Radiohead Cares More Than You Realize
Remember when Radiohead’s glowing reputation was based purely on their music? In a year in which they made headlines for innovative digital distribution and open-source remix contests, the cerebral rockers from Oxford are pushing things forward once again. This time around the band has tackled a familiar, yet timeworn format: the music video. The single “All I Need” provides the soundtrack to a gut-wrenching piece on the exploitative labor lurking behind our everyday products. The video is a collaboration with MTV’s new Exit initiative and USAID to bring attention to human trafficking and child exploitation.
This is the first video I remember since Soul Asylum’s ’92 hit “Runaway Train” to successfully act as a billboard for a children’s cause. In both cases, the difficult topic was backed by appropriately haunting music to great effect. While, thankfully, most of the attention will be given to the MTV Exit’s work, it is important to credit Radiohead’s music as an intangible element opening first our ears, and then our eyes, to such voiceless victims. — Johnny