Heather B. Armstrong

Don’t get sentimental

The following song is the fifth track on OK Computer, an album released by Radiohead 25 years ago. It has always been my favorite song, and I consider it to be Radiohead’s crowning achievement as a band.

Radiohead – “Let Down”

My best friend at the time thought that one of the most important lyrics read:

The emptiest of feelings
Disappointed people
Clinging onto God

I always think about her misinterpretation of that refrain when I hear this song. Always. Because the lyric as it was written is about people who are trying to escape pain by clinging onto bottles.

After Life Season 3 Radiohead – “Let Down Surprise”

In April of 2013 I put the following song on a playlist for someone I was dating at the time, someone who would fly into a violent jealous rage if the wind would suddenly change direction. He could not get over this song, and I did not understand at the time. All I know is that when this song would play in the car — we took a ton of roadtrips together — his entire jaw would seize. This dynamic ultimately destroyed what I thought was going to be the ultimate love of my life.

The Boxer Rebellion – Diamonds