Radiohead’s OK Computer (A Companion Story for the Album)

(Airbag)

Wake up in the afterlife, in an environment beautifully composed by elements of familiar forces yet manipulated in styles you never thought possible. 

(Paranoid Android)

You’re lost, utterly helpless yet braver than your flesh and bones have ever made you feel. You aren’t supposed to be here. You don’t deserve to stay in the clouds. I deserve to rot on earth a little longer. You’re traumatically torn between these two worlds. Aggression, emotional pain and utter frustration fuels your brain right now. Suddenly, you encounter rage. You jump from the clouds and ferociously fall out from the sky, aiming for home. You’re falling, this is more real and visceral than anything imaginable. Somewhere in the fall, you give up on yourself. Nothing seems worth it anymore, there is zero inspiration to do anything ever again. You enter a state of mourning. Unfortunately, you’re home now.

(Subterranean Homesick Alien)

Everything in your house is brand new. There is a gorgeous gloss on every single item inside this place. The interior of this place must be worth millions. There is a brief yet overwhelming satisfaction that invigorates every pore in your body. You sit down to take all of this in, yet, you feel more isolated than you ever have before.  


(Exit Music (For a Film))

You can’t stay in your house anymore. This is not normal, I need to get out of here. Throw some essential belongings in the trunk of your sports car. Drive off to someplace else; someplace where I can find my sanity again. You’re speeding with no appreciation for the consequences of death, you realize the conundrum you’re in. I can’t die, I have no place to go, I am a ghost. You’re screaming at the empty road, drenched in sweat and tears, your face is burning by the salt. Your car veers off the road, flies off the hill and makes multiple flips before a picturesque crash and burn.  

(Let Down)

You’re out on a spectacularly vast and gorgeous open field, stretching for miles on almost all directions. You exit your car, which has been burnt to a crisp, drop to your knees and bawl your eyes out. Hopelessly lost and attacked by the beauty of such transcendental forces, you’re ready to die. 

(Karma Police)

Here comes the karma police. From an unseen horizon, they approach you. Without speaking a word, they analyze you with their eyes. Without a single regard left in your body, you don’t pay attention to them. There are four faceless men in suits. They bring out their batons and start beating you without a single twitch in their body. Like a bass drum filled with blood, every strike upon the body exploded with a lush red. As they chant, “This is what you get, when you mess with us,” the men carry your bloody body into the backseat of their car and travel off someplace else. You don’t know or care where the final destination is.

(Fitter Happier)

As you lay bleeding the back seat, the men put on earplugs and put something on the radio. It’s an automated voice of a man telling you how to leave to life your life from now on. You have no choice but to comply.

(Electioneering) 

Rage penetrates through your muscles and into your nerves. You jump out the car at 88 MPH and roll out onto the road, only adding to the collection of your bruises. Enough is enough. You run the other way from the car and it turns around and skids your way. You’re screaming, everything around you needs to melt away. I’m a subject in a painting. Erase this canvas and start over. 

(Climbing Up the Walls)

You trip and it seems like the car ran over you. Instead, you open your eyes, you’re at the bottom of a well. The opening beam of light is 200 meters above. There are spiders crawling from the perimeter inside to meet you. Thousands of spiders. Slowly, patiently, deviously crawling. You’re not panicked, for once. Their eyes start to glow. There is no hiding in the fact: they’re here to kill you. 

(No Surprises) 

You wake up. Have a glass of water. Go outside, it’s a gorgeous day. Take a walk. I think you might need it. You don’t look so well. Everything okay? 

(Lucky) 

Sitting in a coffee house, deeply concerned. Pondering what you just experienced: something of an out-of-body experience. A bell rings. Somebody’s entered the place. You’ve never seen this person before. They put a very long pistol to your temple and before you cut to black, you fear the black inside the barrel of his gun. Boom.

(The Tourist)

Wake up in the afterlife, in an environment beautifully composed by elements of familiar forces yet manipulated in styles you never thought possible. 

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I think OK Computer is a dream. It’s crafted in a surrealistic, investigative manner that puts a mirror right up to the face of human nature and shows it for all its horrifying and disturbing inner qualities. For me, it’s a sort-of bad dream that leaves you screaming when it departs, but a more distraught, haunted and internally perturbed universe that you don’t particularly want to leave. With this album, Radiohead not only stretched the capability of music, but also the limits of the human imagination. 

This album was my dad. (10/10)