“Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead (1995)

16 09 2008

I was hesitant to recommend Radiohead to you at first.  They often deal with uncomfortable subjects, like the dysfunctional nature of us humans.  Their songs are unconventional and somtimes difficult to absorb.  But once their music gets under your skin, you’re a Radiohead junkie.  Their music is visionary and primal.

Having said that, many of their tracks hold extraordinary beauty and are immediately accessible, such as this track, taken from their album “The Bends.”  This song has soaring melodies over a slow-loping rhythm, with remarkable and (to me) very visual lyrics:

“She lives with a broken man
A cracked polystyrene man
Who just crumbles and burns”

This song helps me define something that’s not really obvious when you’re raised in it:  The artificial, glossy, petroleum-based, noisy, disconnected environment we’ve created for ourselves.  Polyester and rayon, plastic and linoleum, leaf-blowers and lawn-mowers, time measured by TV schedules and not the sun and the seasons.  Is this where we really want to be?

This is not the kind of music that gets played at the prom, although maybe it should be.  It’s music you can go to when you need it.  Maybe when you’re alone.  When something just doesn’t seem right, but you can’t define it.

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One response

29 09 2008
dhauck

Great song!

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