21 February 2011

Radiohead vs. The National

I absolutely adore Radiohead's new music video for their recent single "Lotus Flower" that, by the way, already has nearly 4 million views on Youtube and was only released 5 days ago(!) but I can't help but think it is too closely related to The National's video for "Bloodbuzz Ohio" that depicts frontman Matt Berninger awkwardly dancing around in black and white.

Although Berninger was better dressed and better bearded, I've been a longtime fan of Thom Yorke's crazy dancing abilities which puts me on the fence. On the 2009 Grammy Awards, Yorke danced his way through "15 Step" and it was rather awe-inspiring. It's the kind of thing you can't take your eyes off, whether you're enjoying it or not. There's something so odd about his face and tiny, little body that it keeps your attention. "Lotus Flower" as a whole is a great song but I'm disappointed it sounds so similiar to everything we've come to expect from Radiohead. Maybe that's not giving it enough credit, since it's definitely one of the best songs to come out recently, but without this fantastic video I'm not sure that I would even be paying much attention to it. The National's "Bloodbuzz Ohio" wasn't really a departure for them either. On music blogs last year the real discussion was whether or not the video was arrogant or humorous. Basically, it seemed like the conversation was mostly about the visuals rather than the song. Regardless, I still listen to it all the time over a year later.

I think the bottom line is no amount of sophistication and good looks are going to trump Thom Yorke's exceptional dancing abilities. Did he get inspiration from Matt Berninger? That remains to be seen.

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