No Surprises

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The first of two "No Surprises" singles released from Radiohead's groundbreaking OK Computer, this version includes two bonus tracks: "Palo Alto" and "How I Made My Millions." "Palo Alto," featured in its entirety (and apparently being mixed live by guitarist Jonny Greenwood) in the tour documentary Meeting People Is Easy, could have fit very neatly on OK Computer. Named for the city in California that is in the heart of Silicone Valley, a technological hotbed, the themes presented in "Palo Alto," as on OK Computer, deal with the presumed idealism of modern life and the isolation lurking beneath the surface. Beginning with the cold buzzing of guitars and computers, the song gives way to noisy guitars and, in a powerful moment that could be taken as an opportunity for release and honesty, singer Thom Yorke asks "I'm OK, how are you? I hope you're OK, too," betraying the bursting emotion of the music with empty niceties that serve to illustrate the alienation of life in a bustling city of the future. "How I Made My Millions" is included here in its original demo form, having been recorded by Yorke at home on mini-disc. The track features him playing the piano and singing almost incomprehensible lyrics, while someone audibly goes about their business in the background. It's a beautiful melody over some very nice changes, and the rest of Radiohead were reportedly so fond of the demo that they didn't feel they should add anything to it.

blue highlight denotes track pick