15 March 2007

If a record is good, then it is always good. Whether Loveless was released on 4 November 1991, or on 5 September 1982, its date of publication should not affect our assessment of its excellence. Likewise with any other contextual change. If something is always good, then it is good whether the Radiohead formation subsists before, during or after its release.

As reasonable as this line of thinking seems, reviewers are fickle. They want to commit to the autonomy of art, but, at the same time, are inexorably swayed by circumstances in which they live. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with being influenced by these circumstances, but you cannot then commit to the timelessness of art.