Ah, Thom Yorke’s falsetto. If you listen to Radiohead’s first album, Pablo Honey, which I can’t really recommend you do, you’ll hear a decided U2 influence. Radiohead are by now so vastly superior to U2 that to even bring up the similarity is painful, but it’s important to be honest: Thom Yorke probably got the idea to sing falsetto from Bono, who believes that he has a great falsetto and whose fans encourage him in this belief. I am going to give it to you straight: Thom Yorke’s falsetto kicks Bono’s right out of the ring. Morrissey’s falsetto isn’t much good next to Yorke’s either. The main reasons for this are twofold: first, Yorke’s voice goes falsetto rather lower in the register that Bono’s, which often sounds like a man imitating a little girl, or Morrissey’s, which sounds like a man imitating an operatic soprano. Yorke’s falsetto also convincingly emulates a speaker drifting out of a two-way conversation into a monologic reflection -- he sounds, I mean, like he’s singing to himself, as you might have if you were a young boy desperately alone. He doesn’t sound like he’s showing off; he sounds like he’s drifting away. It is a simply beautiful sound, Thom Yorke’s falsetto. If you listen to it right, it will make you want to cry.
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