Silver Jews Frontman Hating On Radiohead..?

Yeah, you read it. Dave Berman, leader of the Silver Jews has lashed out at Radiohead a bit, basically calling them overrated. Berman had a lengthy interview with the pretentious online music hub, Prickfork. The entire interview is here:

The bits he said about Radiohead don’t seem to be altered by being taken out of context, so here they are:

“To me, what I would like to hear from Radiohead would be something besides a feeling. I would like it if Radiohead would sing something that you could take with you.”


“You can go through the whole new Radiohead album and try and tell me what they’re saying, and all you’ll get over and over again is things are miserable, don’t try, things suck. And it’s all gray. There’s nothing there. Never before has there been a “greatest band in the world” who had so little to say about anything. The music-listening world has become such an aficionados world. People want to react to a poem or a painting, but they’re like “I’m not qualified. I’m not educated.” But they treat their personal preferences for music as if they weren’t anything but this complete monolithic subjectivity, and we talk to each other in that way: “They suck, and they’re the worlds greatest band.”


First off I’m just curious as to if he’s listened to the new Radiohead album (In Rainbows). I just thought it was interesting that someone as in touch with their indie side as Dave Berman would call a Radiohead album essentially emotionless. It surprises me that someone with his presumed emotional depth (he is a poet, writer, cartoonist, blah, blah, blah) would be able to understand the complexity/simplicity of emotions as well as the vast range that Radiohead chooses to employ. Apparently I’m wrong. See for yourself. Berman’s comments just seem pretty tacky and a bit tactless.

Who am I to judge, that’s Berman’s job.


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