $$$ is the name of the game for many artists. Not all though. Just make sure your not being brain washed.

Posted by: Hudsucker at October 27, 2003 07:07 PM

Oh ,and do you really think liberals love you as much as they say they do? Remember, they are liers just like me and you. At least republicans ar honest about their intensions.

Posted by: Hudsucker at October 27, 2003 07:13 PM

Radiohead became an arena-band after OK Computer, the album comparatively normal
to their other stuff. In 2000 after a long hiatus, they re-entered the mainstream
in full force with Kid A. This is when the division truly took place between Radiohead
supporter and haters. A lot of respect was gained for Radiohead because they were able
to bring such a strange sound into the mainstream (no, don't try to accuse me of
thinking that Radiohead invented this sound because I know they didn't). But I still
cannot fathom how Kid A, a disc laden with synthesizer vocals and little to no guitar
parts, was pronounced the best album of 2000 by critics all around. I love Kid A
personally so I am not disagreeing with it, but I still am in disbelief that they
were able to acheive such commercial success
with the music they were presenting to the public. But some may disagree with me on that point.

I don't love all Radiohead albums (Amnesiac & HTTT being the ones I'm not impressed with) nor do I deem them to be geniuses. However, even Radiohead's biggest critic should grant some respect for keeping the type of music they are playing popular. It is the general public that is claiming each Radiohead album is profound, not the band themselves.

I'll apologize on behalf of some of the unconditional Radiohead supporters who might as well be mindless drones. I have found that Radiohead fans cannot accept any criticism on behalf of their band and will often lash out at those who speak against them. At the same time, those who claim that Radiohead are phonies or talentless jerks should be pleading ignornace (this is not in reference to you j.t.). Those who try and claim Thom Yorke is simply a conceeded jerk are speaking out of their ass. I'm not sure where these people get this information but it seems like they just make an assumption and go along with it.

Radiohead are just another band. People will inevitably love or hate the band ... both sides should remain open-minded to both side of the argument.

Posted by: Mike at November 8, 2003 11:31 AM

RadioHead is not all that it is cracked up to be. I admit that they have a few good songs. They have very weak vocals though, the lead singer doesnt really "sing." And calling them the greatest rock band? I can see no premise that would prove this true. Anyways, how could anyone take that throne from such bands as U2 and other bands that have been around long enough to make a real impact.

Posted by: ExtremeHobo at November 17, 2003 05:20 PM

John, though I liked this album, I did think you made some good arguments in your review. Also, I respect that you wrote a review not to cater to the masses who like radiohead, but what you actually like. Though I disagree, I salute you.

Posted by: Michael A Harms, Esq. at November 19, 2003 06:10 PM

i've got "ok computer" and i've heard some of thier other songs such as "fake plastic trees" and "just".

they seem like an interesting band, lyrics and experimental music and all, but i cannot get past their singer and the way he sounds. when i listen to a radiohead song an irresistable urge to slap the singer briskly in the face and scream "pull yourself together before you pull myself apart!!". he moans and groans and whines and croons and then moans some more in his indecipherable wail the, lyrics are rendered useless.

sure the world's a fucked up place but we dnt need some art-less dick like "thom" yorke to remind us, its a shame that all music has regressed to this since the beatles.

oh yes and they're chronicly overrated.


Posted by: mdf at November 20, 2003 08:10 AM

they're shit

Posted by: itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini at January 2, 2004 10:15 AM

I love radiohead. I really can't understand it when someone says they find it boring or mumbling or whatnot... I just feel like they haven't paid enough attention, because I went through the same phase in getting to know them. In fact, at first I was ridiculously biased against them. But something kept me listening...

If you ever have the chance, go to one of their live shows. Their live shows are AMAZING. I really doubt anyone could go into a live show and come out not feeling somewhat moved and/or elated.

Depressing? Whiny? hardly. I don't listen to music to be depressed. The music is incredibly uplifting.

The one thing that really annoys me is when people who don't like the music dismiss fans as sheep who've deluded themselves. Thats garbage. This level of devotion to a band can only come if you really, really love the music. Not to mention, I wasn't a fan until I heard Hail to the Thief, and then I went back and got into the older stuff. Its not self-delusion, or hip pretension, thats just the convenient way to dismiss the huge following the music has.

Posted by: Unmeel at January 7, 2004 04:19 PM


Posted by: zen pen dragon at January 27, 2004 12:21 PM

This thread has outlived its usefulness. Comments will now be closed.

Posted by: John Tabin at January 27, 2004 07:04 PM