Hail to the Thief

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Hail to the Thief Music Poster Image
Parents recommend
Intense songs for teens to ponder; not for kids.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

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

Violence

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.

Sex

Sexual references are disguised as self-indulgent poetry.

Language

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

Consumerism

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."

What 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bytheemeraldgolem/ August 1, 2015

Alternative.

The best if you are bored of pop!
Parent of a 4-year-old Written byasdasfasd February 1, 2013

Amazing album with deep lyrics

Needs to be heard by everyone, anyways how is this bad you sh-theads screw this site kids in other countries are in wars and scary sh-t idiots you guys are wuss...
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

Beautiful

This is a wonderful and beautiful album. and it saddens me that not many people really appreciate Radiohead.
Kid, 11 years old September 23, 2019

All inappropriate content is hidden in the lyrics.

I first heard this album when I was ten, great album but songs like Myxomatosis and A Wolf At The Door use the word, F——. There are some scary, violent and thr... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

  • Artist: Radiohead
  • Release date: July 8, 2003
  • Label: Capitol
  • Genre: Alternative Rock
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: July 20, 2015

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