Before the breakthrough that was THE BENDS and the colossal OK COMPUTER, there was the quietly magnificent PABLO HONEY. "Creep" was the surprise hit single in the UK, but even that gave scant indication of how special this band would become. Benefiting from a raw production, the debut was undoubtedly less slick and accomplished than subsequent work, although Thom Yorke's vulnerable but impressive vocal styling was already in place on songs such as "Stop Whispering." Many of the compositions were somewhat simplistic, but in terms of musical maturity Radiohead were clearly years ahead of their time. An indispensable album, it should not be parted from its two big brothers.
Rolling Stone (p.64) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Amid blustery post-punk and a heavy-breathing acoustic 'Creep' were dystopian fever dreams and catchy Luddite paranoia.."
Entertainment Weekly (5/28/93, p.56) - "...mates Smiths-type self-consciousness with dramatic U2-like vocals and guitar, with Cure-style heavy but crunchy pop..." - Rating: B
Q (4/93, p.86) - 3 Stars - Good - "...British teenagerhood has never been grumpier....the best bits rival Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr. and even the mighty Sugar..."
NME (Magazine) (12/25/93, p.67) - Ranked #35 in New Musical Express' list of `The Top 50 LPs Of 1993' - "...is a throwback to a homegrown tradition of great guitar-band albums...."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.89) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t contains their 'biggest' single in 'Creep.' A 12-bar blues jam with added crunch..."
This is Radiohead's very first studio album and, as such, is generally considered their worst. I would agree with this, as I think even just in their next album, Radiohead gained so much more maturity and a better grasp of their instruments and the art of songwriting. That being said, there is something to be said for the rawness and grittiness of youth and those first awkward tunes banged out on an old guitar.
I think this is an album for the diehard Radiohead fan, more as a tool to see how far they have come (and for the well-known song 'Creep' of course which remains brilliant) than a brilliant work of music. But all the same if you like radiohead you will most likely get something out of a listen to this.
Pablo Honey doesn't disappoint. I find that Radiohead albums often lean towards either eletronic or rock sound. Pablo Honey is one of their rock albums, and has a great selection of tracks that should please any Radiohead fan.
The first track, You, is probably my favourite. It has a great sound to it, and is a really nice opening track. Creep is also a great song, loved by many, and very well known. How Do You?, Stop Whispering, and Thinking About You, have a very English garage band feel to them. Anyone Can Play Guitar has a great riff and is probably my second favourite. The second half of the album has quite a mellow rock feel to it, and I could easily fall asleep to Blow Out.
Overall a brilliant album. Buy it if you like Radiohead's rock sound. Buy it if you like Radiohead full stop.
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