I have always liked Radiohead. The kind of music they created in the ’90s has been the kind that has always been a pleasure to hear for the sheer truthfulness in it’s notes and lyrics. It’s not happy, it’s not hopeful, it’s mostly an honest motley of thoughts penned together brutally depicting who we are, as we are – Always looking for excuses to find happiness, peace and attempts to fit in by adopting laughter, applause and glorified small talk.
This bit about ‘Fitter Happier’ from OK Computer is precisely why I feel I won’t be getting over Radiohead anytime soon.
“Fitter Happier” consists of sampled musical and background sound and lyrics recited by a synthesised voice from the Macintosh SimpleText application. Written after a period of writer’s block, “Fitter Happier” was described by Yorke as a checklist of slogans for the 1990s, which he considered “the most upsetting thing I’ve ever written”. The track was considered for the album’s opening track, but rejected because the band considered the effect off-putting. Steve Lowe called the song “penetrating surgery on pseudo-meaningful corporations lifestyles” with “a repugnance for prevailing yuppified social values.” Among the loosely connected imagery of the lyrics, Footman identified the song’s subject as “the materially comfortable, morally empty embodiment of modern, Western humanity, half-salaryman, half-Stepford Wife, destined for the metaphorical farrowing crate, propped up on Prozac, Viagra and anything else his insurance plan can cover.” Sam Steele called the lyrics “a stream of received imagery: scraps of media information, interspersed with lifestyle ad slogans and private prayers for a healthier existence. It is the hum of a world buzzing with words, one of the messages seeming to be that we live in such a synthetic universe we have grown unable to detect reality from artifice.”