"OK Computer," released by the British band Radiohead in 1997, was a seminal album in the rock music genre. It marked a departure from the traditional rock sound of the time and paved the way for a more experimental and eclectic approach to music-making. The album's influence on rock music can be seen in several key ways.
Firstly, "OK Computer" expanded the sonic palette of rock music. Radiohead incorporated elements of electronic and orchestral music into their sound, creating a unique and atmospheric musical experience. This departure from the standard rock instrumentation of guitar, bass, and drums was a major departure from the status quo and influenced countless musicians in the years to follow.
Secondly, the album's themes and lyrics challenged the status quo of rock music. "OK Computer" was a dystopian concept album that explored themes of alienation, technology, and the loss of humanity. The lyrics were introspective and thought-provoking, a far cry from the typical love songs and party anthems that dominated the rock scene at the time. This introspection and experimentation with lyrical themes would go on to inspire many artists in the alternative and indie rock genres.
Thirdly, "OK Computer" was a major influence on the development of the alternative rock genre. The album's experimental sound and introspective themes helped to define the alternative rock movement and set a new standard for musical innovation and artistic expression. Its impact on the genre is still felt today, with many modern alternative rock bands citing Radiohead as a major influence.
Finally, "OK Computer" was a critical and commercial success, and helped to establish Radiohead as one of the most influential and innovative bands of their generation. The album's groundbreaking sound and thought-provoking lyrics set a new bar for artistic excellence in rock music and continues to inspire musicians and fans alike.
In conclusion, "OK Computer" changed rock music in several key ways, including expanding the sonic palette of the genre, challenging traditional themes and lyrical content, influencing the development of the alternative rock genre, and establishing Radiohead as a leading voice in rock music. Its impact continues to be felt today and it remains one of the most influential and innovative albums in the rock canon. (Source: "Radiohead's OK Computer at 20: How the Album Changed Rock Music," Rolling Stone, 2017)