Radiohead – OK Computer
A key album of the 1990s, Radiohead’s OK Computer is something of a miracle: a truly complex, experimental rock album that was appreciated by the masses upon its release. Of course, this is mainly because the band tucks all of its unconventional time signatures, complicated syncopations, and electronic and instrumental hip-hop influences below the surface, unveiling new layers and hidden elements with each listen. But if it were just a clump of easily-digestible experimentation, the album wouldn’t have achieved the acclaim or influence it did. Instead, OK Computer merged these innovations with some of Radiohead’s most memorable and evocative work yet, including the multi-segmented “Paranoid Android,” the painfully resigned “No Surprises,” and the cathartic pop of “Let Down.” Massively influential upon its release, OK Computer‘s sweeping melancholy put a definitive end to the declining Britpop movement, galvanizing a new wave of British (and American) alternative bands who also traded in falsetto-sung alienation, albeit in a much more radio-friendly way.