• Record Label: Capitol
  • Release Date: Jun 10, 2003
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 461 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 461

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  1. Jan 2, 2013
    10
    It would appear that many of the lukewarm or negative reviews of Hail to the Thief have more to do with the density of this album [rather than any sub-standard songwriting on Radiohead's part]. Compared with the sparser textures of Kid A and [to a lesser extent] Amnesiac, which made these records more accessible despite the music's experimental nature, Hail to the Thief is thick with soundIt would appear that many of the lukewarm or negative reviews of Hail to the Thief have more to do with the density of this album [rather than any sub-standard songwriting on Radiohead's part]. Compared with the sparser textures of Kid A and [to a lesser extent] Amnesiac, which made these records more accessible despite the music's experimental nature, Hail to the Thief is thick with sound and heavily layered. Not only does this mean that more plays are needed to get to grips with, and appreciate, the power of the songs and their many subtleties, but also that listening to Hail to the Thief is exhausting - a result of the dense texture combined with a sense of melancholy and heaviness that saturates the 14 tracks. The fact that O'Brien and Greenwood have picked up their guitars again as well as the band continuing to use electronic sounds means that Hail to the Thief can be likened to Radiohead around the time of The Bends/Ok Computer playing at the same time as Radiohead circa Kid A. Given this, it is no wonder there is a lot going on, sonically.
    As ever, Radiohead are breaking a lot of new ground here, as is especially apparent in tracks like A Wolf at the Door [musically pretty verses with a Yorke's drunken stream-of consciousness overlaid, and a simple, catchy, and highly effective 'The Bends'-like chorus], and the dance-like Backdrifts [with the chord progression that sounds like it should go with a piano ballad, but rhythmic elements and electronic pips that belong on the dancefloor]. However, there are plenty of nods to previous albums in Hail to Thief; Johnny Greenwood's shimmering octave-up guitar effects on Sail to the Moon are reminiscent of Subterranean Homesick Alien, and his playing on Go To Sleep could easily belong on The Bends.
    Hail to the Thief also has its share of Radiohead's signature melancholic beauty, in the piano and glockenspiel opening of Sit Down. Stand Up[before it is shattered by a storm of electronic and vocal raindrops], the soaring slowness of Sail to the Moon, and pure vocal harmonies in I Will [surely Radiohead are masters of making anger something so beautiful]. The Upshot: All these factors combine to make an album that's success is due to the right mix of original sonic experimentation and elements from their previous albums. Of all their studio albums, Hail to the Thief is likely the most difficult to digest and comprehend, but to do so is certainly worth it. Persevere in getting to know the songs intimately, and be rewarded with the emotional power and musicianship of Radiohead at their very best.
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  2. StephenB
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    Pure genius radiohead. They haven't once recorded or released a bad record and this is no exception to that rule. A nice blend of the older, more guitar based songs with some new electro classics like the gloaming chucked in there.
  3. Jules
    Jun 9, 2003
    10
    Fantastic stuff - Dan D has it just right - this album lives and breathes much more than the headspaces of its predecessors - it even has something that so few reviewers have mentioned - a sense of humour - dark and perverse, but defintely there. There is a camp sense of its own drama throughout this album - coming to a head in the hilarious (and troubling) we suck young blood. Don't Fantastic stuff - Dan D has it just right - this album lives and breathes much more than the headspaces of its predecessors - it even has something that so few reviewers have mentioned - a sense of humour - dark and perverse, but defintely there. There is a camp sense of its own drama throughout this album - coming to a head in the hilarious (and troubling) we suck young blood. Don't be too earnest people - this is the greatest show on earth and Radiohead know it. Expand
  4. DanielN
    Mar 18, 2010
    9
    What a beautiful soundscape. What a journey within yourself. Picking apart the textures on this perfect album is on of the most pleasurable things I have ever done.
  5. j30
    Sep 21, 2011
    9
    Just another solid input to the Radiohead cannon of records. This album pretty much sums up their career to this point. The glitchy electronica, great lyrics, and guitar freak-outs. Radiohead has it all.
  6. Jul 15, 2012
    10
    there is a reason why radiohead is my favorite band. its because i cant put their albums in a specific genre and in this one especially show all the sounds and experimental abilitys of Yorke and company.
  7. MarcR
    May 21, 2003
    10
    An extremely strong album, as the band has managed to incorporate the best elements of their last three albums. By far one of the year's best. One question remains for arguably the best rock n roll band right now, -where to go, from here?
  8. ReidM
    Aug 15, 2009
    10
    This album has it all. The most versatile, poetic, beautiful, ugly, gritty, engaging, sick, ass-kicking piece of intelligent, thought-provoking rock-n-roll I've heard in a long time.
  9. DanD
    Jun 5, 2003
    10
    The problem with reviewing a Radiohead album is that it's hard to find relevant comparisons. They are the most skillful of magpie bands - taking a bit from here, a bit from there, and twisting it all together into something that generally sounds quite unique. So critics, without an easy reference point to go by, tend to evaluate each new Radiohead album by comparing to their previous The problem with reviewing a Radiohead album is that it's hard to find relevant comparisons. They are the most skillful of magpie bands - taking a bit from here, a bit from there, and twisting it all together into something that generally sounds quite unique. So critics, without an easy reference point to go by, tend to evaluate each new Radiohead album by comparing to their previous work, especially that famous third album. The NME review of Hail To The Thief, for example, could be summarized roughly as follows: "It wasn't OK Computer." The reply that comes immediately to my mind is that... well... yeah. It's not. Was anyone actually expecting that? People seem to forget that Radiohead is a band that has always survived through change. Their sound has been altered drastically for each album, and while Hail To The Thief does contain moments that remind one of various earlier work, the album as a whole sounds like nothing else in their catalog. It sounds alive, and a little raw, and definately imperfect. It's not quite as pretty as OK Computer, and it doesn't have the mood or the purity of Kid A. What it does have is life. Hail To The Thief is the sound of a band living and breathing and thoroughly enjoying themselves, and it's a little rough in places. So while the sounds may be a bit familiar, the spirit of the album is something that is very new for Radiohead. If OK Computer is a watercolor, and Kid A is an oil painting, than HTTT is a snapshot on a disposable camera. And when you evaluate it on it's own merits, rather than those of it's predecessors, it stands up almost as well as any other Radiohead album. Brilliant, then. I wonder what's next? Expand
  10. adig
    Jun 17, 2004
    10
    the album is great and radiohead are the best!
  11. P
    Mar 2, 2006
    10
    Listin any Radiohead album on a long journey in a car, train or airplane, and you will understand how good Radiohead really is! It's beautiful....
  12. TristanA
    Jun 6, 2007
    9
    Wonderful Album, great lyrics and themes abound this album and although there are some songs that aren't as brilliant as others, overall the best songs i.e: Wolf At The Door, Myxomatosis, I Will, There There and Scatterbrain more than make up for the less impressive other songs. Very Very Impressive album.
  13. MarcinN.
    Oct 24, 2008
    10
    Still think it's underrated because it's too modern for the 2003 when it was released.
  14. GomerPile
    Aug 10, 2003
    9
    Another fantastic record. I can't get enough. Man, Radiohead is just plain scary. As if this record wasn't enough to keep me comfotably numb for years to come, I get to see them live again in a couple of weeks. Can't wait to see some of the material from this record live. I have no doubt that it will be another blissful couple of hours. Go buy this record right now but as Another fantastic record. I can't get enough. Man, Radiohead is just plain scary. As if this record wasn't enough to keep me comfotably numb for years to come, I get to see them live again in a couple of weeks. Can't wait to see some of the material from this record live. I have no doubt that it will be another blissful couple of hours. Go buy this record right now but as with everything worth a damn, it will take a few listenings before it will sink it's claws into you. Expand
  15. DavidB
    Jul 18, 2003
    9
    Best album ever
  16. nathans
    Jun 22, 2003
    10
    Hail to the Radiohead!
  17. JohnL
    May 29, 2003
    10
    "Hail to the Thief" has a little of the best aspects of the four last albums of the band. Attention for "2+2=5", "I Will" and "Go to Sleep". A great record.
  18. AdamM
    Sep 22, 2003
    10
    At a first listen you see that it has potential. Your second listen will tell you what songs that you don't really like. The third will allow you to really wrap your head around some of the easier complexities of this work. Eventually, you will realize that this albums rocks you like most groups could never dream of doing.
  19. Ollie
    Oct 3, 2003
    10
    Wasn't won over by this album at first, but after a few listens you begin to see through its dark surface and uncover the beauty beneath. Standouts are "2+2=5" , "Go to Sleep" , "There There" and "A Wolf at the Door". My personal favourite on the album though, would have to be "Sail to the Moon". I am lost for words to decribe this track's genius in timing!
  20. FuqacriticJones
    Oct 15, 2003
    10
    eh, whatever the people who hate a band as soon as they become popular want to say. it's all blah blah blah anyway...this is the best album of the year. bar none.
  21. laura
    Nov 5, 2003
    10
    wonderful...everyone MUST buy it.
  22. PedroG
    Nov 28, 2003
    10
    Como siempre Radiohead los mejores discos y porsupuesto refrescando su estilo musical
  23. BenD
    Dec 19, 2003
    9
    This CD does indeed require several listening sessions before it fully soaks in, however, in the end it is well worth it. Yet another of the seemingly endless masterpiece creations that Radiohead consistently puts out!
  24. rpggrrrl
    Feb 7, 2004
    10
    I really had no idea what to expect when I picked up Hail to the Thief, my first ever Radiohead album. I tried them out because I am a giant REM fan, and I heard they toured together and got on quite well. I have to say I'm impressed enough with Radiohead, that I went out and bought their entire back catalog. I am equally pleased that they are not a flash in the pan. After listening I really had no idea what to expect when I picked up Hail to the Thief, my first ever Radiohead album. I tried them out because I am a giant REM fan, and I heard they toured together and got on quite well. I have to say I'm impressed enough with Radiohead, that I went out and bought their entire back catalog. I am equally pleased that they are not a flash in the pan. After listening to the rest of their work I found all but their first album to be top notch if not easy listening. I would only despise them if that were the case. Despair, anger, hurt, confusion, betrayal - these are always interesting emotions to explore, and they bring them alive. Even better, they've got great percussion, fine guitars, and Thom Yorke whose haunting, hypnotic voice I can find few comparisons for - you could just cop out and say his voice is bad, but that would be discounting his skill at using what he knows he's got - and I've heard more revered rock legends who had worse voices (Ian Curtis, Morrisey, hmmm) succeed admirably. If you don't like this album, perhaps you should be listening to something more obscure or more pop. Give it away, sell it, it will easily hook someone else. Any band that can create songs like Bullet Proof, Climbing Up the Walls, Idioteque, Go To Sleep, or Wolf at the Door deserves some recognition. Expand
  25. KidA
    Feb 16, 2004
    9
    Only Elephant topped this in 2003. "Back to rock" "OK Computer 2" or whatever, this is still a fantastic record. 2+2=5 was the most exhilarating song of all last year. There There is brilliant, as is Go To Sleep, Sit Down Stand Up, Wolf at the Door, Punchup, etc. In fact, everything with the exception of We Suck Young Blood and The Gloaming warrants many many listens. Get it
  26. boboJJ
    Jul 7, 2004
    9
    its taken a YEAR for me to decide that this album is so highly rated. first i thought it was about a 7 then an 8 and now i think its a 9. its a reeeaaaallllll grower.
  27. JoshNobodinows
    Jun 8, 2003
    10
    This is a great cd hands down. However this site needs to add the review of it by www.drownedinsound.com (5/5).
  28. MatthewL
    Jun 14, 2003
    10
    Worldclass !!!
  29. jackc
    Jun 1, 2003
    10
    incredibly amazing
  30. MeyerD
    Jul 7, 2003
    10
    Give it a couple of spins in your CD player, I guarentee that it will become one of your fav CDs!
  31. Persefoni
    Sep 15, 2003
    10
    This CD is more complex than most critics I've read give it credit for. Upon first listen, the album in its entirety didn't do much for me... And then I sat and enjoyed a beautiful day and listened to it again, and found that the level of alteration from song to song was purposeful - there is a flow that is found in each Radiohead CD that at times may be difficult to map, but This CD is more complex than most critics I've read give it credit for. Upon first listen, the album in its entirety didn't do much for me... And then I sat and enjoyed a beautiful day and listened to it again, and found that the level of alteration from song to song was purposeful - there is a flow that is found in each Radiohead CD that at times may be difficult to map, but for me I can safely say that after a day of headphones singing into my ears, Radiohead has proven to blow me away - yet again. Expand
  32. BenR
    Jun 9, 2003
    10
    Wow Yet again, Radiohead have proved why they are in a league of their own. Hail To The Thief is a great mixture of the best bits of their four previous albums, but gives everthing a much darker and more sinister edge. It also adds plenty of new ideas, such as the 'funk' of A Punchup At A Wedding, the rapping in A Wolf At The Door and the unique Myxomatosis. There are loads of Wow Yet again, Radiohead have proved why they are in a league of their own. Hail To The Thief is a great mixture of the best bits of their four previous albums, but gives everthing a much darker and more sinister edge. It also adds plenty of new ideas, such as the 'funk' of A Punchup At A Wedding, the rapping in A Wolf At The Door and the unique Myxomatosis. There are loads of classic Radiohead songs on this album, with 2+2=5, Sit Down Stand Up, Sail To The Moon, Where I End And You Begin, There There, I Will, Myxomatosis and A Wolf At The Door all set to be up their with the best of them. My highlights of the album would be all of Wolf At The Door, the end of Where I End And You Begin (Thom sings 'I will eat you alive' over some great bass playing and electronics), and best of all the middle of 2+2=5. After a hypnotic beginning based on a catchy guitar riff, the song slows down for a bit. Thom Yorke then yells 'YOU HAVE NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION' and the song becomes one of the fastest things that they've ever done, and definitely one of the best. Like loads of other great albums, Hail To The Thief has loads of different music styles, but blends them all together so it flows so well on the CD. Probably not as good as the flawless Kid A, this is still a classic, and one of the best albums ever. So why are you still reading this; go and buy it! Expand
  33. NseE
    Jul 14, 2003
    10
    Brilliant stuff. Their best yet. From the dirge like 'We suck young blood', to the snappy 'Where I end & you begin', through to 'A wolf at the door', awesome stuff.
  34. DaveJ
    Jul 30, 2003
    10
    Brilliant.
  35. monkey
    Jun 16, 2003
    10
    how do they do it? 5 classics in a row
  36. Kristospherein
    Jun 16, 2003
    10
    Not sure what I was expecting out of this album, I like (in their own ways) OK Computer, The Bends, and Kid A/Amnesiac and yet this seems like, once again, a completely different work. The intervals and chord changes that the band uses on this CD are dramatic and unusual and quite different from those used in any of their other works. I agree with the reviewers that mention that you Not sure what I was expecting out of this album, I like (in their own ways) OK Computer, The Bends, and Kid A/Amnesiac and yet this seems like, once again, a completely different work. The intervals and chord changes that the band uses on this CD are dramatic and unusual and quite different from those used in any of their other works. I agree with the reviewers that mention that you shouldn't judge a band by their previous works-a band can't ever go backwards-always remember this. If you are an "old" Radiohead fan that liked The Bends or OK Computer and haven't liked the direction that they are going, that's your perogative. However, don't drag the rest of us through your rubbish about how they don't rock anymore, this and that. Times have changed, Radiohead has changed, if a band were to never change their sound or recreated themselves over and over, they would just fade away. Human existence is all about growth and wisdom. I don't know if I could quite classify this as perfect, classic, or an other nostalgic title for such a piece of art. Yet, I can say that many many bands wil use Radiohead as an influence in the future cause Radiohead are doing things that are not being done by any other mainstream band for the past 15 years and that is powerful. Either like it or don't but do understand that this is where music is headed. We've exhausted pop and there are only so many directions ifor music to go in, this being one. Twenty years down the line, I know that I will be proud to say that I was a fan of Radiohead. Can you say that about bands like Limp Bizkit or Britney Spears or whatever it is that people listen to? They are for entertainment purposes only, this is where the music really shows. Oh, and don't be a music snob and say this band or this band is better than Radiohead cause it's unfair to compare an artist like Bowie who we've been able to see his immense influence over the past thirty years. This is brilliance and it should be recognized as so, even if you don't understand why. Expand
  37. PhilM
    May 16, 2003
    10
    CLASS
  38. sirazhtabukov
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    no comments
  39. AntonisL
    May 31, 2003
    10
    In Brief: Excellent album!!! Judging by the reviews that have been appeared in the Metacritic so far, I really didn't expect from most of "professional reviewers" to treat it fairly. Take NME for instance... their empathy towards Radiohead is well known. While praising Coldplay and insisting that it's the best rock group that exists at the moment (...forgive them Father...), In Brief: Excellent album!!! Judging by the reviews that have been appeared in the Metacritic so far, I really didn't expect from most of "professional reviewers" to treat it fairly. Take NME for instance... their empathy towards Radiohead is well known. While praising Coldplay and insisting that it's the best rock group that exists at the moment (...forgive them Father...), it's Radiohead the ones who wants to take their musical art one step further. In this album they managed to combine the experimental elements of their last two contributions with the straightforward forms of their earlier works (especially The Bends and OK Computer)...it's like the missing link, but truly this album sounds extremely refreshing and modern. Yorke's vocals reveal his maturity as a singer once again, especially in songs like "I Will", where his falsetto should be studied in musical schools. Strong melodies (some even catchy), demanding songs, poetic and emotional lyrics, a magnum opus in general without doubt. I really can't see a failure coming from Radiohead's camp coming any time soon. Listen for yourself and leave the NME crap behind...those guys have proved in the past their inability to foresee the future and appreciate/rate a band/album. Expand
  40. AntonisL
    May 31, 2003
    10
    In Brief: Excellent album!!! Judging by the reviews that have been appeared in the Metacritic so far, I really didn't expect from most of "professional reviewers" to treat it fairly. Take NME for instance... their empathy towards Radiohead is well known. While praising Coldplay and insisting that it's the best rock group that exists at the moment (...forgive them Father...), In Brief: Excellent album!!! Judging by the reviews that have been appeared in the Metacritic so far, I really didn't expect from most of "professional reviewers" to treat it fairly. Take NME for instance... their empathy towards Radiohead is well known. While praising Coldplay and insisting that it's the best rock group that exists at the moment (...forgive them Father...), it's Radiohead the ones who wants to take their musical art one step further. In this album they managed to combine the experimental elements of their last two contributions with the straightforward forms of their earlier works (especially The Bends and OK Computer)...it's like the missing link, but truly this album sounds extremely refreshing and modern. Yorke's vocals reveal his maturity as a singer once again, especially in songs like "I Will", where his falsetto should be studied in musical schools. Strong melodies (some even catchy), demanding songs, poetic and emotional lyrics, a magnum opus in general without doubt. I really can't see a failure coming from Radiohead's camp coming any time soon. Listen for yourself and leave the NME crap behind...those guys have proved in the past their inability to foresee the future and appreciate/rate a band/album. Expand
  41. BrandonR.
    Aug 6, 2003
    9
    Perhpaps the smartest rock/post-rock band to prosper as a pop act and still maintain oodles of integrity. (As a musician, I wish I was in a band versatile enough to play whatever we like, using whatever instrumentation I want.) Something for all Radiohead fans on this one, kids, even though it seems like a direct cousin to "Amnesiac". Probably some of Thom's best vocals since The Perhpaps the smartest rock/post-rock band to prosper as a pop act and still maintain oodles of integrity. (As a musician, I wish I was in a band versatile enough to play whatever we like, using whatever instrumentation I want.) Something for all Radiohead fans on this one, kids, even though it seems like a direct cousin to "Amnesiac". Probably some of Thom's best vocals since The Bends. Faves: "2+2=5" is a sneaky opener, "Sit Down Stand Up" is hypnotic; "Where I End You Begin" is bittersweet; and "There There" is ingenious pop. Prediction: "Go To Sleep" will be the next single and it will be huge. (A-) Expand
  42. sirazhtabukov
    Jun 7, 2003
    10
    no comments
  43. JoshuaW.
    Jul 8, 2003
    10
    I have never felt anything less than love for any of Radiohead's albums (since The Bends) and this one is no exception. It's a perfect mix of good old rock and the more experimental music from their last two albums. I love this album.
  44. truelove
    Jul 18, 2003
    10
    big fan since pablo honey. impressed with everything since. this one makes my heart swell. i can't wait for more.
  45. Gabriel
    Mar 19, 2005
    10
    The Best album ever for the best band ever. They really shine in Hail To The Theif, especially in such droning peices like "Sit Down. Stand Up." and the bone chilling song "There There". This is definately a huge milestone in their career.
  46. vandey
    May 26, 2005
    10
    radiohead is beyond of our rock bands today, mentally and musically.they are just like a band who knows every corner of a deeep ocean and goes to the darkest places and the shining places and then gets higher from the ocean and began to see the planet as a whole, and then they are like seeing everything complete, the universe. this album is like a lesson for every band: how should a band radiohead is beyond of our rock bands today, mentally and musically.they are just like a band who knows every corner of a deeep ocean and goes to the darkest places and the shining places and then gets higher from the ocean and began to see the planet as a whole, and then they are like seeing everything complete, the universe. this album is like a lesson for every band: how should a band make its evolution. it is like pure complete presentation of the music they made from the begining and till Amnesiac. it is like an incredible journey. the beautiful thing is they are interested in more "creating music" rather then writing ordinary songs with ordinary repetitions. and I think they are ciriticized for this, for being brave ! but they never give up their artistic freedom, whatever the others say. and this is what makes the music evolve right ? Expand
  47. PeterH
    May 31, 2005
    10
    Grows and grows until you can't stop listening. Ignore the negative reviews and just listen to their 4th consecutive masterpiece.
  48. Matt
    Jun 7, 2005
    10
    I have come to realise over time that this is the best Radiohead album yet, the way they combine their experimental nature with their talent for songwriting is astonishing, the songs are like strange worlds of their own. Truly one of the greatest bands ever to grace this planet.
  49. neil
    Jul 9, 2005
    10
    how can music possibly get better than this, each song sounds like no other song ever written, radiohead surely aren''t human
  50. amadoriv
    Aug 4, 2005
    10
    god
  51. robs
    Sep 2, 2005
    10
    the work of leaders in there field, their music seems to reach in an emotional state of raising feelings that where thought not to be there. how can you not feel when hearing this album???
  52. ZachA.
    Oct 17, 2005
    10
    Amazing. This is my favorite Radiohead cd ever...
  53. JR
    Jan 3, 2006
    10
    Yes, this album is pure class. And, yes, Radiohead ARE the best band ever. However, not as good as other Radiohead classics such as 'OK Computer' and 'Kid A'. It's a shame there are still people out there who remain unaware of Radiohead's skill and brilliant music, but unfortunately there always will be. I hope that as many people as possible can read all Yes, this album is pure class. And, yes, Radiohead ARE the best band ever. However, not as good as other Radiohead classics such as 'OK Computer' and 'Kid A'. It's a shame there are still people out there who remain unaware of Radiohead's skill and brilliant music, but unfortunately there always will be. I hope that as many people as possible can read all these user reviews, because all the ones that give 9s and 10s have hit the nail on the head. Expand
  54. Jamie
    Jan 26, 2006
    10
    like all their albums this is simply beautiful. They are well ahead of any current rock band
  55. AndrewK
    Feb 20, 2006
    10
    I listened to 2+2=5 first. Loved it. I hated everything else. One year later I turned it on again in a long car ride and listened to everything. It was beautiful and everything blended and made sense. Buy this album.
  56. russlej
    Feb 22, 2006
    10
    pure poetry
  57. LachlanW
    Apr 5, 2006
    9
    Falls behind Kid A and OK Computer, but this doesn't change the fact that it is an exceptional CD.
  58. BannusVDK
    May 10, 2006
    10
    A fabulous Radiohead album as usual, but overshadowed by previous masterpieces (OK computer)
  59. TylerF
    May 21, 2006
    10
    To anyone picking up this album let me give you a bit of advice: listen to this album at least 20 times full through before coming to a decision on it. Like their previous best work, OK Computer and the brilliant Kid A, it takes time for all the sounds Radiohead puts out before you finally 'get it'. Don't expect to pop it in and be instantly floored by every song (although To anyone picking up this album let me give you a bit of advice: listen to this album at least 20 times full through before coming to a decision on it. Like their previous best work, OK Computer and the brilliant Kid A, it takes time for all the sounds Radiohead puts out before you finally 'get it'. Don't expect to pop it in and be instantly floored by every song (although some songs hit hard the first time- "2+2=5" and "there There"). The CD gets better with every listen. There's nothing more than you can ask than of this. We live in a world of commercial radio where songs hit the air waves for a week, make the top 10, and then fall off in another few weeks. Radiohead have staying power!! Their music is pure bliss- just let it sink in in time. Expand
  60. yuanfen2046
    May 29, 2006
    10
    one of my fav Radiohead album after OK Computer
  61. SAVAGETOAST
    Jun 8, 2006
    10
    Radiohead is gonna get a 100 no matter what. however, i think Kid A and Amnesiac are better, this album , it constantly gets better with every listen. "2+2=5", and "There, There (The Boney King of Nowhere") are immediate hits and this albums owns.
  62. RG
    Jul 28, 2006
    10
    people are often split after kid a came out. radiohead moves forward even when they put the best from both worlds. drunken punchup is a catchy groovy song sit down stand up is orwellian dark scatterbrain is sneakingly beautiful yorkes vocals go severywhere on sail to the moon backdrifters is stunning with its aphex loops and pianos on and on we go listen to this record
  63. MitchellF
    Sep 27, 2006
    9
    Unmistakeably amazine. A warming blend of both Kid A and Ok Computer, and even a touch of The Bends. The soothing melody's and electrifying hooks draw you in telling more than stories and drawing pictures. The only reason i give it a 9 is because it's hard listening to this over Ok Computer and Kid A when looking at the albums on my MP3 player.
  64. shaunb
    Dec 7, 2006
    10
    Beautiful. Are people so oblivious as to not ever mention the harmonies on this record. They are some of the most complex positioning ever done. "I Will's" three way harmonizing, "sail to the moon's" last sections weaving motions...It boggles me, it's seldom ever mentioned in reviews. It just goes to show peoples blind neglegence in smashing art they don't understand. Beautiful. Are people so oblivious as to not ever mention the harmonies on this record. They are some of the most complex positioning ever done. "I Will's" three way harmonizing, "sail to the moon's" last sections weaving motions...It boggles me, it's seldom ever mentioned in reviews. It just goes to show peoples blind neglegence in smashing art they don't understand. If ever fools question the new contrabutions Radiohead has brought to the table. Just say the most un Beatlesesque harmonies ever done. Oh yeah, plus their song writing is spot on," Wolf at the Door" is hauntingly beautiful. Great record guys, can't wait to hear the new one. Expand
  65. DeclanM
    Dec 13, 2006
    10
    simply superb still listening to it after 3 years
  66. UntitledAnonymous
    Jan 7, 2007
    10
    An amazing listen. Much more approachable than their previous two.
  67. roberts
    Feb 3, 2007
    9
    A classic radiohead but still there's something missing a bit...
  68. GazL
    Mar 14, 2007
    10
    Astonishing album - has really stood up to repeat listening and remains played on my ipod all the time. I don't care if it is 'rock' or not, as long as it rocks, and it does - Wolf At The Door is particularly outstanding...
  69. nathans
    Mar 28, 2007
    10
    Hail to the Radiohead!
  70. Hannes
    May 10, 2007
    10
    I love it period
  71. Oligami
    May 20, 2007
    9
    Yep, it sums up just about what they've done so far. Brilliant.
  72. MaxM
    Jun 21, 2007
    9
    This music is different and it sucks that Radiohead is my favorite band because I can't find any music that is similar to it only better.
  73. elmo.
    Aug 12, 2007
    9
    By far their best post ok computer album.
  74. EricC.
    Sep 14, 2007
    9
    Really is a fantastic album. Radiohead always deserves the hype they get. Unfortunately, this release doesn't have the lasting effect that Ok Computer had. Well, probably nothing will. Very talented song writing, an almost perfect mix of instruments and computer sounds. Just not an album I'll play frequently, as good as it is. And Max M, here's a few Radiohead-ish bands Really is a fantastic album. Radiohead always deserves the hype they get. Unfortunately, this release doesn't have the lasting effect that Ok Computer had. Well, probably nothing will. Very talented song writing, an almost perfect mix of instruments and computer sounds. Just not an album I'll play frequently, as good as it is. And Max M, here's a few Radiohead-ish bands that are worth looking in to. My Morning Jacket, Blonde Redhead, and if you're adventurous, Battles. They're on this site. Expand
  75. FrankieR
    Sep 19, 2007
    10
    Super dank. Anyone who gives any radiohead past OK Computer anything less than a full 10 needs to be dragged into the backyard, executed, and have their body defiled by infected, old sex offenders. Then I will personally empty an Uzi clip into their rotten carcasses.
  76. ChrisR
    Oct 6, 2007
    10
    100 Alternative Press There's something for everyone here. [Jul 2003, p.120] What the fuck planet are you from? 93 Pitchfork For its moments of gravity and excellence, Hail to the Thief is an arrow pointing toward the clearly darker, more frenetic territory the band have up to now only poked at curiously. Only poked at curiously? Did I get the same albums or just the sad versions of 100 Alternative Press There's something for everyone here. [Jul 2003, p.120] What the fuck planet are you from? 93 Pitchfork For its moments of gravity and excellence, Hail to the Thief is an arrow pointing toward the clearly darker, more frenetic territory the band have up to now only poked at curiously. Only poked at curiously? Did I get the same albums or just the sad versions of Kid A and OK Computer. "Calm, Fitter, Happier, and more productive. A pig in a cage, on antibiotics." You don't get anymore depressed than Hail to the Thief though. See Radiohead pull out of this depressing nose dive on their next album. Collapse
  77. RobbieC
    Dec 9, 2007
    9
    How do they KEEP doing it this well? It's a mystery.
  78. KalebS.
    Jan 13, 2008
    10
    Hail to the Thief is undeniably the hardest rocking Radiohead album since The Bends and the most lyrically mature and poetic Radiohead album since OK Computer. It 's the culmination, the pay-off for all the experimentation the band did on Kid A and Amnesiac. So basically what you get is the album that rocks hard while still experimenting and trying new things, yet never sounding like Hail to the Thief is undeniably the hardest rocking Radiohead album since The Bends and the most lyrically mature and poetic Radiohead album since OK Computer. It 's the culmination, the pay-off for all the experimentation the band did on Kid A and Amnesiac. So basically what you get is the album that rocks hard while still experimenting and trying new things, yet never sounding like it's wandering about aimlessly. Thom Yorke's songwriting has never been better and I don't think I'll be exaggerating if I say that the album matches the genius of OK Computer both musically and conceptually. HIGHLY recommended for the fans of the band, for music fans who are just starting to look into Radiohead, and for those who fell off the bandwagon with the release of Kid A and Amnesiac. 10/10 Expand
  79. ChrisP.
    Sep 24, 2008
    10
    One of the best Radiohead albums. "Where I End and You Begin" and "Go to Sleep" are flawless.
  80. OzzL
    Mar 6, 2009
    9
    A inventive and radical album. Sometimes the crazy prouction and sounds pay off, on occasions they do not, but on the whole it's another great album.
  81. TimB
    Apr 27, 2009
    10
    This album doesn't get the credit it deserves. It is one of Radiohead's best!!!
  82. leighm
    Jun 24, 2009
    10
    Underrated. this album is a collection of so many different genres. it is a prime example of Radiohead's versatility. Its superb.
  83. DexStud
    Jul 29, 2009
    9
    Not for everyone, including pop fans. But those who do give this album a try will be greatly rewarded with an awesome, original sounding album.
  84. BrianG
    May 23, 2003
    10
    Hail to the Thief strikes me in much the same was as U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind did--a return to a more song-oriented form, with audible nods to each era of the bands' careers. HTTT obviously has its share of buzzes and bleeps, which many critics seem to just automatically associate with the "Kid A/mnesiac" period, but in fact Radiohead has been experimenting with Hail to the Thief strikes me in much the same was as U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind did--a return to a more song-oriented form, with audible nods to each era of the bands' careers. HTTT obviously has its share of buzzes and bleeps, which many critics seem to just automatically associate with the "Kid A/mnesiac" period, but in fact Radiohead has been experimenting with odd little sounds ever since that accidental iconic riff found its way onto "Creep." HTTT can't be fairly defined as just being some recipe of different phases of their career--ala, mix one part Kid A electronica with the songwriting of The Bends, tossed together with a loose theme to lend cohesion as on OK Computer--it stands on its own as an expression of hopelessness in the face of powerful forces that have taken over without our permission--whether governments, terrorists, or fears of harm to our children or being put into a box. It's interesting, and a sign of the power of this album, that certain songs are perceived as terrible by some and great by others. Each track stands on its own power, and yet they all work together to express the gloaming, the darkening of the world. There is a newfound maturity on this album, perhaps most visible in songs like I Will and Wolf At The Door, but it resides somewhere in the overall feel of this album--there's no preaching, no real ranting and raving anti-government, anti-establishment messages, no maudlin gloom. Altogether a remarkably authentic expression of modern feelings in this post 9/11 world, all the more powerful because it avoids the trite and heavy-handed politicization and preaching of other post-9/11 albums like The Rising. This one may not rawk quite like OK Computer, but it seems more real and more relevant, with plenty of rawk and roil. After all, it's not 1997 any more, and this album just proves it to yourself, just you, you and no one else... Expand
  85. MarkP
    Jun 8, 2003
    9
    Whilst Hail to the Thief may lack the 'shock' value of hearing OK Computer or Kid A for the first time, Rdaiohead have refined their art sublimely here, never as indulgent as they can be (a la treefingers) yet still forward thinking and unique. Standout track is the closer, A Wolf At The Door, mixing minimalism with their old lyrical finesse and some beautiful vocals, yet tinged Whilst Hail to the Thief may lack the 'shock' value of hearing OK Computer or Kid A for the first time, Rdaiohead have refined their art sublimely here, never as indulgent as they can be (a la treefingers) yet still forward thinking and unique. Standout track is the closer, A Wolf At The Door, mixing minimalism with their old lyrical finesse and some beautiful vocals, yet tinged with real anger and urgency. Expand
  86. thomasR
    Jun 10, 2003
    10
    While not as immediately striking and original as their previous albums after repeated listenings the vernacular of the words and music begins to sink in and reveal itself as pure brilliance. Radiohead have continued to expand the limits of popular music while simultaneously bringing some much needed warmth and accesibility to the avant-garde. radiohead, once again, creates a microcosmic, While not as immediately striking and original as their previous albums after repeated listenings the vernacular of the words and music begins to sink in and reveal itself as pure brilliance. Radiohead have continued to expand the limits of popular music while simultaneously bringing some much needed warmth and accesibility to the avant-garde. radiohead, once again, creates a microcosmic, self-contained world of sound equally strange and familiar, frightening yet soothing. Expand
  87. GugaA
    Jun 10, 2003
    9
    I really think its great. If you like radiohead, you'll like it. But it won't change your mind if you don't like them. It sounds different and thats awesome to say.
  88. ThiagoR
    Jun 12, 2003
    10
    One word: perfect!!!
  89. PilotE
    Jun 11, 2003
    10
    Beautiful, varied, emotionally involving
  90. PaulW
    Jul 21, 2003
    9
    Not quite O.K., but as close as you will find. Again it takes a few listens to get the substance, but the songs do stand alone. Well worth the price of admission..and the amount of time enjoying it.
  91. ErnestoG
    Jun 15, 2003
    10
    It's great. I think it's an album where they took together a lot of elements from the bends, ok computer and kid a/amnesiac, and its simply a masterpiece. Its 14 beautiful songs in a perfect order and well, its great. I think the best songs are 2+2=5, a punchup at a wedding and a wolf at the door, but in the whole, the album is great itself, and not because some songs.
  92. CB
    Jun 16, 2003
    9
    Very good album. People should stop pondering about how Radiohead is progressing, or what this means for the future. Its music and ood. Nothing else. The only thing it says is that Radiohead is still putting out quality music. By the way 'Jim M' what does 'commercial monster' mean? It certainly is not any comment of substance because it as nothing to do with the music.
  93. lindenb
    Jun 16, 2003
    9
    i think this album is really cool man. i think 2+2=5 turned out pretty cool. i thought that giving alternate names was pretty cool. oh, and the coolest part was when thom says "the raindrops" 50 times. That was waaay cool and "there there" wasnt just cool, it was dope!! and that one single"we suck young blood", well, that one sucked!
  94. AndréG
    Aug 3, 2003
    9
    We should just be happy that Radiohead released another album. Nobody can't deny it's another great collection of tunes and it's different from The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A or Amnesiac.
  95. Jonne
    Jun 21, 2003
    10
    It is a grower, perhaps even more than the last two albums. It is scatter, yes, but it doesn't matter after you're fully in it.
  96. MarkM
    Jun 8, 2003
    10
    This album is truly amazing, and seems to me to be a breath of fresh air after the previous two albums. Kid A was stunning - it sounded different and interesting and beautiful, unlike anything I'd ever heard - but Amnesiac didn't sit as well with me, just because it didn't flow as smoothly and it seemed to rehash everything that Kid A had already accomplished (it even This album is truly amazing, and seems to me to be a breath of fresh air after the previous two albums. Kid A was stunning - it sounded different and interesting and beautiful, unlike anything I'd ever heard - but Amnesiac didn't sit as well with me, just because it didn't flow as smoothly and it seemed to rehash everything that Kid A had already accomplished (it even recycled one of the same songs! ... yawn). Where Kid A was refreshing, Amnesiac was redundant. I was really worried that HTTT was going to be Amnesiac's twin brother, but it really surprised me with its freshness and newness. Yes, all the same electronic tricks from the previous two albums are there - all of the old blips and squeeks - but there's something new here (or old, depending on how you look at it). Johnny finally went through his closet and found his old guitar and Thom finally mustered up enough strength to command a song with his voice, instead of murmuring somewhere in the background. And I can actually understand most of his words! It's been about 6 years since the last time I could actually say that! This album just feels good. It feels better than Amnesiac, and it might even feel better than Kid A. Well done, Radiohead, I had a smile on my face through the entire album instead of the confused grimace that I'd started to wear through parts of Kid A and most of Amnesiac. Say what you want about Radiohead's trip into the world of wacky music. For me, no other artist out there right now is making music this interesting and beautiful. Expand
  97. TonyR
    Jun 8, 2003
    10
    Pure Genius
  98. sss
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    Best Song: Sail to the mon
  99. ErwinK
    May 26, 2003
    10
    Best of both worlds. It has the Kid A aesthetic while returning to the guitar driven sounds of The Bends. I also have the downloaded leak (I assure you I will buy it), and what I have heard is mind-blowing, a bit depressing at times, but distinctly better than all the piles of musical crap out there in music land. And they are not being 10-track snobs this time, including 15 tracks. I Best of both worlds. It has the Kid A aesthetic while returning to the guitar driven sounds of The Bends. I also have the downloaded leak (I assure you I will buy it), and what I have heard is mind-blowing, a bit depressing at times, but distinctly better than all the piles of musical crap out there in music land. And they are not being 10-track snobs this time, including 15 tracks. I never understood why they always have so many good b-sides that they never bother to beef up their albums with. Expand
  100. peterg
    Jun 13, 2003
    10
    second best radiohead album....can't put it down...nearly perfect...just behind ok computer...may be even more accessable than that one.
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. As admirable as Radiohead's quest ongoing quest to ignore expectations, tear up the manual and proudly rebel against the limitations of 4/4 time seems, some of Hail To The Thief comes dangerously close to being all experimentalism and precious little substance. [Jul 2003, p.98]
  2. Of course it's political, and of course it continues to merge electronic experimentation with more familiar rock structures; but it employs all those debate-igniting props simply to further the band's more pressing agenda: to tirelessly explore beauty's terrible fragility.
  3. Hail to the Thief is overloaded with miraculous sounds.