RADIOHEAD – “Airbag” (oh look, you know where it’s from)
And so to Josh. Yes, that is a Radiohead song in my Top Ten. Yes, I do like it, certainly much more than anything else on OK Computer. The reasons I enjoy it, I think, may be pretty much the reasons Josh dislikes it: it’s dryness, its lack of flow, it’s jittery refusal to rock. One reason I wanted to listen to OKC again was that a lot of the commentary on it stressed how thick and original the sounds the band and producer use were, and as someone who likes interesting sounds I decided the record was worth another chance. And lo, the jerky drums and staccato bass on “Airbag” are excellent, much more sonically thrilling than Greenwood’s dense fretstuff (though the bit where he sounds like he’s about to swing into the Shamen’s “Jesus Loves Amerika” is pretty cool). And it’s a really catchy song, too.
I also think the first-on-the-album placing of “Airbag” raises it in my eyes: if I listen to OK Computer all the way through then Thom Fatigue sinks in very quickly – around halfway through “Paranoid Android”, to be exact. My track-at-a-time policy this time isn’t singles-fan dogma, it’s simply that one song is all I can take.
(I have a lot more to say about Radiohead, but as Josh cannily surmises I’m saving it up for a big article. So there.)