Hail To The Thief

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

Universal acclaim- based on 477 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 477

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  1. Jul 15, 2015
    9
    For my first review on albums, I picked one of my favourites: Hail To The Thief, by Radiohead. Its got some pretty good hits on there, one of my personal favourites being There There. A must-listen for rockers everywhere.
  2. Jun 24, 2015
    10
    My favourite album from my favourite band, I still can't understand the crtizims that it gets. I really think there is not one single song that is not great in Hail To The Thief, they all work great by themself but work so much better alltogether. I strongly recomend the Collectors Edition which includes "Where bluebirds fly" one of their best songs. I also think the best artwork done byMy favourite album from my favourite band, I still can't understand the crtizims that it gets. I really think there is not one single song that is not great in Hail To The Thief, they all work great by themself but work so much better alltogether. I strongly recomend the Collectors Edition which includes "Where bluebirds fly" one of their best songs. I also think the best artwork done by Stanley Donwood is the one used in this album. Expand
  3. May 16, 2015
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Radiohead's sixth record is sort of a return to form. A work in which guitars, bass, drums and a overall "normal-hearing" rock sound returns.. with of course the same unique tunes and originality typical of the british band. Thom Yorke gave the album a very heavy political feel, with songs like 2 + 2 = 5 that refer to George Orwell's 1984 or Knives Out. It's a good LP with some killer tracks like the 2 mentioned before or There There. I believe the only problem it has is that aside from few great gems, there aren't that many incredbile songs as other records like Ok Computer, The Bends or Kid A. It's a good album, but it feels like Radioheads did not gave 100% of their talent.. a feeling that instead is totally absent in the later and more mature work, In Rainbows. Expand
  4. Jul 24, 2014
    9
    Here is my track by track, but first; this album is all the things that make Radiohead loveable channeled into one cohesive body of work, with great songs and a sound that is distinctly theirs. It would be one of their best, but the 56-minute runtime is not supported with enough variety to carry it through. It's still nice to see them so in their own, and though it may be a littleHere is my track by track, but first; this album is all the things that make Radiohead loveable channeled into one cohesive body of work, with great songs and a sound that is distinctly theirs. It would be one of their best, but the 56-minute runtime is not supported with enough variety to carry it through. It's still nice to see them so in their own, and though it may be a little self-indulgent for them, I can't help but love it. A significant chapter in their career. (Note: All track-by-track ratings are in context to the album; a 5 here might be a 4 elsewhere or vice versa.)
    2+2=5 (5/5)
    One of Radiohead's best openers to date, then slow-moving jazz-influenced number evolves into a paranoid punk rock anthem, then screeches to a halt.
    Sit Down, Stand Up (5/5)
    A haunting yet beautiful melody exhibits Thom Yorke's political paranoia; the instrumentation builds until the song is drowned out in a roar of white noise. Radiohead in their essence.
    Sail To The Moon (5/5)
    Another win for HTTT! the third in a masterful opening sequence this drifts along with the ease of a 50's ballad. The classical picking adds to the daydream effect, and it serves as the calm after the storm!
    Back Drifts (4/5)
    Though a little over-extended this song has killer bass, and the beat keeps the pulse of the song moving, even when it's broke the 4-minute mark. A little more variety would have been nice though...
    Go To Sleep (3.5/5)
    While it's rock feel fits well in the midst of an electronic wasteland, it's easily forgettable, and lacks the characteristics of the other songs. Not a disappointment just not a jackpot either!
    Where I End (4.5/5)
    A pick-me-up, this song represents the album's sound quite nicely. While not quite as spectacular as the opening three it's very pop, though quite dark, and it keeps the album moving.
    We Suck Young Blood (2.5/5)
    If Where I End kept the album moving, then this was a major road block, tripping it up with a ridiculously slow tempo, and a slightly repetitive structure. Elements of it have potential but as it's whole it's a bore.
    The Gloaming (5/5)
    I don't know why I like this song so much- it's the waterfall drip maybe, or it's the fact that it breathes life into the album after "WSYB". Though I may be over-rating it it flows well and it's a good side opener.
    There There (3.5/5)
    Often regarded as the album's best track I disagree, but believe it's a good catchy song. Not quite a 5, because I rarely feel the urge to play it, and it's a little too slow, but far from filler.
    I Will (4/5)
    I Will on it's own is far from a massive accomplishment. But when viewed as the intro to Drunken Punch-Up, as there is no break in between, it's brilliant and contributes to the album in mood and variety.
    Drunken Punch-up (5/5)
    And they're back. The album's building up steam before it ends and this jazz fusion pop-fest is no exception. It manages to be dark, complex and fun all at the same time.
    Myxomatosis (5/5)
    Also rocks. the album's over all slow tempo is sped up a little in a catchy and vibrant jam comparable to a track off THE BENDS, or Bodysnatchers off IN RAINBOWS.
    Scatterbrain (3/5)
    It's beautiful, and the lick would be heart-breaking, but it meanders, and the album would be just fine without it. WSYB & this could be removed to make an amazing and way shorter album.
    Wolf At The Door (5/5)
    Radiohead always have the best closers. Always. The abstract poetic lyrics, incredibly melodic chorus and almost hip-hop influenced verse serves to make a total masterstroke!
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  5. Apr 14, 2014
    10
    a great album of variations, is an miz of Kid A and OK Computer, but only one, agreat album of pure rock, and melodies full of feelings, recomedated for everyone
  6. Mar 6, 2013
    9
    I put this album as Radiohead's 4th best album and it is excellent. It has tons of songs which is rare on a Radiohead album. This is their darkest album in terms of tone and lyrics. It can get borderline uncomfortable on tracks like "Suck Young Blood", "Wolf at the Door", "Myxamatosis" but like all Radiohead albums, more and more listens offer revelations and satisfaction. HTTT hasI put this album as Radiohead's 4th best album and it is excellent. It has tons of songs which is rare on a Radiohead album. This is their darkest album in terms of tone and lyrics. It can get borderline uncomfortable on tracks like "Suck Young Blood", "Wolf at the Door", "Myxamatosis" but like all Radiohead albums, more and more listens offer revelations and satisfaction. HTTT has classic songs Go To Sleep, There There, 2 2 5, Sit Down. Stand Up) and true to form there is one absolute dud (Gloaming). This album isn't warm and inviting like earlier efforts and thats the point. Like the metal band Tool said once, "finding beauty in the dissonance". Expand
  7. 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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  8. Sep 28, 2012
    9
    Super album. You will find a lot of things. Rock and piano ballads with a slight touch of electronic music. It's a very original sound, and the lyrics are deep and poetic.
  9. Jul 21, 2012
    10
    My first non-immediate album back in the day. There There worked from the first listen, but the rest of the album seemed boring on first hand and my teenage mind didn't expect patience to be rewarded, but through repeated listenings I came to understand what a deep and pertinent yet abstract work of art this is. You'll see imperfections at first, quirks later on, and by the crucial listenMy first non-immediate album back in the day. There There worked from the first listen, but the rest of the album seemed boring on first hand and my teenage mind didn't expect patience to be rewarded, but through repeated listenings I came to understand what a deep and pertinent yet abstract work of art this is. You'll see imperfections at first, quirks later on, and by the crucial listen you will see charisma and strength. Expand
  10. 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.
  11. Apr 13, 2012
    8
    Not quite up with their best work and probably 3 tracks too long but still a great album with some moments of absolute brilliance. After the excitement that came with it's predecessors, this was slightly anti climatic. There is something about the album that just gives it a gloomier than normal feel.It was great to hear Johnny Greenwood's guitar strongly involved for theNot quite up with their best work and probably 3 tracks too long but still a great album with some moments of absolute brilliance. After the excitement that came with it's predecessors, this was slightly anti climatic. There is something about the album that just gives it a gloomier than normal feel.It was great to hear Johnny Greenwood's guitar strongly involved for the majority of the album after it's bitpart on Kid A and Amnesiac. 2+2=5, There There and Myxamatosis were the highlights for me. Expand
  12. Jan 28, 2012
    8
    Despite being another great album, one feels that something is missing. Possibly it's the lack of a greater beauty in music. But it's still amazing and great to hear it.
  13. Nov 16, 2011
    10
    My favorite Radiohead album. Why? Because in addition to the experimental sound that was developed during the Kid A era, the rock sound is back with it. And these two sounds surprisingly incredible, and go together like vanilla and chocolate ice cream. This is one heck of a treat, for rock listeners and hipsters alike. In ways, I believe this is better than Kid A and OK Computer.
  14. Nov 15, 2011
    5
    Unfortunately, for the longest, it's also the weakest Radiohead record. Also, the fact, after this album, that the band say they were not being political is almost laughable. This albums saving grace is track one, and then 5 of the last 6 songs, the middle just sounds hopelessly pointless. Good if you want an overview of the Radiohead 'sound,' pretty poor if you're already a fan.
  15. 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.
  16. Aug 5, 2011
    4
    I discovered radiohead with the famous piano-driven "Karma Police". I then read a lot of great reviews for them so I decided to start from the begining. The first three albums are great, especially OK computer. However, I was very surprised with Kid A. I hated it. So I decided to go for "Hail to the thief" as it was said to be a sort of return to their origins. Well, that is not true.I discovered radiohead with the famous piano-driven "Karma Police". I then read a lot of great reviews for them so I decided to start from the begining. The first three albums are great, especially OK computer. However, I was very surprised with Kid A. I hated it. So I decided to go for "Hail to the thief" as it was said to be a sort of return to their origins. Well, that is not true. Still electronic, the only good songs are the first three and the last two, maybe the third one being the only great one. It's sad to see how this band has gone down so much whilst the press still praise them and laugh at muse's debut album saying it is radiohead (now they have changed them after seeing their fame) when it only draws some inspiration from the opening tracks of the marvelous OK computer. As radiohead have stopped doing that music it is fair for muse or coldplay to expand from that style. Expand
  17. Jul 11, 2011
    8
    This album has some truly spectacular moments - Go to Sleep, 2+2=5, Sit Down Stand Up and A Punchup at a Wedding to name just a few, and is the typical Radiohead excellence. However, I cannot help but feel that a few tracks (such as We Suck Young Blood and I Will) would have been better as B-Sides. They extended the album beyond its lifespan and were not quite as strong. With a few removedThis album has some truly spectacular moments - Go to Sleep, 2+2=5, Sit Down Stand Up and A Punchup at a Wedding to name just a few, and is the typical Radiohead excellence. However, I cannot help but feel that a few tracks (such as We Suck Young Blood and I Will) would have been better as B-Sides. They extended the album beyond its lifespan and were not quite as strong. With a few removed tracks the album would have had such powerful impetus as to be unstoppable. Expand
  18. Jun 4, 2011
    8
    Great record, there's just 1-2 tracks that take away from it's overall flow and may prompt a skip.
  19. Jun 1, 2011
    8
    Hail To The Thief for the most part is a great album. The opener "2 + 2 = 5" is one of my favorite Radiohead songs. The only gripe I have about it is that some of the tracks sound like fillers. Not all of them, but just a few. Other than that, Hail To The Thief might be hard getting into if you're becoming a Radiohead fan, but it's a great album that doesn't quite top "Kid A" or "InHail To The Thief for the most part is a great album. The opener "2 + 2 = 5" is one of my favorite Radiohead songs. The only gripe I have about it is that some of the tracks sound like fillers. Not all of them, but just a few. Other than that, Hail To The Thief might be hard getting into if you're becoming a Radiohead fan, but it's a great album that doesn't quite top "Kid A" or "In Rainbows", but still a great jam. B+ Expand
  20. May 18, 2011
    10
    This album is one of their best- at least in the parts of the whole sum. the problem with the whole is tracklisting. get rid of 2-4 songs and it really works well. i'd say we suck young blood, and scatterbrain and a few others would have comfortably fit onto a rather good side EP. no two people would agree on which songs to omit- the whole 14 gets lost, but when i have listened to about 11This album is one of their best- at least in the parts of the whole sum. the problem with the whole is tracklisting. get rid of 2-4 songs and it really works well. i'd say we suck young blood, and scatterbrain and a few others would have comfortably fit onto a rather good side EP. no two people would agree on which songs to omit- the whole 14 gets lost, but when i have listened to about 11 and used the skip button-always a different set of songs, but it works and i think this is perhaps the most artistically developed and mature radiohead album in concept, if it is missing some of the more instinctive musical features. these points have never bothered me in the slightest! Expand
  21. May 6, 2011
    10
    this album is it's own genre."sail to the moon" with it .
    this is a perfect album containing elements of all things radiohead.political but not preachy true collectors item.
  22. Oct 5, 2010
    8
    A weaker effort than what they've done since Pablo Honey, but still a good Radiohead album. What really makes it weaker is how uneven the album is. About 2-3 tracks longer than a usual Radiohead album, there are a number of songs ("Backdrifts", "We Suck Young Blood", "Scatterbrain") that shouldn't have made the cut, but somehow managed to. I would sitll highly recommend it, though, becauseA weaker effort than what they've done since Pablo Honey, but still a good Radiohead album. What really makes it weaker is how uneven the album is. About 2-3 tracks longer than a usual Radiohead album, there are a number of songs ("Backdrifts", "We Suck Young Blood", "Scatterbrain") that shouldn't have made the cut, but somehow managed to. I would sitll highly recommend it, though, because it's still several notches above most of the "fridge buzz" out there. Expand
  23. Sep 7, 2010
    10
    Radiohead's most underrated album, in my opinion. It may lack the unforgettable songs of other efforts but it makes for a damn fine listen. Its being stuck between Kid A/Amnesiac and In Rainbows probably hurts its reputation a bit, but Yorke and Company still deliver.
  24. Sep 5, 2010
    10
    Completely melts my face off. I was confused by it at first, like most of their records, but unlike Kid A, I lost hope in this one for a while. After shelving it for a while I came back to it and was listening to it all the time. It might take effort, but this record will win you over if you let it.
  25. Aug 20, 2010
    10
    Besides being in my humble opinion a phenomonal record and also in my opinion being tied for third (with The Bends) in Radiohead's discography (behind OK Computer and Kid A), Radiohead diversifies themselves and shows all the Creep lovers and Kid A fanatics that we can all just get along and make a record that has it all. From heavy rock (2+2=5, Myxomytosis), to jazz (Sail to the Moon,Besides being in my humble opinion a phenomonal record and also in my opinion being tied for third (with The Bends) in Radiohead's discography (behind OK Computer and Kid A), Radiohead diversifies themselves and shows all the Creep lovers and Kid A fanatics that we can all just get along and make a record that has it all. From heavy rock (2+2=5, Myxomytosis), to jazz (Sail to the Moon, We Suck Young Blood), to electronic (Sit Down Stand Up, Backdrifts, The Gloaming), to rock funk (Where I End and You Begin, A Punch Up at a Wedding), to Beatles/Rolling Stones-clad rock tunes (Go to Sleep, There There, A Wolf at the Door), to heart felt ballads (I Will, Scatterbrain.) It may be noticed that I have named every song on the album in that list, yet this only furthers my point that this is a record that somehow combines several very different genres to create a very well synced album. Not only that, but lyrically, Radiohead almost undoubtedly writes out their most politically vocal set of songs that exemplifies thier Orwellian and anti-Big Brother views in a way that is while very open, but is also not completely in your face and gives you an opportunaty to enjoy the music while not having to focus in politically. In this album Radiohead in a raw manner redefines their sound (again) and in the process creates a very memorable record. Expand
  26. TheSox
    May 5, 2010
    10
    Awesome
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. TimB
    Apr 27, 2009
    10
    This album doesn't get the credit it deserves. It is one of Radiohead's best!!!
  32. SebH
    Mar 27, 2009
    6
    I've been listening to this on and off for 5 years and yet I still see it as their worst since Pablo Honey. Amnesiac was much better because it at least had Pyramid Song and Knives Out (two of their best ever). You might say that it's still a great album compared with everything else that's being churned out these days, but I can't agree with that either. It's not I've been listening to this on and off for 5 years and yet I still see it as their worst since Pablo Honey. Amnesiac was much better because it at least had Pyramid Song and Knives Out (two of their best ever). You might say that it's still a great album compared with everything else that's being churned out these days, but I can't agree with that either. It's not rousing, falls into large lapses of self-parody and is far too long to get through. Sonically, it's not textured to the same beautiful level of OK Computer or The Bends and is even at times unlistenable and overly experimental. There are a few great songs I have to admit - There There, 2+2=5, Where I End And You Begin and, of course, Go To Sleep. But otherwise it's passable at best. In Rainbows, OK Computer, Kid A and The Bends all kick this one's ass. Expand
  33. 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.
  34. richard
    Nov 15, 2008
    8
    Radiohead sets the bar so high for themselves that it is difficult to rate their music. for most groups this would be considered their tour de force but for Radiohead, it comes off as just another fantastic album. With it they cement their place in history alongside Zeppelin and The Beatles. They past The Rolling Stones a long time ago.
  35. MarcinN.
    Oct 24, 2008
    10
    Still think it's underrated because it's too modern for the 2003 when it was released.
  36. ChrisP.
    Sep 24, 2008
    10
    One of the best Radiohead albums. "Where I End and You Begin" and "Go to Sleep" are flawless.
  37. AidanK.
    Feb 29, 2008
    5
    I feel this is the weekest radiohead record. Its frustrating that the first two tracks are the best ones and it has too many songs.
  38. 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
  39. RobbieC
    Dec 9, 2007
    9
    How do they KEEP doing it this well? It's a mystery.
  40. RickyS
    Oct 10, 2007
    8
    Ok first off to negate Eric C, My Morning Jacket, Blonde Redhead, and Battles DO NOT sound like Radiohead. I just saw BR in concert and there are almost no similarities. Battles is just completely different. MMJ could be considered similar in ways, but really aren't. They are FAR more straightforward and country-esque. That being said, Hail to the Thief is a great album, but is Ok first off to negate Eric C, My Morning Jacket, Blonde Redhead, and Battles DO NOT sound like Radiohead. I just saw BR in concert and there are almost no similarities. Battles is just completely different. MMJ could be considered similar in ways, but really aren't. They are FAR more straightforward and country-esque. That being said, Hail to the Thief is a great album, but is nowhere near as good as The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, or the just released In Rainbows (thank goodness). Hail has elements of all of the albums but not necessarily their strengths. Still worth many spins if you're a Radiohead fan, but if you're new to the game, DO NOT start with this album. You will regret it. Expand
  41. 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. Expand
  42. 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.
  43. 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
  44. elmo.
    Aug 12, 2007
    9
    By far their best post ok computer album.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. Oligami
    May 20, 2007
    9
    Yep, it sums up just about what they've done so far. Brilliant.
  48. Hannes
    May 10, 2007
    10
    I love it period
  49. nathans
    Mar 28, 2007
    10
    Hail to the Radiohead!
  50. 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...
  51. roberts
    Feb 3, 2007
    9
    A classic radiohead but still there's something missing a bit...
  52. UntitledAnonymous
    Jan 7, 2007
    10
    An amazing listen. Much more approachable than their previous two.
  53. DeclanM
    Dec 13, 2006
    10
    simply superb still listening to it after 3 years
  54. 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
  55. omniQ
    Nov 14, 2006
    8
    Just let the band take a stylistic breather. So they don't feel like pushing the envelope to the brink of breakage this time. Wait until their monstrously good LP7, but sit back and take a break with this one for now, please.
  56. 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.
  57. Andy
    Aug 22, 2006
    7
    More of the same from them.
  58. WesleyF
    Aug 3, 2006
    7
    The potential is all there, but sounds rather flat in places. Lacks the dynamics and cohesion of previous works. As an album it fails to live up to expectations, but the songs are there; I only wish they were executed with more spirit.
  59. 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
  60. 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.
  61. yuanfen2046
    May 29, 2006
    10
    one of my fav Radiohead album after OK Computer
  62. 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
  63. RonG
    May 16, 2006
    5
    A few electronic offerings, a few rock songs, a few slow ballads....the trouble is that although there is something for everyone, the album isn't really anything cohesive at all
  64. BannusVDK
    May 10, 2006
    10
    A fabulous Radiohead album as usual, but overshadowed by previous masterpieces (OK computer)
  65. lewisc
    Apr 24, 2006
    0
    shit
  66. 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.
  67. BrianMcC
    Mar 5, 2006
    6
    Better than 'Pablo". Better than 'Kid A'. Great? No way. Worth getting? Maybe....only if you enjoy Radiohead's other efforts...especially Kid A. OK Computer has nothing to worry about...that recording remains their best and 'Hail' finishes way back in the race. Musically, it is nothing new.
  68. 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....
  69. russlej
    Feb 22, 2006
    10
    pure poetry
  70. 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.
  71. boo
    Jan 28, 2006
    0
    pablo honey is way better. this music isn't rock like i thought it would be.
  72. Jamie
    Jan 26, 2006
    10
    like all their albums this is simply beautiful. They are well ahead of any current rock band
  73. 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
  74. ZachA.
    Oct 17, 2005
    10
    Amazing. This is my favorite Radiohead cd ever...
  75. ArnoB
    Sep 18, 2005
    8
    Radiohead looks fragile on this record (for a new Radiohead listener). It is a kind of in-between uncertainty between, on one hand, a more rock style (The Bends and Ok Comp ) and an experimental, gloomier, heartbreaking ambience (Kid A and Amnesiac). There is no great unity inside this album, as Radiohead, perhaps, just delivers its last performance and, thus, tries to do only what they Radiohead looks fragile on this record (for a new Radiohead listener). It is a kind of in-between uncertainty between, on one hand, a more rock style (The Bends and Ok Comp ) and an experimental, gloomier, heartbreaking ambience (Kid A and Amnesiac). There is no great unity inside this album, as Radiohead, perhaps, just delivers its last performance and, thus, tries to do only what they feel like, instead of striving to make something that sounds ''logical'' or harmonious in the whole. At the same time, though, this large variety of styles on the album assures a certain balance and shows a mature richness. Expand
  76. 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???
  77. RachelM
    Aug 22, 2005
    8
    No doubt this is Radiohead best album after OK and The Bends. It's not such a classic, though. It can never be when people expect them to be sounding like No Surprises forever. However, this record is unique in their career for its combination of alt rock songs with more Kid A-like songs. The result isn't a mess but a mature record. It's also true some tracks leave you a No doubt this is Radiohead best album after OK and The Bends. It's not such a classic, though. It can never be when people expect them to be sounding like No Surprises forever. However, this record is unique in their career for its combination of alt rock songs with more Kid A-like songs. The result isn't a mess but a mature record. It's also true some tracks leave you a bit cold (The Gloaming or Backdrifts), as Radiohead is better making perfect alt rock songs (2+2=5, Go To Sleep, There There, Scatterbrain) than trying to sound experimental (best try here is Myxomatosis). This is the worst thing I can say about the best band ever. All Radiohead records makes you feel (at least at some point) there's nothing higher. Expand
  78. amadoriv
    Aug 4, 2005
    10
    god
  79. 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
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. 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
  83. 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.
  84. ayeaye
    Mar 12, 2005
    8
    simply an 8
  85. jamesc
    Mar 10, 2005
    2
    i have been a radiohead fan from the start, i thought there was enough good material on the previous 2 albums to justify their release but this is very poor! because it is so strange , people seem afraid to criticise, but being a fan i have tried to let it grow but to no avail. i will say however, it takes more than a bad album to ruin a great bands reputation. if ya wanna geet into i have been a radiohead fan from the start, i thought there was enough good material on the previous 2 albums to justify their release but this is very poor! because it is so strange , people seem afraid to criticise, but being a fan i have tried to let it grow but to no avail. i will say however, it takes more than a bad album to ruin a great bands reputation. if ya wanna geet into radiohead, focus on the earlier stuff, forget this one! Expand
  86. Sam
    Oct 3, 2004
    8
    I truly am a fan of radioheads amazing music. I love them. They are one of the few great rock bands of my generation (Wilco is far better). My only quibble with them is their whole image of anti-marketing and corporate-conglomerates. They seem to shy away from top 40 status, yet in the meantime there is a seemingly endless supply of different fan-sites on the internet. Why? I get this I truly am a fan of radioheads amazing music. I love them. They are one of the few great rock bands of my generation (Wilco is far better). My only quibble with them is their whole image of anti-marketing and corporate-conglomerates. They seem to shy away from top 40 status, yet in the meantime there is a seemingly endless supply of different fan-sites on the internet. Why? I get this weird feeling that radiohead (mostly Thom Yorke) is a really self-absorbed band of loonies, just basking in their glorious amounts of drooling fans and the money they shell out to buy Radioheads next album. But to be honest i just forget about all this and listen to Hail to the Thief or any of Radiohead's brilliant albums. they are great music makers and that's the bottom line. Buy this CD. Expand
  87. 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.
  88. adig
    Jun 17, 2004
    10
    the album is great and radiohead are the best!
  89. 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
  90. 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
  91. LeoS
    Jan 29, 2004
    5
    C'mon man! ANYBODY can evidently notice that there's SOMETHING (A LOT OF IT) missing. Turn the lights off and get ready to get depressed.
  92. 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!
  93. PedroG
    Nov 28, 2003
    10
    Como siempre Radiohead los mejores discos y porsupuesto refrescando su estilo musical
  94. BrianC
    Nov 26, 2003
    8
    It is an excellent album;however, I believe I became depressed as a result of listening to the album.
  95. laura
    Nov 5, 2003
    10
    wonderful...everyone MUST buy it.
  96. KiheoT
    Oct 22, 2003
    4
    Dark, mediocre and downright whiny- Thom Yorke at his worst. I agree a few listens improves the album but it doesn't hang together like Kid A or Amnesiac. Painfull to listen to all the way through
  97. 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.
  98. 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!
  99. AmandaF.
    Sep 28, 2003
    10
    I LOVE this album. It's the best they've made since OK Computer and my definite pick for album of the year. I can't get it out of my cd player, much less out of my head!
  100. 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.
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.