It is too late now, because YOU HAVE NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION

2 + 2 = 5 (The Lukewarm.)

Artist: Radiohead
Album: Hail To The Thief
Length: 3 minutes 19 seconds
Release date: November 17, 2003

Lyric removed for copyright reasons

Lyrical interpretation

The album Hail To The Thief is mostly politically motivated, and this track is an example of this. It's about America. It's about apathetic voters ("I'll stay home forever"), about lies told by political leaders ("'All hail to the thief' But I'm not!"), about the wrong guy leading the country ("It's the Devil's way now"), global warming and the Kyoto treaty ("January has April's showers" - thanks JoeBaldwin), about the Orwellian brainwashing referred to above ("two and two always makes up five"). This, at least, is my hazy interpretation. If you have a better one, by all means /msg me. The meaning behind the song, however, is obviously secondary to

What the song sounds like

(7/4 time, according to Valrus.) "2 + 2 = 5" (subtitle: "The Lukewarm.") starts off sounding like amplifiers being plugged in and turned on - think the first scene in Back To The Future; appropriate for the start of the album. Soft guitar playing, Thom Yorke's vocals coming in quickly with his trademark acquired-taste high-pitched style. It's a good melody, with a little bit of a sting behind it. At the "Devil" line the song changes mood slightly and begins to build to something. At "BECAUSE" the song kicks off. Loud, hard and fast. YOU HAVE NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION. Repeat. Rock on. The tempo and volume are maintained while Yorke returns and rattles off the last forty or fifty seconds of lyric. Sudden end.

"2 + 2 = 5" sets a good tone for the rest of the album. Overall, it's an energetic number, comparable with the band's seminal "Paranoid Android" from OK Computer, with which it shares a few features, but "2 + 2 = 5" does not really exceed "Paranoid Android" in terms of style, variation, or, indeed length. Another minute or so would not have hurt it. Perfectly palatable Radiohead, however, and certainly worth a listen.

The video

AFAIK there is no video yet, but if this track were to be released separately, doubtless one would appear. I think of this as one of the album's better tracks and would love to see it released as a single, so if the band has the same idea as me, watch this space. 2+2=5 was released as a single on November 17, 2003. There was no accompanying video, according to quoi?, but some stations used footage of live shows instead. Seems a shame, given the awesome Radiohead videos we've grown used to.

This was track 1 from Hail To The Thief.
Next: Sit Down. Stand Up.

don't node lyrics, node the song