Hail To The Thief

  • Record Label: Capitol
  • Release Date: Jun 10, 2003
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 564 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 564

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  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. 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
  4. amadoriv
    Aug 4, 2005
    10
    god
  5. ClingingOntoBottles
    May 23, 2003
    8
    Well let's see...six albums and Radiohead has arguably had five separate incarnations, gone in five distinct directions, Amnesiac being the only album that was really just a continuation of its predecessor. HTTT gives us a Radiohead that's tougher and more cohesive, they've learned some lessons from Kid A and Amnesiac but they've outgrown that art-for-art's-sake Well let's see...six albums and Radiohead has arguably had five separate incarnations, gone in five distinct directions, Amnesiac being the only album that was really just a continuation of its predecessor. HTTT gives us a Radiohead that's tougher and more cohesive, they've learned some lessons from Kid A and Amnesiac but they've outgrown that art-for-art's-sake sense of experimentalism that led to some of their more out-there tracks like "Pulk" or "Like Spinning Plates." The focus is definitely on the songs here, and Thom's lyrics are more front and center than they have been in a while, which is a definite bonus because they're some of his strongest ever, pretty evenly split between venomous political barbs and very personal meditations on love and family (ahh, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to see our alt-rock heroes settling down...oh yeah, and old, it makes me feel very old). My only complaint with the album is that at times it seems like the band is coasting and falling back on things that worked in the past, now that they seem more focused on making a cohesive statement rather than simply continuing to push the envelope. Songs like "Go To Sleep" and "We Suck Young Blood" could have benefitted from a little more tweaking in the studio because these versions sound a little flat (and yes I do have the final mastered versions). But that's just a quibble when you consider songs like "2+2=5," one of the 5 best RH songs of all-time, not to mention flawless instant classics like "Keep the Wolf at the Door" "Where I End and You Begin" "Scatterbrain" and "There There." Expand
  6. thomasr
    May 25, 2003
    9
    makes more sense and becomes more perfect with each listen.
  7. MichaelK
    Jun 1, 2003
    10
    This is not Pablo Honey, The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, or Amnesiac. This is Hail to the Thief, and like every other Radiohead album (barring PH), it stands in a league of its own. Like every other Radiohead album before it, they craft a definitive mood and unique progression of music that manages to be fresh and inviting at the same time. Rarely ever is the music on this held by the This is not Pablo Honey, The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, or Amnesiac. This is Hail to the Thief, and like every other Radiohead album (barring PH), it stands in a league of its own. Like every other Radiohead album before it, they craft a definitive mood and unique progression of music that manages to be fresh and inviting at the same time. Rarely ever is the music on this held by the conventions of pop, but that doesn't matter, as there is so much that is accessible and easy to love here. From the beginning wavering guitar strumming of "2 + 2 = 5." to the gorgeous synth pads and harmonious pleas of "Sail to the Moon," to the harsh fuzz of "Myxomatosis," the moods swing wildly between warmth and angst, melody and dischord, often with such dichotomies appearing within a single song. Thom Yorke gives one of the most eclectic, yet strong vocal performances to date, his voice mutating yet again to match the mood of the record. Intense, sly, and focused, he conjures dark and intriguing images of a world gone awry, in danger of having no future. Issues of control, martyrdom, and infection abound throughout the record. Musically, you could say this is Radiohead's "pop" record, if merely for the more live-sounding bent of the music in comparison to some of their recent works. The best way to describe it is a different approach, meant to be more immediate superficially while betraying a deeper, intricate heart. Such complex beauty shouldn't remain hidden in any case. Expand
  8. jackc
    Jun 1, 2003
    10
    incredibly amazing
  9. ChrisB
    Jun 17, 2003
    9
    Although I admit I wasn't a huge fan of "Kid A," Radiohead's new album "Hail to the Thief" shows a maturation of the experimental direction they've taken the past few years. The piano adds a haunting, mysterious quality to their music and the vocals are masterfully interwoven within the textured melodies. I recommend this album to anyone with a taste for the ethereal. A few Although I admit I wasn't a huge fan of "Kid A," Radiohead's new album "Hail to the Thief" shows a maturation of the experimental direction they've taken the past few years. The piano adds a haunting, mysterious quality to their music and the vocals are masterfully interwoven within the textured melodies. I recommend this album to anyone with a taste for the ethereal. A few listenings and you'll be hooked...Trust me. Expand
  10. alecL
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    Shows they are still the best band in the world
  11. sirazhtabukov
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    no comments
  12. 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
  13. BenCozoniWam
    Jun 9, 2003
    9
    Whats with that sudden electronic part in sit down stand up - it was going well up to there!-oh well perhaps it'll grow on me. There There and 2+2=5 are obviously fantastic and Go to Sleep is also really good (when the guitars kick in with the drums it is a magnificant sound). Backdrifts sounds different but I sort of like it. There is good music throughout the album but it still Whats with that sudden electronic part in sit down stand up - it was going well up to there!-oh well perhaps it'll grow on me. There There and 2+2=5 are obviously fantastic and Go to Sleep is also really good (when the guitars kick in with the drums it is a magnificant sound). Backdrifts sounds different but I sort of like it. There is good music throughout the album but it still doesnt have an epic feel like previous albums - feels more like a collection of songs. I think Radiohead will drop the emphasize on electronics in the next album though. It won't last forever. In some ways Ok Computer can be described as having an electronic element (Airbag). That album perfected the fusion of guitars and machines - so quite simply that is still the best. Really interesting album then and you really should buy it so a good band will be at the top of the charts for once. Expand
  14. SheldonR
    Jun 9, 2003
    6
    I give it a six in radioheads catalog of cd's standards; Id give it a nine in modern music standards. This is a throwback cd for them. Its begs for commercial acceptance. Where is the personality of 'Kid A' or 'Ok Computer'? If they are going to fail I would at least like them to go down expressing something original. I really belive that this is the last even I give it a six in radioheads catalog of cd's standards; Id give it a nine in modern music standards. This is a throwback cd for them. Its begs for commercial acceptance. Where is the personality of 'Kid A' or 'Ok Computer'? If they are going to fail I would at least like them to go down expressing something original. I really belive that this is the last even half-assed rock album for Radiohead. And thats a good thing. Expand
  15. 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.
  16. ClarkV
    Jul 3, 2003
    10
    Extremely dark but highly addictive CD that gets better with each listen.
  17. RyanT
    Jul 3, 2003
    9
    I feel this is there best album since OK Computer. People should not expect another album like OK Computer. Its impossible to top a perfect album. This album is a solid mix of a more rock oriented Radiohead with some of the usual techno also. Highlights include There There, 2+2=5, and Wolf at the Door.
  18. M.O.
    Aug 5, 2003
    3
    Disappointing and far the worst radiohead album yet.
  19. ayeaye
    Mar 12, 2005
    8
    simply an 8
  20. 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???
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. Hannes
    May 10, 2007
    10
    I love it period
  24. 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.
  25. 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
  26. TheSox
    May 5, 2010
    10
    Awesome
  27. 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.
  28. 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
  29. jamesg
    May 16, 2003
    8
    Merges the best elements of the past 4 albums together, and the result is great. There is so much variation, yet the album still flows. Radiohead have even taken new direction via A Wolf at the Door, and Mxyamotosis.
  30. BrandonSstandsforinitial
    May 19, 2003
    8
    Haunch. This is a great album, I wish they would go back to their pablo honey roots, but thats kinda hard after the awesome ok computer came out. Best song is 2+2=5
  31. andreasr
    May 19, 2003
    9
    it is the best compromise, between ok computer and Kid A , Amnesiac sessions... and at every spin you'll grasp sounds that only radiohead can make so unique...and dreaming.. Brilliant
  32. rodrigod
    May 20, 2003
    7
    ultimately 'hail to the thief' is another disappointment from what is becoming a tired radiohead stable. the fresh electronica of 'kid a', elaborated on 'amnesiac' has failed to find the new inspiration the band claim to have. too many anonymous fillers, too little of heart they used to have.
  33. 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
  34. byDivineRight
    May 30, 2003
    5
    This album seems to have two faces. One is based on more tradition instraments such as the piano and guitar while the other based mostly on computer beats. The computer based stuff is terrible. You sit there listening for the big payload and then the song ends. Monotone is the one word i can think to sum it up best. That and rubbish. The traditional stuff however is outstanding. 2+2=5 is This album seems to have two faces. One is based on more tradition instraments such as the piano and guitar while the other based mostly on computer beats. The computer based stuff is terrible. You sit there listening for the big payload and then the song ends. Monotone is the one word i can think to sum it up best. That and rubbish. The traditional stuff however is outstanding. 2+2=5 is one of a kind, sail to moon, scatterbrain, and my faviorite go to sleep are out of this world. If they would just cut out the electronic garbage and stick to what there good at they would have in me a new number 1 fan. But since have the songs are this new age electronic garbage half of a perfect mark is all i can give them. Expand
  35. jons
    Jun 10, 2003
    10
    Of course it's a great album. Radiohead albums always are..yes it's true. Damn True.
  36. KidA
    Jun 10, 2003
    10
    Perfect. It truly is perfect. Every note, every word blends together to form a truly classic album. Their best work and it is definitely one of this year's top five albums.
  37. 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.
  38. JoshW
    Jun 10, 2003
    6
    Unfortunately, this isn't the return to rock I was expecting. There are some great songs on this album, but there are also some strange, Kid-Aesque songs that seem to provide speed bumps along the way to a great album. If we could take the best offerings from Kid A, Amnesiac and HTTT, we'd have one of the great albums of all time. That's not the case though.
  39. AaronF
    Jun 11, 2003
    8
    This album is good, not great, and definitely not revolutionary. There I said it. That's not to say it is bad, quite the contrary. Basically if you like Radiohead, you'll like this. Just some extra notes: -This album's blend of techno pieces and guitar songs is the best yet (Not that b-side feel you got from Amnesiac). -Speaking of the guitar songs, they are the worst songs This album is good, not great, and definitely not revolutionary. There I said it. That's not to say it is bad, quite the contrary. Basically if you like Radiohead, you'll like this. Just some extra notes: -This album's blend of techno pieces and guitar songs is the best yet (Not that b-side feel you got from Amnesiac). -Speaking of the guitar songs, they are the worst songs on this album, well some of them. Go To Sleep and Scatterbrain just don't really go anywhere. -Speaking of the techno pieces, they are the best songs on this album (for once), well some of them. Backdrifts is possibly the best beatbox Radiohead yet. -This album is the most Thom Yorke centered of them all. Remember how Kid A sounded like Radiohead even if it didn't sound like a rock band. Well some songs on this piece of plastic would not sound like Radiohead if it weren't for those seperation anxiety vocals. -This album features a LOT of piano or keyboard! Thanks for Reading!!! Expand
  40. BrianJ
    Jun 16, 2003
    10
    This is truly an album of the times...and those of you who have not read the lyrics are missing out on this. The record requires multiple listens and that is what I have always loved about Radiohead. Everybody needs to shut up about their use of electronics and just enjoy the music. It's legendary and reflective of this messed up world that we live in. Despite Thom's denial that This is truly an album of the times...and those of you who have not read the lyrics are missing out on this. The record requires multiple listens and that is what I have always loved about Radiohead. Everybody needs to shut up about their use of electronics and just enjoy the music. It's legendary and reflective of this messed up world that we live in. Despite Thom's denial that it's not a political record, it really is, just like OK Computer was a reflection of the paranoia and inhumanity of technology in these modern times. I know it was so much more than that... but having said that, this record is just as relevant and important as OK Computer. It's not a sequel, and the critics that want one need to get over it. Evolve. Evolution. Expand
  41. 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.
  42. TheSox
    Jun 17, 2003
    10
    Awesome
  43. Maximquaye
    Jun 10, 2003
    8
    I think people should stop this obssessive behaviour of analysing to death every Radiohead album and especially this nonsense of comparing to OK Computer etc.. Or did they evolved blah,blah,blah. It's not only boring,but ridiculous. No other acts gets the same level of scrutinity and pressure. I've been listening to this record non-stop and to my heart content it contains some I think people should stop this obssessive behaviour of analysing to death every Radiohead album and especially this nonsense of comparing to OK Computer etc.. Or did they evolved blah,blah,blah. It's not only boring,but ridiculous. No other acts gets the same level of scrutinity and pressure. I've been listening to this record non-stop and to my heart content it contains some of the most beautiful lyrics and melodies I"ve heard in a long time. THere are a few misses,but overall it is an amazing piece of work on its own. Hail To Radiohead Expand
  44. 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.
  45. JasonS
    Jun 2, 2003
    10
    While it is not a return to the rock of OKC, it would be a shame if it was, its astouding the way it is.
  46. nathans
    Jun 22, 2003
    10
    Hail to the Radiohead!
  47. BonzaC
    Jun 23, 2003
    8
    A very good album, but there are a few fillers on this album.
  48. AdamE
    Jun 25, 2003
    9
    An album that continues to impress and excite after nearly 3 weeks of constant listening, the poignancy that the album creates is nothing short of heartbreaking.
  49. thekinkiest
    Jun 4, 2003
    9
    i don't know if it's better than ok computer but is very very good.
  50. BrianB
    Jun 5, 2003
    3
    Someone please get Thom some prosaic, Radiohead need to stop playing at Joy Division, they simply aren't that dark. Thom ever do a Curtis, or start producing decent albums again and stop hiding behind technology and 'the scene'. The paranoid despot is becoming corny..
  51. 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.
  52. sirazhtabukov
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    no comments
  53. rachelh
    Jun 7, 2003
    10
    first of all, try playing "i will" backwards...it's "spinning plates!!" anyways, httt is definitely a wonderful effort by a great band. while they may have not gone all out onto a new experimental branch this time, they certainly have developed on what they started in previous releases. The band seems to have found a new love for the harmonic minor scale with its dissonant augmented first of all, try playing "i will" backwards...it's "spinning plates!!" anyways, httt is definitely a wonderful effort by a great band. while they may have not gone all out onto a new experimental branch this time, they certainly have developed on what they started in previous releases. The band seems to have found a new love for the harmonic minor scale with its dissonant augmented second that permeates several songs, including "2+2=5" and "sit down stand up." i think httt is a great album and is certainly more accessible to the masses than amnesiac and certainly kid a. Expand
  54. sirazhtabukov
    Jun 7, 2003
    10
    no comments
  55. 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
  56. 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).
  57. 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.
  58. DaveJ
    Jul 30, 2003
    10
    Brilliant.
  59. 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!
  60. MaxG
    Jul 8, 2003
    9
    And once again it kicks ass! the best of the bends/ok computer, of Kid A / Amnesiac, and we have a LP which can be considered as a compilation of what we enjoy the most from Radiohead. Without being a great revolution, it's an evolution in the continuity. "BRAVO!".
  61. 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.
  62. 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
  63. 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.
  64. 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
  65. 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.
  66. RobbieC
    Dec 9, 2007
    9
    How do they KEEP doing it this well? It's a mystery.
  67. 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...
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. MarcinN.
    Oct 24, 2008
    10
    Still think it's underrated because it's too modern for the 2003 when it was released.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. BrianC
    Nov 26, 2003
    8
    It is an excellent album;however, I believe I became depressed as a result of listening to the album.
  74. ElvisB
    May 16, 2003
    10
    "Hail you 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.
  75. PhilM
    May 16, 2003
    10
    CLASS
  76. NickC
    May 18, 2003
    8
    It's a grower for sure - the songs aren't that immediate and is a natural extension of Kid A.....but it's still a fantastic record - many great moments like 2=2=5
  77. 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?
  78. Bruno
    May 20, 2003
    10
    That's it. Their best.
  79. eprparadox
    May 20, 2003
    7
    just like the second matrix, the second (or third if you count amnesiac) dose of KidA just isnt that novel or good. there are glimpses of brilliance, which for a brilliant band of musicians should be impossible to avoid, but on the whole the allure of this record alludes me. ive had an advance copy for a few weeks now and i find myself going back to KidA the bends and ok computer to once just like the second matrix, the second (or third if you count amnesiac) dose of KidA just isnt that novel or good. there are glimpses of brilliance, which for a brilliant band of musicians should be impossible to avoid, but on the whole the allure of this record alludes me. ive had an advance copy for a few weeks now and i find myself going back to KidA the bends and ok computer to once again experience the greatness of my favorite band. the standout songs are in my opinion the first 5 tracks, backdrifting being very good at combinging the KidA direction with OkComputer lyricism, while myxomatosis is perhaps one of the worst radiohead songs to be included on any album. Expand
  80. 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
  81. 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
  82. LoganP
    May 30, 2003
    5
    This album has 2 distinct faces. One is based on tradition instruments such as the piano and guitar, while the other is largely electronic in nature. I find that each song clearly fits into one category or the other, there is little in the way of mixing. The electronic songs are a disappointment. They are monotone and have a poor rhythm. York?s voice is wasted and odd key signatures just This album has 2 distinct faces. One is based on tradition instruments such as the piano and guitar, while the other is largely electronic in nature. I find that each song clearly fits into one category or the other, there is little in the way of mixing. The electronic songs are a disappointment. They are monotone and have a poor rhythm. York?s voice is wasted and odd key signatures just don?t fit to give you anything worthwhile. Absolute garbage. That being said however the other traditional songs on the album are simple amazing. 2+2=5, sail to the moon, scatterbrain and my favorite go to sleep show simply this band can play on a higher level if they so choose. I cannot put into words how good these songs are, you just have to listen. Unfortunately since only about half the record is more traditional, I can only give this album half the full rating. These guys got to stop making electronic rubbish and stick to what there good at. Expand
  83. 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
  84. BrittanyJ
    Jun 11, 2003
    9
    Not as good as ok computer or the bends but its incredibly hard to beat those albums. This cd is absolutely ingenius as with most of Radiohead's work. You people have no clue what you are talking about.
  85. darrenfinlayson
    Jun 11, 2003
    10
    there isnt anyone on this earth today making anything in the same league as radiohead as far as im concerned. if you beg to differ, i will listen, but everything i have listened to on reccomendation has disapointed me greatly.
  86. darrenfinlayson
    Jun 11, 2003
    10
    there isnt anyone on this earth today making anything in the same league as radiohead as far as im concerned. if you beg to differ, i will listen, but everything i have listened to on reccomendation has disapointed me greatly.
  87. thePenman
    Jun 10, 2003
    7
    The vast majority of this album smells badly of a missed opportunity. When it peaks ("The raindrops..", the climaxes of Wolf At the Door and There There) it's as breathtaking as Radiohead have ever been, if not moreso. Unfortunately, when it drags, it really, really drags. I almost failed to notice The Gloaming the first time (which, incidentally, makes Treefingers sound positively The vast majority of this album smells badly of a missed opportunity. When it peaks ("The raindrops..", the climaxes of Wolf At the Door and There There) it's as breathtaking as Radiohead have ever been, if not moreso. Unfortunately, when it drags, it really, really drags. I almost failed to notice The Gloaming the first time (which, incidentally, makes Treefingers sound positively climactic), and We Suck Young Blood...well, it sucks. Especially the jazz interlude, which is done with none of the style or subtlety that I associate with Radiohead, especially the Radiohead of late. And I don't know about Ed, but Thom's voice resolutely failed to blow me away, as promised. Hit and miss. It certainly won't win them any new fans, unlike, say, Kid A... Expand
  88. PilotE
    Jun 11, 2003
    10
    Beautiful, varied, emotionally involving
  89. JimM
    Jun 10, 2003
    0
    Radiohead is a commercial monster and must be paying off these so called magazine reviewers/critiques. You guys must be tone deaf.
  90. JookydogX
    Jun 11, 2003
    8
    You know, all artists are only as good as their last release. But it seems that, unlike any other band I've ever seen, Radiohead is entirely defined by what people THOUGHT of them at one time, and that's sad - for the band, for the fans, for the critics, etc. Radiohead makes music to please themselves - if you don't believe this assertion, check out their entire catalog and You know, all artists are only as good as their last release. But it seems that, unlike any other band I've ever seen, Radiohead is entirely defined by what people THOUGHT of them at one time, and that's sad - for the band, for the fans, for the critics, etc. Radiohead makes music to please themselves - if you don't believe this assertion, check out their entire catalog and how it is has changed. The reactions of others outside the band really don't matter to them all that much. And they deserve a lot of credit for that. On another note, no-one seems to be willing to stand back and listen to a new Radiohead release without forcing a comparison to either The Bends, OK Computer, or the Kid A/Amnesiac sessions. That's patently unfair to Hail to the Thief. If Radiohead had never existed before now (and therefore, none of its antecedents like Coldplay would have either) and then come along and released an album like HTTT, the critics would be raving, and it would be cool to say you were a fan. Another thing - how many of us fans - or critics - knew what to make of OK Computer when it first came out? It sure as hell wasn't The Bends, now, was it? Give Radiohead a break. And yourselves. Take this album at face value. Either you like it (like I do) or you don't. But don't judge them on their past. It's not fair to what is some truly good music. Expand
  91. comicbookguy
    Jun 12, 2003
    10
    best RH album ever.
  92. ThiagoR
    Jun 12, 2003
    10
    One word: perfect!!!
  93. AbomnèsP
    Jun 12, 2003
    10
    Chef d'oeuvre.
  94. 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.
  95. MatthewL
    Jun 14, 2003
    10
    Worldclass !!!
  96. 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.
  97. theultimaterater
    Jun 16, 2003
    9
    you cant go wrong with radiohead. OK comp, amnesiac, and hail to the thief are now my official favourites. Theres nothing really new as predicted but they are still great songs. "sit down stand up" always gives me a rise. "punch up at a wedding" makes me want to F@#ck, and "myxamatosis" is like a hit of acid. the rest fall into place accordingly. anyway, buy the record, you wont regret it.
  98. TimW
    Jun 17, 2003
    9
    The album starts out with a amp cord being plugged in and a dialogue between Thom and Jonny on the amazing 2+2=5. Although less experimental than Kid A and Amnesiac it still satisfies the eager legions of Radiohead devotees. Standout Tracks: 2+2=5, Sit Down?Stand Up, Myxamatosis.
  99. LukeS
    Jun 19, 2003
    10
    Brilliant! I don't know how Radiohead could top this album, but the amazing thing is I would expect them to with their next release. There aren't many bands around that have such consistently high standards.
  100. WillS
    Jun 25, 2003
    9
    another brilliant effort from the band that can keep reinventing itself. its not perfect. in my opinion, its good to hear them rock again ("2+2=5") and the better songs on the album seem to be the ones more guitar-orientated. like every other radiohead album, this one is very different from the others.
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Q Magazine
    70
    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.