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

Universal acclaim- based on 461 Ratings

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

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  1. 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?
  2. nathans
    Jun 22, 2003
    10
    Hail to the Radiohead!
  3. JohnL
    May 29, 2003
    10
    "Hail to the Thief" has a little of the best aspects of the four last albums of the band. Attention for "2+2=5", "I Will" and "Go to Sleep". A great record.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. laura
    Nov 5, 2003
    10
    wonderful...everyone MUST buy it.
  8. PedroG
    Nov 28, 2003
    10
    Como siempre Radiohead los mejores discos y porsupuesto refrescando su estilo musical
  9. 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
  10. 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).
  11. MatthewL
    Jun 14, 2003
    10
    Worldclass !!!
  12. adig
    Jun 17, 2004
    10
    the album is great and radiohead are the best!
  13. 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.
  14. jackc
    Jun 1, 2003
    10
    incredibly amazing
  15. 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
  16. 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!
  17. Persefoni
    Sep 15, 2003
    10
    This CD is more complex than most critics I've read give it credit for. Upon first listen, the album in its entirety didn't do much for me... And then I sat and enjoyed a beautiful day and listened to it again, and found that the level of alteration from song to song was purposeful - there is a flow that is found in each Radiohead CD that at times may be difficult to map, but This CD is more complex than most critics I've read give it credit for. Upon first listen, the album in its entirety didn't do much for me... And then I sat and enjoyed a beautiful day and listened to it again, and found that the level of alteration from song to song was purposeful - there is a flow that is found in each Radiohead CD that at times may be difficult to map, but for me I can safely say that after a day of headphones singing into my ears, Radiohead has proven to blow me away - yet again. Expand
  18. BenR
    Jun 9, 2003
    10
    Wow Yet again, Radiohead have proved why they are in a league of their own. Hail To The Thief is a great mixture of the best bits of their four previous albums, but gives everthing a much darker and more sinister edge. It also adds plenty of new ideas, such as the 'funk' of A Punchup At A Wedding, the rapping in A Wolf At The Door and the unique Myxomatosis. There are loads of Wow Yet again, Radiohead have proved why they are in a league of their own. Hail To The Thief is a great mixture of the best bits of their four previous albums, but gives everthing a much darker and more sinister edge. It also adds plenty of new ideas, such as the 'funk' of A Punchup At A Wedding, the rapping in A Wolf At The Door and the unique Myxomatosis. There are loads of classic Radiohead songs on this album, with 2+2=5, Sit Down Stand Up, Sail To The Moon, Where I End And You Begin, There There, I Will, Myxomatosis and A Wolf At The Door all set to be up their with the best of them. My highlights of the album would be all of Wolf At The Door, the end of Where I End And You Begin (Thom sings 'I will eat you alive' over some great bass playing and electronics), and best of all the middle of 2+2=5. After a hypnotic beginning based on a catchy guitar riff, the song slows down for a bit. Thom Yorke then yells 'YOU HAVE NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION' and the song becomes one of the fastest things that they've ever done, and definitely one of the best. Like loads of other great albums, Hail To The Thief has loads of different music styles, but blends them all together so it flows so well on the CD. Probably not as good as the flawless Kid A, this is still a classic, and one of the best albums ever. So why are you still reading this; go and buy it! Expand
  19. Jules
    Jun 9, 2003
    10
    Fantastic stuff - Dan D has it just right - this album lives and breathes much more than the headspaces of its predecessors - it even has something that so few reviewers have mentioned - a sense of humour - dark and perverse, but defintely there. There is a camp sense of its own drama throughout this album - coming to a head in the hilarious (and troubling) we suck young blood. Don't Fantastic stuff - Dan D has it just right - this album lives and breathes much more than the headspaces of its predecessors - it even has something that so few reviewers have mentioned - a sense of humour - dark and perverse, but defintely there. There is a camp sense of its own drama throughout this album - coming to a head in the hilarious (and troubling) we suck young blood. Don't be too earnest people - this is the greatest show on earth and Radiohead know it. Expand
  20. 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.
  21. DaveJ
    Jul 30, 2003
    10
    Brilliant.
  22. monkey
    Jun 16, 2003
    10
    how do they do it? 5 classics in a row
  23. Kristospherein
    Jun 16, 2003
    10
    Not sure what I was expecting out of this album, I like (in their own ways) OK Computer, The Bends, and Kid A/Amnesiac and yet this seems like, once again, a completely different work. The intervals and chord changes that the band uses on this CD are dramatic and unusual and quite different from those used in any of their other works. I agree with the reviewers that mention that you Not sure what I was expecting out of this album, I like (in their own ways) OK Computer, The Bends, and Kid A/Amnesiac and yet this seems like, once again, a completely different work. The intervals and chord changes that the band uses on this CD are dramatic and unusual and quite different from those used in any of their other works. I agree with the reviewers that mention that you shouldn't judge a band by their previous works-a band can't ever go backwards-always remember this. If you are an "old" Radiohead fan that liked The Bends or OK Computer and haven't liked the direction that they are going, that's your perogative. However, don't drag the rest of us through your rubbish about how they don't rock anymore, this and that. Times have changed, Radiohead has changed, if a band were to never change their sound or recreated themselves over and over, they would just fade away. Human existence is all about growth and wisdom. I don't know if I could quite classify this as perfect, classic, or an other nostalgic title for such a piece of art. Yet, I can say that many many bands wil use Radiohead as an influence in the future cause Radiohead are doing things that are not being done by any other mainstream band for the past 15 years and that is powerful. Either like it or don't but do understand that this is where music is headed. We've exhausted pop and there are only so many directions ifor music to go in, this being one. Twenty years down the line, I know that I will be proud to say that I was a fan of Radiohead. Can you say that about bands like Limp Bizkit or Britney Spears or whatever it is that people listen to? They are for entertainment purposes only, this is where the music really shows. Oh, and don't be a music snob and say this band or this band is better than Radiohead cause it's unfair to compare an artist like Bowie who we've been able to see his immense influence over the past thirty years. This is brilliance and it should be recognized as so, even if you don't understand why. Expand
  24. PhilM
    May 16, 2003
    10
    CLASS
  25. sirazhtabukov
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    no comments
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. sirazhtabukov
    Jun 7, 2003
    10
    no comments
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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
  36. amadoriv
    Aug 4, 2005
    10
    god
  37. 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???
  38. ZachA.
    Oct 17, 2005
    10
    Amazing. This is my favorite Radiohead cd ever...
  39. 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
  40. Jamie
    Jan 26, 2006
    10
    like all their albums this is simply beautiful. They are well ahead of any current rock band
  41. 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.
  42. russlej
    Feb 22, 2006
    10
    pure poetry
  43. 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....
  44. BannusVDK
    May 10, 2006
    10
    A fabulous Radiohead album as usual, but overshadowed by previous masterpieces (OK computer)
  45. 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
  46. yuanfen2046
    May 29, 2006
    10
    one of my fav Radiohead album after OK Computer
  47. 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.
  48. 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
  49. 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
  50. DeclanM
    Dec 13, 2006
    10
    simply superb still listening to it after 3 years
  51. UntitledAnonymous
    Jan 7, 2007
    10
    An amazing listen. Much more approachable than their previous two.
  52. 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...
  53. nathans
    Mar 28, 2007
    10
    Hail to the Radiohead!
  54. Hannes
    May 10, 2007
    10
    I love it period
  55. 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.
  56. 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
  57. 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
  58. ChrisP.
    Sep 24, 2008
    10
    One of the best Radiohead albums. "Where I End and You Begin" and "Go to Sleep" are flawless.
  59. MarcinN.
    Oct 24, 2008
    10
    Still think it's underrated because it's too modern for the 2003 when it was released.
  60. TimB
    Apr 27, 2009
    10
    This album doesn't get the credit it deserves. It is one of Radiohead's best!!!
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. 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
  64. 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
  65. ThiagoR
    Jun 12, 2003
    10
    One word: perfect!!!
  66. PilotE
    Jun 11, 2003
    10
    Beautiful, varied, emotionally involving
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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
  70. TonyR
    Jun 8, 2003
    10
    Pure Genius
  71. sss
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    Best Song: Sail to the mon
  72. ErwinK
    May 26, 2003
    10
    Best of both worlds. It has the Kid A aesthetic while returning to the guitar driven sounds of The Bends. I also have the downloaded leak (I assure you I will buy it), and what I have heard is mind-blowing, a bit depressing at times, but distinctly better than all the piles of musical crap out there in music land. And they are not being 10-track snobs this time, including 15 tracks. I Best of both worlds. It has the Kid A aesthetic while returning to the guitar driven sounds of The Bends. I also have the downloaded leak (I assure you I will buy it), and what I have heard is mind-blowing, a bit depressing at times, but distinctly better than all the piles of musical crap out there in music land. And they are not being 10-track snobs this time, including 15 tracks. I never understood why they always have so many good b-sides that they never bother to beef up their albums with. Expand
  73. 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.
  74. 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
  75. Bruno
    May 20, 2003
    10
    That's it. Their best.
  76. JoshT
    May 22, 2003
    10
    I've had a downloaded copy of this ever since it initially leaked, and, to be perfectly honest, I was, at first, a little underwhelmed. Wait, that's not true. At first, I was blown away by the blistering brilliance with which the band rocks out on the opener, 2 + 2 = 5 , one of Hail to the Thief's finest moments and Radiohead's most rawking track since at least My Iron I've had a downloaded copy of this ever since it initially leaked, and, to be perfectly honest, I was, at first, a little underwhelmed. Wait, that's not true. At first, I was blown away by the blistering brilliance with which the band rocks out on the opener, 2 + 2 = 5 , one of Hail to the Thief's finest moments and Radiohead's most rawking track since at least My Iron Lung. Then, listening to what followed, most of which was neither as startling as 2 + 2 = 5 nor as immediately amazing as Kid/Amnesiac, that's when a slight sense of disappointment began to set in. As a huge fan and unflagging champion of that preceding duo (though, all elements considered, OK Computer still cakes the cake for me), Hail to the Thief struck me as lacking the mesmerizing cohesiveness of those masterworks, and only about half of the songs fulfilled their promise upon my first listen. The more I listened to the album, however, the more I came to both immensely enjoy and admire what I heard. Songs such as Where I End and You Begin (which calls to mind Kid A's Optimistic with its line "dinosaurs roam the earth") , A Punch-Up at a Wedding, A Wolf at the Door (in which THOM YORKE RAPS...sort of), and the beautiful piano ballads Sail to the Moon and I Will are easily in the same league with the best of the Radiohead catalogue. The band's Big Step Forward here is their expert integration of the avant-electronic-based experimentation that has defined their most recent work (and redifined Radiohead as artists) into the more song-oriented format of The Bends and OK Computer. It's yet another supreme work of art from The Band From Whom Nothing Less Can Be Expected. Expand
  77. jons
    Jun 10, 2003
    10
    Of course it's a great album. Radiohead albums always are..yes it's true. Damn True.
  78. 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.
  79. AbomnèsP
    Jun 12, 2003
    10
    Chef d'oeuvre.
  80. comicbookguy
    Jun 12, 2003
    10
    best RH album ever.
  81. 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.
  82. RobertB
    Jun 11, 2003
    10
    Once in a while an artist comes along that can not be rated, like Dahli, Gaudi, Lennon, Hendrix... You just have to accept their contributions as pure art that others will one day be compared to, but in their own age cannot be accurately judged. Radiohead have proven to be unclassifiable, and instead of judging their albums, just sit back and enjoy the experience, we are lucky to have them.
  83. [Anonymous]
    Jun 9, 2003
    10
    If you think they've lost it you're not listening hard enough.
  84. ClarkV
    Jul 3, 2003
    10
    Extremely dark but highly addictive CD that gets better with each listen.
  85. 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.
  86. alecL
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    Shows they are still the best band in the world
  87. sirazhtabukov
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    no comments
  88. timwilson
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    NEARLY PERFECT
  89. TheSox
    Jun 17, 2003
    10
    Awesome
  90. 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
  91. 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.
  92. 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.
  93. Flawedbeing
    Jun 9, 2003
    10
    Hail To The Thief is at least on par with any of Radiohead?s work, which is an incredibly big statement since OK Computer was probably the most acclaimed album of the ?90s and its follow-ups some of the most controversial hate/love affairs of the early ?00s. Where to start, then, in describing an album as expansive, as mind-blowingly incredible as Hail To The Thief? Some history, Hail To The Thief is at least on par with any of Radiohead?s work, which is an incredibly big statement since OK Computer was probably the most acclaimed album of the ?90s and its follow-ups some of the most controversial hate/love affairs of the early ?00s. Where to start, then, in describing an album as expansive, as mind-blowingly incredible as Hail To The Thief? Some history, probably, would be good. After getting unanimous praise for the progressive rock on OK Computer, Radiohead apparently decided that nothing less than a 180 degree turn in their musical style was in order. Kid A was the sound of a band dodging the all-too-easy fate of getting painted into a corner; the album took cues from the experimental electronica born from the womb of Aphex Twin and Autechre, nurturing it in the rock shell of OK Computer. The result was brilliant enough to spawn two albums from the same recording session: Amnesiac was slightly less avant garde, retaining basic strong structure but still remaining rooted in the splintered electronica of Kid A. With the announcement of Hail To The Thief, popular rumour held that the band would be returning to the more universally appealing style of OK Computer. Instead, Radiohead have done something even more unbelievable. On Hail To The Thief, they build a cohesive, meticulously arranged bridge between the disparate styles of OK Computer and Kid A, filling a gap many thought irreconciliable. On ?2 + 2 = 5? and ?There There,? Radiohead plumb the OK Computer side of their natures, to wonderful, loud, emotive effect that is nothing short of amazing. On the other hand, ?Backdrifts? and ?The Gloaming? would fit perfectly on Kid A, and ?Myxomatosis? may just be too far-out even for the latter. Lyrically and in terms of its message, Hail To The Thief is also a bridge, embracing neither the obsessive-compulsive apocalypticism of Kid A nor the Orwellian futurism of OK Computer. Instead, Hail To The Thief is a work of paranoia, of cornered desperation both anchored in the here and now (look no further than the title and the opener ?2 + 2 = 5? to reveal fear of the political landscape in the world) and in the future, a future singer Yorke fears may be spoiled for future generations (the lyrics of ?I Will? and ?A Wolf At The Door?). Stylistically, Hail To The Thief is too kinetic to be branded post-rock, but piano-driven ballads like ?Sail to the Moon? are unquestionably not experimental electronica. Indeed, this album is an amalgamation of all of Radiohead?s diverse elements, all of the strengths that each individual pulls from the band and admires in part. Yet Hail To The Thief is so much more than simply a mix of styles and voices. Everything here is so immaculately made, so perfectly integrated into the whole of the album that one can only listen in open-jawed admiration. When the album goes rock-electronic-rock-piano and then goes into the harshly kinetic/glitchtronic ?Backdrifts,? the shift is perfectly natural, the sound of a band that, quite simply, can pull off absolutely anything and does on this album. Thom Yorke has said that this is the last album Radiohead will make in their current vein, that Hail To The Thief is Radiohead?s ?pop? album and the band will be unrecognizable in two years. He seems to have a very unnatural view of pop. If only pop were this good, the music industry would be in an entirely different place. Hail To The Thief is only ?pop? in the sense that it is a retracing of what Radiohead has done so far, already in the public?s view. But, again, there is absolutely nothing dated on this album. ?2 + 2 = 5? is frenzied, paranoid, and skittering, but it sounds like nothing on OK Computer did. The rest of the tracks also carry an incredibly fresh sound. Hail To The Thief is all about the new, not the old. It is an embrace of different styles rather than a temperate mediation. The closest Radiohead come to retracing their steps is the first single, ?There There,? strangely chosen for the role as it is best listened to in the context of the album- ?There There? acts as the emotional climax before songs 10-14 bring the action down to a dark, brooding finish. Words don?t describe how absolutely brilliant all of this is. On Hail To The Thief Radiohead have taken an ever-so-brief pause to show us that the jagged edges of Kid A and the island of perfected prog-rock that was OK Computer, the eclectic freewheel of Amnesiac and the prefiguration of The Bends were not the isolated tinkerings of a band searching for a single musical home. Instead, it is now proven that Radiohead don?t need a single musical home. They can take all of it, all of their influences and styles and themes and thoughts, put it all together, and come up with an genius conglomeration of purpose and art. The result is a glorious triumph of musical achievement, an album where A Silver Mt. Zion-style operatic backdrop on aggressive baseline (?Where I End and You Begin?) is completely in place amid delusionary quasi-spoken word (the brilliantly original ?A Wolf At The Door?) and catchy alt-rock melodics (?A Punch-Up At A Wedding?). If Yorke is to be believed, this is a culmination, an end to Radiohead?s current ?track?- one that most people consider less of a track than a random jumping- before the band moves into a new one. If so, there could be nothing better for the role than Hail To The Thief, the best album of this half of 2003. To understand what Radiohead have been doing for the last decade as a whole, to understand what all the disparate genres of modern music have been pushing at but falling short of achieving, to hear the worlds of electronic music and rock brought to their absolute zenith of achievement before the defining band of our generation moves on to something new, you must listen to Hail To The Thief. It defines the term ?essential record.? It isn?t new, it isn?t a musical revolution, but it is divine. And you don?t really need any other album this year if you have this one. Seeing as Hail To The Thief takes about ten listens to appreciate and probably at least 700 before it gets old, that isn?t a problem. Expand
  94. 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!
  95. BenS
    Jun 11, 2003
    10
    This is terrific. I love every song. Despite a mixture of different types of songs, the album is cohesive. It is all very melodic. I also found this album extremely moving. Thom sounds really desperate (though I think 'We Suck Young Blood' is hilarious.) If you think Thom sounds "whiny" or don't see what he is all worked up about, take a look at the world around you. "You This is terrific. I love every song. Despite a mixture of different types of songs, the album is cohesive. It is all very melodic. I also found this album extremely moving. Thom sounds really desperate (though I think 'We Suck Young Blood' is hilarious.) If you think Thom sounds "whiny" or don't see what he is all worked up about, take a look at the world around you. "You haven't been paying attention!", Thom sings in 2+2=5. Expand
  96. RickD
    Jun 4, 2003
    10
    One word to describe it...beautiful
  97. 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.
  98. 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
  99. TheSox
    May 5, 2010
    10
    Awesome
  100. 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
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.