Single Review: Radiohead – ‘The Daily Mail’

Our über liberal critic first heard the new track from Oxfordshire’s most prominent borderline-socialist band a fair few months ago. Here he applauds the sharp tone of the new track.

Richard Littlejohn meeting his new editors should be fun

It’s probably fair to say that in the current stage of their career, Radiohead are more known for their dissonant sonic experimentation than for the heartbreaking and/or horrifying lyrics that played such a huge part in the success of The Bends and OK Computer. It therefore comes as some surprise that “new” song ”˜The Daily Mail’ (actually first performed several months back by Thom Yorke solo) is a more straightforward piece of piano-led music with lyrics more venomous than anything we’ve seen from the band since Hail to the Thief.

Beginning with a bit of sloganeering, there’s an obvious distaste in Yorke’s mouth as he mocks the BNP’s most widespread recruitment pamphlet: “The lunatics have taken over the asylum / waiting on the rapture / singing we’re here to keep your prices down / we’ll feed you to the hounds”.

The melodic piano that opens the song is overwhelmed halfway through by an ominous rush of horns, percussion and guitar (yes, guitar!). It’s clanging and overly dramatic, and to judge by a number of internet-dwelling fans’ reactions it’s a satire that has been completely missed by many of the band’s more over-earnest legion of followers.
Nevertheless, it’s one of the band’s softer (musically anyway), more accessible tunes of late. The distorted, jagged weirdness that characterised The King of Limbs has been discarded in favour of a menacingly insincere sweetness.

This festive time of year is all about being open-minded, liberal and generous, So ”˜The Daily Mail’ serves as a lovely little Christmas gift.

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