Radiohead have always had an impregnable ability to craft music that dutifully disengaged itself from the overshadowing of time. I Promise, a glowing effigy with Thom Yorke embattled within an excruciatingly exasperated state, showed such enveloping quality by remaining a continued consideration for each record that flowed from the group since it was seemingly written in 1996, albeit not quite fitting into the scope of each one that followed. Yet from having not laid dormant on the darkened floor of Radiohead’s catalogue, and thus becoming a another fabled favourite of an ever faithful fanbase, the track almost didn’t require any dusting off for it’s deserved studio release. Yet the work that has been done by Nigel Godrich and the group to present Ok Computer’s mastery with analogue recording within digital means on their OKNOTOK release, has allowed them to give the track it’s proper place within the band’s and our own world.
I Promise embodies one last gasp of air in your lungs before being swallowed by the darkness. The reeling acoustic guitar that circumvents the whole track, Phil Selway’s military, almost funereal drums ominous rather than deafening, and the wrenching strings that blossom from within the track’s heart like fireflies of spirit all act together in unison. Yorke’s expressive nature is instinctual, yet this is open and shameless, hands held in front, ready to fight for everything that it’s worth, which the band prove is worth the world and existence itself. It’s a classic Radiohead song in a really uncritical way, it’s perhaps the most positive of opinions, as it personifies the unwavering representation of emotion that the band have been able to instil so incredibly for the last two decades and beyond.
OK Computer: OKNOTOK 1997 2017 is available from June 23rd.