OK Computer: why it's crap

TWENTY-FIVE years ago Radiohead released OK Computer, one of the most turgid albums ever played to son by dad. Here’s what’s wrong with it. 

Tracks 2, 3, 6-7, 10: Thinks it’s clever

Computers were the coming thing in the 90s. Ordinary people were just starting to gaze upon their majesty. They were modern and new and the arriving future. Calling an album OK Computer in 1997 is like calling it TikTok Won’t Stop! today.

Tracks 2, 7, 9: It’s The Bends with its cock in a modem

The Bends was a truly great album that made Radiohead a huge international deal. OK Computer has at least five Bends-level songs on it, but messed about with to indicate that Thom Yorke was into glitchy electronica. We didn’t necessarily need to know that.

Tracks 7-8: Two songs are inarguably shit

A seven-course tasting menu where the fourth course is a turd: would you accept that? No? But a classic album where, right in the middle after one of the standout tracks, there’s a robot-voiced sixth-form poem followed by a shit indie-rock workout? Apparently fine.

Tracks 2, 12: It opened the door to prog rock

For all Britpop’s faults, it refocused the NME scene on short pop songs with tunes. The wizard-caped excesses of 1970s prog had been banished, until this album. Where Radiohead led, Muse shouting shit about quantum physics over ten-minute guitar solos followed.

Tracks 3, 4, 9, 12: Too many ballads

Rock bands should be careful with ballads. You start off as Aerosmith and end up only known for Crazy and Cryin’. Four ballads on one album, and a mere 19 years later we arrive at A Moon-Shaped Pool where every bloody track’s a dirge. Radiohead’s downfall is here in embryo.

Track 10: Undeniably depressing

It’s an obvious criticism but come on, a track called No Surprises about a man killing himself in a garage? It’s not a mood-lifter. If you had a shit job at a local council in the late 90s you sang it ironically all day and it still hurts every single time you hear it.

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Your astrological week ahead, with Psychic Bob

Aries, March 21st–April 19th

The thing is about getting a summer cold is it’s really difficult to appreciate the irony.

Taurus, April 20th–May 20th

You can take a seahorse to water, and in fact you probably should. Cruel to leave them out in the sun like that.

Gemini, May 21st–June 21st

Fool me once, fuck you.

Cancer, June 22nd–July 22nd

Your family cat coughs up a hairball, but the hair is all light blonde. This is how you discover your wife is shagging Boris Johnson.

Leo, July 23rd–August 22nd

Your career as a conductor was shortlived after you refused to face the music.

Virgo, August 23rd–September 22nd

We should send a man to the moon and leave him there. See what happens. We haven’t done that.

Libra, September 23rd–October 22nd

Do androids dream of electric sheep? Do robots have nightmares about turning up to their robot exams naked, not having revised a single topic?

Scorpio, October 23rd–November 22nd

It is kind of a shit job, leader of the opposition. Just stand there slagging off the boss and acting incredibly ready to have his job. You wouldn’t be popular if you did that in an office.

Sagittarius, November 22nd–December 21st

‘Who cares?’ you respond, to a tweet about a Kardashian. You feel on top of the world. You really showed them.

Capricorn, December 22nd–January 19th

The dunce cap and wizard’s hat are both conical. So does conical signify stupid or wise? One of them needs to change.

Aquarius, January 20th–February 18th

You know how your house smells weird when you come back from holiday? That’s because strangers have been in there, licking your stuff, fucking in your bed.

Pisces, February 19th–March 20th

Rappers have such stupid names these days. Not like before when they were called things like Wee Papa Girl Rappers, MC Shy D and The Nonce.