Crowd-sourced review: Radiohead – “Burn the Witch”

By Ryan G

Well, the cat’s out of the bag. Radiohead will be releasing a new album this Sunday the 8th and everyone has an opinion on the new track called “Burn the Witch,” including these readers of Tuned Up:

“Smooth orchestral song. Drum machine + orchestral samples / live samples? Who knows. Its like… the No Quarter of Radiohead ( No Quarter was an orchestral disc released by Led Zeppelin ). Intentionally epic even a throwback in some ways with the tell-tale Thom Yorke vocals and vibe.” – Sandeep Sehbi of Canadian Waves

I think that the cyclical nature of Radiohead’s writing and release cycles are part of what makes them such a great band. Some of these lyrics showed up on the Hail to the Thief cover. Then again on their website in 2004/2005. And yet aesthetically it draws from what we heard from King of Limbs. (Edit: I actually think vocally it’s closer to their older stuff. So it’s an interesting mix of old and new.) The way the strings are used is so very Radiohead. Erratic and textured and causing the kind of anxiety that matches a song with this specific lyrical content.” – Stephanie Ewen, manager of Linden Hollow, co-founder of Tiny House Music Collective

“To me, this is reminiscent of The Beatles foray into orchestral songs with no rock instrumentation. It reimagines the sound of the band in the voice of strings. This is tense and foreboding in a way few other acts can achieve. Thom Yorke’s calm and cool vocal delivery of lyrics that are much the opposite seals the deal. Perhaps best of all, there is little clue as to what we can expect next.” – Cameron Carr of The Sports

“One word that keeps coming to mind when I listen to “Burn the Witch” is “haunting.” The eerie orchestration layered under the trippy backbeat of the song makes for a stunning composition. I’ve never considered myself a huge fan of Radiohead, but if this is what the new record is going to sound like, I’m VERY excited for what’s coming.” – Topher Parks, Tuned Up writer

“I’m a bit under impressed. I love Radiohead and everything Thom Yorke does but this feels very “safe” to me. Radiohead is known for pushing boundaries. Although I do like the song and it’s very listenable it definitely didn’t leave me feeling inspired. Entertained but not inspired. On a scale of Drivel to Astral I give it a rating of Acceptable.” – Derek C. of The Ghost Town Railroad< "As a long time fan. It's a good song but not a great song. I am interested to here the rest of the album. I know they will push boundaries, I just don't think this is the song that does that." - Christian Foster of Midnight Animal Choir

“Did anyone else have flashbacks to your high school English class reading The Crucible?” – Mitch Lang

“All Radiohead is good Radiohead.” – Sean Huncherick, Tuned Up writer alum


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