Radiohead - "Daydreaming" (Singles Going Steady)

by PopMatters Staff

16 May 2016

"Daydreaming" sounds exactly like what you would expect Radiohead to sound like in 2016.

Chris Ingalls: My immediate reaction upon hearing this song in its entirety is one of complete lack of surprise. That is to say, it sounds exactly like what you would expect Radiohead to sound like in 2016. Thom Yorke’s mournful, processed vocals, light effects with a gorgeous minor-key piano, strings, an eventual insistent bass line. This is a band that always keeps things filled with tension. Even something as beautiful as a ballad needs to be spooky. Radiohead have spent the last 20-plus years making music on their own terms and the result is almost always soaring, moody, and brilliant. [9/10]

John Bergstrom: Very pretty, very Radiohead. Who actually is in Radiohead these days? Because if I have one issue with their new music it’s that it sounds like an electronic post-rock duo consisting of Thom Yorke (voice, inscrutable high-mindedness) and Jonny Greenwood (orchestrations, charts, scores, arrangements, stuff that composers usually do, homemade vintage synths, fragile vibes, anything but kickass, cutting-edge guitar playing). I like Radiohead, I really do. The problem is, I used to love them, and one reason was songs like “Daydreaming” were great B-sides to discover. As for the PT Anderson-directed video, a couple observations: Yorke really looks like either a Jedi or the Vaguely European Bad Guy from a low-budget action flick, and the whole thing moves along much more quickly than Inherent Vice. [6/10]

Steve Horowitz: To paraphrase Queen Patti, I was daydreaming that I was daydreaming. The song has got a catchy vibe and the Paul Thomas Anderson video makes one want to open the door and come in come in come in come in. Repetition is a good thing. It makes one move on while staying in one place. This is not Groundhog Day, this is real life where the search for the next moment leads back to where started. [8/10]

Emmanuel Elone: Unlike “Burn the Witch”, “Daydreaming” is as quiet as its name implies. A soft piano ballad with Thom Yorke’s signature high-pitched falsetto, “Daydreaming” also includes a light touch of electronics and strings to add to the already somber ambiance. While it’s enjoyable, though, it would be hard to make the claim that this track is better than “Burn the Witch”, or that it’s even on an equal footing. This new song is simply too quiet and mellow, even compared to some of Radiohead’s softest work. “Daydreaming” isn’t terrible, but it just barely meets the standard of a good Radiohead song. [5/10]

Chad Miller: Just about every part of this song is gorgeous. The repetitive piano brings a wonderful effect to the track, and the instrumental sections are wonderfully rhythmic while still offering a smooth and connected sound. The production does so much to add to the song too, providing wonderful embellishments throughout. [9/10]

SCORE: 7.40

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