Hail to the Thief


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Bob Waliszewski

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

Nothing that will turn our world into an Eden, but “A Punchup at a Wedding” rails against someone for thoughtless, antisocial behavior.

Objectionable Content

Because this disc is essentially a poetic stream of consciousness, several lines could be interpreted in a negative way. Angry about a relationship gone sour, lead singer Thomas Yorke says, “I will eat you all alive” (“Where I End and You Begin”). He says “With my X-ray eyes I strip you naked” (“A Wolf at the Door”) and warns somberly, “It is now the witching hour/Murderers, you’re murderers … They will suck you down” (“The Gloaming”). You might expect a vicious thunderclap to interrupt the eerie “We Suck Young Blood” which asks, “Are you hungry?/Are you sick? … Are you strung up by your wrists? … We want sweet meats/We want young blood/We suck young blood.” More blatantly problematic are uses of the f-word on “A Wolf at the Door” and “Myxomatosis.”

Summary Advisory

Radiohead’s creepy, discordant style provides a dreary context to fans trying to decode the band’s obscure lyrics. Hail to the Thief has a measured, sleepy sound that might narcotize teens, but sure won’t do anything to inspire them.

Bob Waliszewski
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