Hail to the Thief

Common Sense Media says

Intense songs for teens to ponder; not for kids.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Several references to violent behavior might make parents a bit queasy.


The violent themes here, such as "smacks you in the head, knifes you in the neck, kicks you in the teeth" and "Steal all my children if I don't pay the ransom" could be scary for younger kids.


Sexual references are disguised as self-indulgent poetry.


The ever-popular "f" word appears several times.


No obvious commercialism.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

"You had to piss on our parade, You had to shred our big day, You had to ruin it for all concerned, in a drunken punchup at a wedding."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that musically this CD should appeal to sophisticated teenagers who long for something other than standard pop music. There's sex and violence, disguised as self-indulgent poetry.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

On HAIL TO THE THIEF, Radiohead offers intense, complex musical arrangements and obtuse, poetic lyrics to express the uncertainty and powerlessness many of us feel in our post-9/11 world. The music's sweeping emotions carry the listener from melancholy to hope and back again, and require more than a few listens to appreciate. The violence in many of the lyrics may be scary for younger children and unsettling to parents, but politically conscious teenagers will argue that they have a point -- and they might well be right.

Is it any good?


More eloquent and metaphorical than Radiohead's "The Bends" (and far less rock & roll), there's a lot here for the searcher and the self-absorbed. The main attraction though is the music: dramatic, confusing, interplaying melody and cold electronic sound, it's anything but boring.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the emotional issues explored in the songs, including the impact of 9/11 on the country and the world. The intensity of the lyrics is bound to spark discussion.

Music details

Release date:July 8, 2003
Genre:Alternative Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Hail to the Thief was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old December 30, 2008

Okay I guess

It's Okay I guess. I'd give it about 3/5 stars. Definently not Radiohead's best. Does not have any references to drugs, the word hell is used several times, the word piss is used once, and the f word is used three times. Only about one or two sexual references. Most songs contain violent behavior. The music may not be suitable for anyone under 12 because of Offensive Language.
Adult Written byForknose April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

I Just Didn't Like It

As my title said. I just didn't like it. It wasn't a very interesting or good album.
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age


This is a wonderful and beautiful album. and it saddens me that not many people really appreciate Radiohead.


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