Album Radiohead is Jawbreaker and Jawbreaker is Radiohead and… What the Fuck Does Indiana Jones Have to Do With It?
posted by June 7 at 14:58 PMon
I never realized it until yesterday, but I have the same thing going for Radiohead that I do with Jawbreaker; I can’t decide if Kid A or The Bends is my favorite record, just like I can never really choose between Dear You and 24-Hour Revenge Therapy.
The Bends, ultimately, has some of my favorite Radiohead songs on it. (But every time I say that, I have to wonder if “Just” and “The Bends” are only my favorites because of nostalgia. Either way, why’s not the point right now. For argument’s sake, this very moment, we’ll say they’re my favorite Radiohead songs because they’re the best Radiohead songs [even if they aren’t the best because admittedly my favorite anything is rarely the “best” anything because I also like Temple of Doom more than Raiders of the Lost Ark. I will not apologize for that.])
Kid A, as a record, is much more cohesive than The Bends. I mean, duh. It’s also more innovative and interesting, but the band was in an entirely different point of their career, so there’s a lot of experience behind it, unlike its sophomoric predecessor. But if you want to catalog Radiohead’s discography from best to worst, it’s the better record, right? So why, then, do I always jump to The Bends’ defense whenever someone claims that Kid A, OK Computer, or even Amnesiac is the best Radiohead record?
I tried to make sense of it by turning Radiohead into Jawbreaker despite the fact the two bands have absolutely nothing to do with one another. That’s where the “Megan thinks about things too much” curse comes into play. I have to make it make sense, I do what I do to make it make sense. So as it stands right now, my blueprint goes something like this:
Kid A is 24-Hour Revenge Therapy. It's, ultimately, the best record. The record with fewer stand alone favorites, but the record that is the most successful at being a full and complete record.
Amnesiac is Bivouac. A solid record, but it's in the middle. It's the Jan Brady; It's not the worst, it's not the best, and rarely would anyone ever argue for it to be best or worst. (OK Computer falls is this category as well. So does Hail to the Thief, for that matter.. why the fuck didn't Jawbreaker release more "awesome but mediocre in comparison to their best work" records so this stupid theory I'm working up in my head would work out better?)
The Bends is Dear You. My favorite songs exist on this album, but there are also some bombs. I mean, no song is as bad as "Oyster" but some songs always get the skip button. Like "(Nice Dream)." I want to like "(Nice Dream)," but "(Nice Dream)" ultimately bores me. (Unless it's 3 am and I'm sorta bummed and I can't sleep and the Tylenol PM has kicked in enough to put me in this weird foggy state that's actually quite comforting because I'm too relaxed to be stressed and happy about the promised sleep that lies ahead).
Pablo Honey is obviously Unfun. Obviously.
So I guess if I think of Radiohead in terms of Jawbreaker, I can admit that Kid A is the best Radiohead record, but The Bends is my favorite. Just like I can admit that Lost Ark is the best Indiana Jones movie, but Temple is retardedly my favorite. I can't say why. I like the whole beating-heart-getting-ripped-out-of-the-chest sequence, I suppose. Just like I love "Just" and that guitar that kicks in in the intro and the crazy shriek that Tom Yorke does at the 2:57 mark more than I can love any other sounds that Radiohead ever makes ever.
It's so hard being me.