Songs with Radio Heads
I am not a fan of cover versions - w. Which is probably not a good start when reviewing a collection of classic Radiohead songs covered by other artists! A song is classic, why does it need someone to rip it apart? In the same way a good film never needs touching up with a remake. But this is different, this is an eclectic mix by some of Hip Hop and dance music's biggest and brightest talents, and I'm taken in by what has been achieved.
Right from the start, Shawn Lee, (of the Ping Pong Orchestra) has me nodding like a funk junkie with his version of No Surprises. Next up is my particular favourite, a tune you can currently hear up and down the country in clubs and getting a healthy amount of airplay on radio. Mark Ronson has made a remarkably good job of The Bends anthem 'Just'. A fat Hip Hop beat, great horns and a masterful performance of Thom Yorke's lyrics by Alex Greenwald.
The first three albums (Pablo Honey, The Bends and OK Computer) have enough guitar based rock standards to give some creative license when chopping it up, but what can you do with the already over processed offerings from Kid A, Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief? The answer comes courtesy of Osunlade & Erro, a clever reworking of 'Everything In It's Right Place' with some smiling Samba beats.
A couple of tracks do suffer from over elaboration, but there is plenty to be getting stuck into here. Radiohead are one of this country's leading contemporary songwriters, and I am sure they would be more than happy to be associated with this collected work - being fans of Hip Hop and Dance themselves.
From the hypnotic 'Nice Dream' to the soulful 'High and Dry', Exit Music is a must have addition to anyone's collection. Who said you shouldn't mix with classics?!