Radiohead - "Lift" (Singles Going Steady)

by PopMatters Staff

25 September 2017

The OK Computer reissue keeps on giving with the new video for previously unreleased track “Lift”.
 

Steve Horowitz: Being detached from life and involved in it: what choice does one have? The narrator of this song watches and waits for something to happen. It never does. Radiohead musically delineates the Zeitgeist of living in a world that doesn’t make sense even when it seems to on the surface. We wait. We wait. What are we waiting for? Radio understands the waiting is all we have—and there’s solace in that. The melody and soft touch of sound bring comfort to those afflicted with feelings. [8/10]
  

Ian Rushbury: Radiohead could do very little wrong in 1997 and “Lift” is proof. It’s practically a pop tune—no wilful art damage at all. It would have sat nicely on OK Computer and I’m scratching my head, wondering why it didn’t make the cut. Dynamics, great tune, and almost a chorus—there’s lots to enjoy here. Once you get past the rather out of place “overture” at the top of the piece, it’s good news all the way. And the video is funny, weird and disturbing all at once. [8/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: The OK Computer reissue keeps on giving with the new video for previously unreleased track “Lift”. It’s definitely one for the fans as Thom Yorke rides a lift with a rotating cast of Radiohead references, and the music soars with heartfelt emotion. As Radiohead songs go, it’s a straightforward one, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, it’s cathartic just to let Yorke’s voice flood forth, and on “Lift”, he and the rest of the band are a powerful flow of smart, radio-friendly ‘90s rock. [7/10]

Tristan Kneschke: After a moment of undeserved spite, Thom Yorke travels an elevator from hell on Radiohead’s new single, continuing the band’s 20-year anniversary celebration of OK Computer. The increasing array of bizarre vignettes are another of Radiohead’s acerbic critiques of modern capitalism, where even an elevator can be the source of claustrophobia, alienation, and even a place where the laws of physics can bend. [8/10]

William Nesbitt: A little too pastoral for the cold circuitry of OK Computer, it’s easy to see why this didn’t fit the album.  It’s an interesting glimpse into a side road that Radiohead could have followed and a pretty, melancholic throwback to The Bends, though the lyrics about a man trapped in an elevator fill OK Computer’s thematic agenda about technology and isolation. It’s better than a lot of the expanded material on bonus albums and maybe just a few tweaks away from having made another album somewhere along the way. Not quite an A-side—at least for OK Computer —call it a B+-side. [7/10]

John Garratt: I love how one of Radiohead’s leftovers can sound more fully realized than the hit singles of other bands. And yeah, I never know what to say to people in an elevator either. [8/10]

SCORE: 7.67

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