Radiohead: Everything in its right place.

by onlylove4lauren

             Trippy. An electric piano. Special effects becoming louder. I imagine focusing on an old apartment and zooming in on certain items. All of these certain things are in their right place, obviously.

             After hearing the song from start to finish I realized I was “one of those”. Dare I say I didn’t get it? I wasn’t connecting with what I was hearing. This was the first time I listened to Radiohead. Yes, it’s true. I am sure plenty of you are reading this asking yourself how I could have lived before listening to this band. And then there are the others, The Radiohead virgins, who are in the same boat as me. After having the assignment to really dissect a song I made it my obligation to “get it”. I wanted to fully be thrown into the world of Radiohead and their loyal fan base. I realized this would be a huge challenge, but I accepted.

              The song that was chosen for me was “Everything in its Right Place” off of Radioheads Kid A album. I took it upon myself to obsess over this one song. I listened to it an uncountable amount of times. I first started by listening alone in my room where I could get my own interpretation of what I thought this song meant and what message Radiohead was signaling. But I needed more. I wanted more.

               I decided to search the bands live performances so that I could see their fans reacting to them. Out of all the videos I went through I found one on YouTube where the song was performed acoustically. The video consists of Thom Yorke, the lead singer, simply playing the piano and singing as fans look on in what seems to be an intimate setting. This was my favorite version. I found myself falling into the trance of what all of these Radiohead fans seemed to be in. When the voice of Thom Yorke comes in I feel a sense of calmness. I liked hearing the rawness of his voice and the entire song for that matter. With the absence of the auto tune or whatever it is they used to enhance the sounds of the actual track on the album, I could finally feel one with the song.

Album cover.                I started to listen to it with appreciation. Now as I played it I immediately wanted to reflect on past expierences. I was getting the feeling like this was a transition message. I felt changing. When I listened I imagined things changing with the lasting impression being that everything was changing for the better. Everything wound up in the right place after all of the changes. It makes sense for this song to be the first track of the album. With the title being “Everything in its right place” I would think that the band felt like what they had put together for their next album was just right. But then what is the conflict within their song?

           “Yesterday I woke up sucking on lemons.” When I think of sucking on lemons I picture an unsatisfied face. Maybe even a confused face.  I heard a reason for the lemon reference was because Yorke had been frequently told he looks like he has a sour-faced look. But he wasn’t just sucking on lemons. He WOKE UP sucking lemons. And he didn’t just wake up sucking lemons. He woke up YESTERDAY sucking lemons. To be sucking on lemons as you awake makes me think that the day started off sour. But that day is not today, that day was yesterday. Yesterday was sour. Maybe Yorke is shedding light on the fact that he is out of a bad place where he once was, which coincides with what some websites have suggested that Yorke was depressed after their “Ok Computer” tour. But now with the intro to Kid A, he is no longer sucking on soury lemons. That was yesterday. Kid A is today.

             But where do the two colors in his mind come into play?  “There are two colors in my head, what is it you tried to say?” Could the colors be voices? Maybe. Could he be psychotic? I doubt it. After reading up about the band it was brought to my attention that lead singer Thom Yorke and guitarist Ed O’Brien had some musical challenges within the band around the writing process for Kid A. Maybe the two voices Thom writes about are his and Ed’s visions. It has been said that both band members felt like ‘Everything in Its Right Place’ was the song that helped them start to feel like their new approach to music was actually getting somewhere. Maybe that is why they wound up naming the song “Everything in its Right Place.” Maybe they sat down one day, collectively as a band, and decided that the new direction of where their music was headed (computer manipulation and enhanced sound effects) was the way they wanted to go.

             Radiohead won Best Alternative Music Album for Kid A at the Grammys that year. I guess it’s safe to say they went the “right” way.