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36. Radiohead – Weird Fishes/Arpeggi



So rich and vivid is Weird Fishes/Apeggi’s musical construction that it’s almost overwhelming to try and articulate it all. There are the dizzying interlocking arpeggios that rise throughout it (making it feel, in an odd way, like a companion piece to yesterday’s entry), and the dry, teutonic drums that give the track such drive at the start of both its main sections. There’s Ed O’Brien’s wailing backing vocals, and Thom Yorke’s curious grunt at the very beginning that sounds as if he’s trying to kickstart a motorbike. It all tessellates into a gorgeous patterned puzzle, where you can’t hear the joins for all the weaved parts, and can’t make out the quilt’s individual pieces for all the skilful embroidery. Sometimes, though, for all its smooth towering, a song has a moment when it jumps up a level, and on Weird Fishes that comes with 75 seconds left, when Johnny Greenwood’s high, shimmering starburst of a guitar line suddenly lights up the night sky. Just when the track couldn’t get any huger, Yorke “hits the bottom and escapes”. Quivering and undulating, Weird Fishes’ imagery and sonic make-up is dense and puzzling, but paradoxically, in a way that Radiohead seem to have made their own, also soft and icily pure.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 19/11/2009 12:16 am

    Love this song! A very good choice!

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