Radiohead – I Might Be Wrong

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What is now considered as an EP, in the days of vinyl would have been regarded as an album proper. Culled from various shows recorded in Europe, while promoting Kid A and Amnesiac, I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings is a collection of tracks that are as uneven as they are also interesting. On “The National Anthem” the band free themselves from the claustrophobic tension of its studio counterpart, like letting an animal out of its cage. Likewise the title track, where Tom Yorke’s psychotherapeutic lyrics are allowed to breathe in the open air, instead of five musicians stuck in a broken lift running out of oxygen. “Morning Bell” and “Like Spinning Plates” are given a new lease of life, as is “Idioteque”, released (to some extent) from its digitally compressed environment, to become a far more full bodied affair.

The schizophrenic “Everything In Its Right Place” has Yorke singing like an adult lost in childhood who realises that no longer is the world a safe and wonderful place, and the sort of thing any psychiatrist could only wish for. The political “Dollars and Cents” is a slight expansion on the original, with its jerky paranoid rhythms and bedlam-like vocals by Yorke, and is perhaps the closest the band have come to jazz-rock fusion (as much as I’m sure they’d hate to admit it). Final song, “True Love Waits”, was the one which got everybody talking back in 2001, since it was written around the time of OK Computer. Just Yorke on acoustic guitar and vocals, he sings of happy days, or maybe miserable days, it’s hard to know. Both misery and happiness intertwine into one, and appear to be interchangeable it seems. Certainly it’s one of Thom’s most intimate and personal of ballads, if ballad be the right word to describe it.

I Might Be Wrong could have been so much more, and a lost opportunity. That Radiohead have never issued an authoritative live album is frustrating to say the least. But they are after all just that sort of band, ever maddening and provoking. Which is what makes them so compelling in the first place.