3 May 2016

Radiohead - Burn the Witch

I know I am on holiday, but when the one of the world's biggest acts drops a new song after deleting themselves of the interlink the day beforehand; Radiohead have released a new single and its accompanied video has taken the world by storm.  My news feed is full of nothing else but images of the video and people singing its praises, the video is a stunning piece of work and we cannot deny that.  However, here was my first reaction - the video overpowers the song.  On my own personal feed, I stated the following - When a video is better than the song, then you have trouble.  Most of what I have seen online about this release has been about the video, with the music being mentioned as a distant second.  But I have been wrong before with my first reaction, the album by Palms for instance is still one of my biggest crimes.  I do have to mention that after all the fuss about Radiohead being against Spotify and YouTube, guess which two mediums they have released this on?  Yep, the same evil mediums as before which means at least you can hear and make your own mind up about the song itself without have to illegally download it.  So, I have been listening to nothing else for the last hour or so, just to get a feel for the song and to see how it feels without that brilliant reinterpretation of 'The Wicker Man' meeting the children's classic TV show 'Trumpton'.  Let's see how it turns out......

The song is built on a string pattern that anchors the song, giving it heights, withdrawing when needed and adding an impressive sinister edge towards the end of the song.  It is a four-minute piece that is driven by either fear or anger; the build towards the end of the song with the strings sounded like knives are being slashed over the strings instead of bows.  Thom Yorke sounds in pain in places, the drumming is electronic and minimal with the bass being used sparsely.  But is it the be-all and end all that the press and some people have said?  No, it is not even close to be honest; it is a good song and much better than "Spectre", however, the song is just that - a good song and not a jaw dropper, but I have been here with Radiohead before.  I found 'In Rainbows' to be a bit meh at first, in time I found that the album gave a lot more.  Maybe this song will have the same effect on me, maybe not - but one thing is crystal clear; with the release of this song, everyone is talking about Radiohead once more (including me).  I would rather this blog became unpopular than give praise where it is not due, so I will leave you with this - it is alright.  Right, back to my holiday......

3.5 out of five - Decent, getting there

You can purchase Burn the Witch on iTunes here

You can purchase Burn the Witch on Amazon here

You can visit what is left of the Radiohead website here

You can follow the activities of Radiohead on Facebook (until they delete it all again)

Whilst it is not on all streaming sites......

You can stream Burn the Witch on Tidal here

You can stream Burn the Witch on Spotify here

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