Plastic Mutations: The ElectronicTribute to Radiohead

Various Artists

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Plastic Mutations: The ElectronicTribute to Radiohead Review

by Johnny Loftus

Plastic Mutations bills itself as an electronic tribute to Radiohead. In actuality, it's a chintzy knockoff of the real thing. Like a pair of Adidas trainers with four stripes, the versions of "High and Dry," "Paranoid Android," and "Kid A" appearing here will quickly be identified as fakes by any aficionado of the originals. This fact makes it unclear what audience Plastic Mutations is catering to. Like the band themselves, Radiohead fans are known to be very particular and extremely obsessive. It's likely these volatile individuals won't stand for a tepid "Creep" which suggests the Human League or a take on "Everything in Its Right Place" that replaces the eerie gloom of the original with bargain-basement synths. Shafts of sunlight occasionally break through the cloud cover. Transient tries to be adventurous, rendering "Fake Plastic Trees" as down-tempo trip-hop with a female lead vocal, and Motor Industries' "Exit Music (For a Film)" tries to move the original toward IDM. But even these lukewarm successes are overshadowed by the inescapable sense that Plastic Mutations is missing the point. Radiohead may employ technology in pursuit of music, but that doesn't make performing watered-down versions of their songs on lesser computers OK.

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