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Radiohead – Pablo Honey

Radiohead – Pablo Honey

3/5

1993

Eternally thought of as “the album with ‘Creep’ on it”, Radiohead’s debut album, Pablo Honey, is indeed the least remarkable record in the band’s oeuvre, but it’s also unjustly maligned in the grand scheme of the group’s legacy and has its fair share of memorable moments. At this point, Radiohead haven’t mastered the ability to make their textured guitars sound distinctive yet, so the album is at its best when it delivers angst-filled anthems, the group’s true forte this early in their career. “Stop Whispering” and “Anyone Can Play Guitar” are quite good, both sweetly melodic and forceful at the same time, qualities that the band would later expand on The Bends. The dreamy (then chaotic) album closer “Blow Out” is just about the only place the band mixes things up to great effect. Then there is, of course, “Creep,” which, despite its overexposure, is still a rather fine song: a moody, grungy rocker punctuated by Jonny Greenwood’s exclamatory slams of feedback. Still, much of the latter half of the album is somewhat generic, and Thom Yorke is still in the very early stages of his lyrical development, often reciting self-deprecating tropes that fail to leave an impression. Though the band’s basic sound is outlined on Pablo Honey, there are few signs of the directions Radiohead would later take in their career.

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