Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Radiohead's "Burn The Witch" Is Not Full Of Musical Surprises But is The Perfect Cautionary Tale For Today- For Right Now




















Burn The Witch doesn't have some of the weird angular musical shifts that I have come to expect from Radiohead and the lyrics are not obtuse or as poetic as usual. No, this feels more like middle of the road sounds, ominous yes, foreboding and a cautionary tale to be sure. Very cool stuff that may grow on me, but from a musical standpoint not the spike of Adrenalin that usually occurs when I hear a new Radiohead track but I suppose Thom and the boys may of wanted this to be more musically accessible to a lot of people because this song is about something.

Thom has always been politically active and astute and Burn The Witch is, after all, a song perfectly suited for today. There are scads of politicians and powerful entities burning witches in order to move us to act and not in a good way. People at their worst always react to "the other" with fear and as the song tells us to "abandon all reason" to "kill the messenger" as we are moved by a "low flying panic attack".

The killer come on brought on by those who seek power is illustrated like children's fare in the video for the song. Played visually in  a David and Goliath sort of way, it tells the story of a visitor to what seems like an idyllic little town and how he is lead to.... well you will find out. Spoiler alert: He does escape in time. Maybe we all can.
-
Robb Donker


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