• 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

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Jan 2, 2013
    10
    It would appear that many of the lukewarm or negative reviews of Hail to the Thief have more to do with the density of this album [rather than any sub-standard songwriting on Radiohead's part]. Compared with the sparser textures of Kid A and [to a lesser extent] Amnesiac, which made these records more accessible despite the music's experimental nature, Hail to the Thief is thick with soundIt would appear that many of the lukewarm or negative reviews of Hail to the Thief have more to do with the density of this album [rather than any sub-standard songwriting on Radiohead's part]. Compared with the sparser textures of Kid A and [to a lesser extent] Amnesiac, which made these records more accessible despite the music's experimental nature, Hail to the Thief is thick with sound and heavily layered. Not only does this mean that more plays are needed to get to grips with, and appreciate, the power of the songs and their many subtleties, but also that listening to Hail to the Thief is exhausting - a result of the dense texture combined with a sense of melancholy and heaviness that saturates the 14 tracks. The fact that O'Brien and Greenwood have picked up their guitars again as well as the band continuing to use electronic sounds means that Hail to the Thief can be likened to Radiohead around the time of The Bends/Ok Computer playing at the same time as Radiohead circa Kid A. Given this, it is no wonder there is a lot going on, sonically.
    As ever, Radiohead are breaking a lot of new ground here, as is especially apparent in tracks like A Wolf at the Door [musically pretty verses with a Yorke's drunken stream-of consciousness overlaid, and a simple, catchy, and highly effective 'The Bends'-like chorus], and the dance-like Backdrifts [with the chord progression that sounds like it should go with a piano ballad, but rhythmic elements and electronic pips that belong on the dancefloor]. However, there are plenty of nods to previous albums in Hail to Thief; Johnny Greenwood's shimmering octave-up guitar effects on Sail to the Moon are reminiscent of Subterranean Homesick Alien, and his playing on Go To Sleep could easily belong on The Bends.
    Hail to the Thief also has its share of Radiohead's signature melancholic beauty, in the piano and glockenspiel opening of Sit Down. Stand Up[before it is shattered by a storm of electronic and vocal raindrops], the soaring slowness of Sail to the Moon, and pure vocal harmonies in I Will [surely Radiohead are masters of making anger something so beautiful]. The Upshot: All these factors combine to make an album that's success is due to the right mix of original sonic experimentation and elements from their previous albums. Of all their studio albums, Hail to the Thief is likely the most difficult to digest and comprehend, but to do so is certainly worth it. Persevere in getting to know the songs intimately, and be rewarded with the emotional power and musicianship of Radiohead at their very best.
    Expand
  2. StephenB
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    Pure genius radiohead. They haven't once recorded or released a bad record and this is no exception to that rule. A nice blend of the older, more guitar based songs with some new electro classics like the gloaming chucked in there.
  3. Jules
    Jun 9, 2003
    10
    Fantastic stuff - Dan D has it just right - this album lives and breathes much more than the headspaces of its predecessors - it even has something that so few reviewers have mentioned - a sense of humour - dark and perverse, but defintely there. There is a camp sense of its own drama throughout this album - coming to a head in the hilarious (and troubling) we suck young blood. Don't Fantastic stuff - Dan D has it just right - this album lives and breathes much more than the headspaces of its predecessors - it even has something that so few reviewers have mentioned - a sense of humour - dark and perverse, but defintely there. There is a camp sense of its own drama throughout this album - coming to a head in the hilarious (and troubling) we suck young blood. Don't be too earnest people - this is the greatest show on earth and Radiohead know it. Expand
  4. DanielN
    Mar 18, 2010
    9
    What a beautiful soundscape. What a journey within yourself. Picking apart the textures on this perfect album is on of the most pleasurable things I have ever done.
  5. j30
    Sep 21, 2011
    9
    Just another solid input to the Radiohead cannon of records. This album pretty much sums up their career to this point. The glitchy electronica, great lyrics, and guitar freak-outs. Radiohead has it all.
  6. Jul 15, 2012
    10
    there is a reason why radiohead is my favorite band. its because i cant put their albums in a specific genre and in this one especially show all the sounds and experimental abilitys of Yorke and company.
  7. BonzaC
    Jun 23, 2003
    8
    A very good album, but there are a few fillers on this album.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. boo
    Jan 28, 2006
    0
    pablo honey is way better. this music isn't rock like i thought it would be.
  11. 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
  12. M.O.
    Aug 5, 2003
    3
    Disappointing and far the worst radiohead album yet.
  13. 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
  14. I'mSadBrandon
    Aug 7, 2003
    6
    I love's them radiohead...but I'm very dissapointed with this ablum. It's starting to sound like, I don't know, maybe they're trying to put something out that might get some radioplay again. They're running out of (good) ideas and are starting to do a little bit of the sell out business.
  15. 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
  16. LeoS
    Jan 29, 2004
    5
    C'mon man! ANYBODY can evidently notice that there's SOMETHING (A LOT OF IT) missing. Turn the lights off and get ready to get depressed.
  17. Entasmiquity
    Jun 15, 2003
    4
    If Radiohead recorded feedback from their oldest amp, burned it to disc, and called it Kid B, the critics would hail the new work's sublime textures and daring use of dissonance. Kid A was an amusing diversion from the norm, but Amnesiac sounded rote, and Hail is no different. I would offer a track-by-track review, but little distinguishes the songs from one another or from the If Radiohead recorded feedback from their oldest amp, burned it to disc, and called it Kid B, the critics would hail the new work's sublime textures and daring use of dissonance. Kid A was an amusing diversion from the norm, but Amnesiac sounded rote, and Hail is no different. I would offer a track-by-track review, but little distinguishes the songs from one another or from the tracks on the past two albums. Expand
  18. adig
    Jun 17, 2004
    10
    the album is great and radiohead are the best!
  19. jamesc
    Mar 10, 2005
    2
    i have been a radiohead fan from the start, i thought there was enough good material on the previous 2 albums to justify their release but this is very poor! because it is so strange , people seem afraid to criticise, but being a fan i have tried to let it grow but to no avail. i will say however, it takes more than a bad album to ruin a great bands reputation. if ya wanna geet into i have been a radiohead fan from the start, i thought there was enough good material on the previous 2 albums to justify their release but this is very poor! because it is so strange , people seem afraid to criticise, but being a fan i have tried to let it grow but to no avail. i will say however, it takes more than a bad album to ruin a great bands reputation. if ya wanna geet into radiohead, focus on the earlier stuff, forget this one! Expand
  20. 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....
  21. lewisc
    Apr 24, 2006
    0
    shit
  22. RonG
    May 16, 2006
    5
    A few electronic offerings, a few rock songs, a few slow ballads....the trouble is that although there is something for everyone, the album isn't really anything cohesive at all
  23. 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.
  24. AidanK.
    Feb 29, 2008
    5
    I feel this is the weekest radiohead record. Its frustrating that the first two tracks are the best ones and it has too many songs.
  25. MarcinN.
    Oct 24, 2008
    10
    Still think it's underrated because it's too modern for the 2003 when it was released.
  26. Jun 4, 2011
    8
    Great record, there's just 1-2 tracks that take away from it's overall flow and may prompt a skip.
  27. Aug 5, 2011
    4
    I discovered radiohead with the famous piano-driven "Karma Police". I then read a lot of great reviews for them so I decided to start from the begining. The first three albums are great, especially OK computer. However, I was very surprised with Kid A. I hated it. So I decided to go for "Hail to the thief" as it was said to be a sort of return to their origins. Well, that is not true.I discovered radiohead with the famous piano-driven "Karma Police". I then read a lot of great reviews for them so I decided to start from the begining. The first three albums are great, especially OK computer. However, I was very surprised with Kid A. I hated it. So I decided to go for "Hail to the thief" as it was said to be a sort of return to their origins. Well, that is not true. Still electronic, the only good songs are the first three and the last two, maybe the third one being the only great one. It's sad to see how this band has gone down so much whilst the press still praise them and laugh at muse's debut album saying it is radiohead (now they have changed them after seeing their fame) when it only draws some inspiration from the opening tracks of the marvelous OK computer. As radiohead have stopped doing that music it is fair for muse or coldplay to expand from that style. Expand
  28. Nov 15, 2011
    5
    Unfortunately, for the longest, it's also the weakest Radiohead record. Also, the fact, after this album, that the band say they were not being political is almost laughable. This albums saving grace is track one, and then 5 of the last 6 songs, the middle just sounds hopelessly pointless. Good if you want an overview of the Radiohead 'sound,' pretty poor if you're already a fan.
  29. GomerPile
    Aug 10, 2003
    9
    Another fantastic record. I can't get enough. Man, Radiohead is just plain scary. As if this record wasn't enough to keep me comfotably numb for years to come, I get to see them live again in a couple of weeks. Can't wait to see some of the material from this record live. I have no doubt that it will be another blissful couple of hours. Go buy this record right now but as Another fantastic record. I can't get enough. Man, Radiohead is just plain scary. As if this record wasn't enough to keep me comfotably numb for years to come, I get to see them live again in a couple of weeks. Can't wait to see some of the material from this record live. I have no doubt that it will be another blissful couple of hours. Go buy this record right now but as with everything worth a damn, it will take a few listenings before it will sink it's claws into you. Expand
  30. BitBurn
    May 27, 2003
    8
    Ok well. Mmh...What is that thing? It's an album! The new one from Radiohead!! Yeah yeah right. Music for the intellectual mind. Sounds for the soul. Simplicity. Complex, confusing?!! What am I saying. You see, my review fits the picture of this record!
  31. DavidB
    Jul 18, 2003
    9
    Best album ever
  32. nathans
    Jun 22, 2003
    10
    Hail to the Radiohead!
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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!
  36. 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.
  37. laura
    Nov 5, 2003
    10
    wonderful...everyone MUST buy it.
  38. BrianC
    Nov 26, 2003
    8
    It is an excellent album;however, I believe I became depressed as a result of listening to the album.
  39. PedroG
    Nov 28, 2003
    10
    Como siempre Radiohead los mejores discos y porsupuesto refrescando su estilo musical
  40. BenD
    Dec 19, 2003
    9
    This CD does indeed require several listening sessions before it fully soaks in, however, in the end it is well worth it. Yet another of the seemingly endless masterpiece creations that Radiohead consistently puts out!
  41. 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
  42. KidA
    Feb 16, 2004
    9
    Only Elephant topped this in 2003. "Back to rock" "OK Computer 2" or whatever, this is still a fantastic record. 2+2=5 was the most exhilarating song of all last year. There There is brilliant, as is Go To Sleep, Sit Down Stand Up, Wolf at the Door, Punchup, etc. In fact, everything with the exception of We Suck Young Blood and The Gloaming warrants many many listens. Get it
  43. boboJJ
    Jul 7, 2004
    9
    its taken a YEAR for me to decide that this album is so highly rated. first i thought it was about a 7 then an 8 and now i think its a 9. its a reeeaaaallllll grower.
  44. 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).
  45. Sam
    Oct 3, 2004
    8
    I truly am a fan of radioheads amazing music. I love them. They are one of the few great rock bands of my generation (Wilco is far better). My only quibble with them is their whole image of anti-marketing and corporate-conglomerates. They seem to shy away from top 40 status, yet in the meantime there is a seemingly endless supply of different fan-sites on the internet. Why? I get this I truly am a fan of radioheads amazing music. I love them. They are one of the few great rock bands of my generation (Wilco is far better). My only quibble with them is their whole image of anti-marketing and corporate-conglomerates. They seem to shy away from top 40 status, yet in the meantime there is a seemingly endless supply of different fan-sites on the internet. Why? I get this weird feeling that radiohead (mostly Thom Yorke) is a really self-absorbed band of loonies, just basking in their glorious amounts of drooling fans and the money they shell out to buy Radioheads next album. But to be honest i just forget about all this and listen to Hail to the Thief or any of Radiohead's brilliant albums. they are great music makers and that's the bottom line. Buy this CD. Expand
  46. MatthewL
    Jun 14, 2003
    10
    Worldclass !!!
  47. jackc
    Jun 1, 2003
    10
    incredibly amazing
  48. 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
  49. 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!
  50. 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
  51. 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
  52. 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.
  53. 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
  54. DaveJ
    Jul 30, 2003
    10
    Brilliant.
  55. RoniS
    May 22, 2003
    8
    The problem is, where the hell can you really go after Kid A and Amnesiac. There is no more room to progress. Radiohead has faced that paradox of being too good. With Hail, I finally thought i had a reason to hate Radiohead as the left-wing, American-hating extremists that they are (the album title mocks W). After the first two listens, I was laughing at this album. However, some of the The problem is, where the hell can you really go after Kid A and Amnesiac. There is no more room to progress. Radiohead has faced that paradox of being too good. With Hail, I finally thought i had a reason to hate Radiohead as the left-wing, American-hating extremists that they are (the album title mocks W). After the first two listens, I was laughing at this album. However, some of the songs grow on you. But if this wasn't Radiohead, the album wouldn't have got those extra listens and the benefit of the doubt. I rate it an 8 instead of a 7 just in case these songs aren't the final versions, and are improved upon in the final release. But it seems Radiohead is going downhill along with Blur. Expand
  56. monkey
    Jun 16, 2003
    10
    how do they do it? 5 classics in a row
  57. 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. Collapse
  58. PhilM
    May 16, 2003
    10
    CLASS
  59. 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
  60. sirazhtabukov
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    no comments
  61. 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
  62. 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
  63. 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.
  64. BrandonR.
    Aug 6, 2003
    9
    Perhpaps the smartest rock/post-rock band to prosper as a pop act and still maintain oodles of integrity. (As a musician, I wish I was in a band versatile enough to play whatever we like, using whatever instrumentation I want.) Something for all Radiohead fans on this one, kids, even though it seems like a direct cousin to "Amnesiac". Probably some of Thom's best vocals since The Perhpaps the smartest rock/post-rock band to prosper as a pop act and still maintain oodles of integrity. (As a musician, I wish I was in a band versatile enough to play whatever we like, using whatever instrumentation I want.) Something for all Radiohead fans on this one, kids, even though it seems like a direct cousin to "Amnesiac". Probably some of Thom's best vocals since The Bends. Faves: "2+2=5" is a sneaky opener, "Sit Down Stand Up" is hypnotic; "Where I End You Begin" is bittersweet; and "There There" is ingenious pop. Prediction: "Go To Sleep" will be the next single and it will be huge. (A-) Expand
  65. sirazhtabukov
    Jun 7, 2003
    10
    no comments
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. 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
  69. ayeaye
    Mar 12, 2005
    8
    simply an 8
  70. 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.
  71. 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
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. 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
  75. amadoriv
    Aug 4, 2005
    10
    god
  76. RachelM
    Aug 22, 2005
    8
    No doubt this is Radiohead best album after OK and The Bends. It's not such a classic, though. It can never be when people expect them to be sounding like No Surprises forever. However, this record is unique in their career for its combination of alt rock songs with more Kid A-like songs. The result isn't a mess but a mature record. It's also true some tracks leave you a No doubt this is Radiohead best album after OK and The Bends. It's not such a classic, though. It can never be when people expect them to be sounding like No Surprises forever. However, this record is unique in their career for its combination of alt rock songs with more Kid A-like songs. The result isn't a mess but a mature record. It's also true some tracks leave you a bit cold (The Gloaming or Backdrifts), as Radiohead is better making perfect alt rock songs (2+2=5, Go To Sleep, There There, Scatterbrain) than trying to sound experimental (best try here is Myxomatosis). This is the worst thing I can say about the best band ever. All Radiohead records makes you feel (at least at some point) there's nothing higher. Expand
  77. 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???
  78. ArnoB
    Sep 18, 2005
    8
    Radiohead looks fragile on this record (for a new Radiohead listener). It is a kind of in-between uncertainty between, on one hand, a more rock style (The Bends and Ok Comp ) and an experimental, gloomier, heartbreaking ambience (Kid A and Amnesiac). There is no great unity inside this album, as Radiohead, perhaps, just delivers its last performance and, thus, tries to do only what they Radiohead looks fragile on this record (for a new Radiohead listener). It is a kind of in-between uncertainty between, on one hand, a more rock style (The Bends and Ok Comp ) and an experimental, gloomier, heartbreaking ambience (Kid A and Amnesiac). There is no great unity inside this album, as Radiohead, perhaps, just delivers its last performance and, thus, tries to do only what they feel like, instead of striving to make something that sounds ''logical'' or harmonious in the whole. At the same time, though, this large variety of styles on the album assures a certain balance and shows a mature richness. Expand
  79. ZachA.
    Oct 17, 2005
    10
    Amazing. This is my favorite Radiohead cd ever...
  80. 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
  81. Jamie
    Jan 26, 2006
    10
    like all their albums this is simply beautiful. They are well ahead of any current rock band
  82. 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.
  83. russlej
    Feb 22, 2006
    10
    pure poetry
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. BannusVDK
    May 10, 2006
    10
    A fabulous Radiohead album as usual, but overshadowed by previous masterpieces (OK computer)
  87. 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
  88. yuanfen2046
    May 29, 2006
    10
    one of my fav Radiohead album after OK Computer
  89. 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.
  90. 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
  91. WesleyF
    Aug 3, 2006
    7
    The potential is all there, but sounds rather flat in places. Lacks the dynamics and cohesion of previous works. As an album it fails to live up to expectations, but the songs are there; I only wish they were executed with more spirit.
  92. Andy
    Aug 22, 2006
    7
    More of the same from them.
  93. 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.
  94. omniQ
    Nov 14, 2006
    8
    Just let the band take a stylistic breather. So they don't feel like pushing the envelope to the brink of breakage this time. Wait until their monstrously good LP7, but sit back and take a break with this one for now, please.
  95. 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
  96. DeclanM
    Dec 13, 2006
    10
    simply superb still listening to it after 3 years
  97. UntitledAnonymous
    Jan 7, 2007
    10
    An amazing listen. Much more approachable than their previous two.
  98. roberts
    Feb 3, 2007
    9
    A classic radiohead but still there's something missing a bit...
  99. 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...
  100. nathans
    Mar 28, 2007
    10
    Hail to the Radiohead!
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.