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MSepol

The role of Nigel Godrich as producer

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So, we all know how Nigel Godrich is very much recognized as the "sixth" member of the band. From what I can see, a lot of that has to do with the way he works with the band, helping them materialize or think over some ideas or methods of work.

 

But, as a producer, how do you think his work has impacted the band? What Radiohead songs to have his "signature" in some way or another? I've heard that the backing track of "No Surprises" was originally recorded at a faster speed, before it was slowed down so Thom could record his vocals, giving the song its melancholy and dreamy feel (apparently, this was Nigel's idea).

 

From what I can tell based on other artists Nigel has collaborated with - Beck's "Sea Change" and AIR's "Talkie Walkie" come to mind - the songs and albums he produces tend to have this polished feel and ambience, sounding very pristine and crystal-clear. There's not a hint of sonic murkiness in everything he produces, apparently.

 

So, again, what's your thoughts about this?

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He's been so closely integrated for so long that it's difficult to say really.  It might be interesting to contrast what he's done with Thom's solo records, and contrast that with the RH recordings.  I think you'll see a lot more of his 'personality' on the solo projects.

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I think his production is fine but it's hard to say he has a style. That said, it's interesting to listen to Beck's The Information and In Rainbows because there's some crossover there. Still, it's weird to me how The Eraser and Amok almost feel unproduced, in a way that I'm not super into (although I do love those albums). Really I think he's someone the band enjoy working with and who gets them, but I don't feel like he has much of a stamp on the albums, they all sound very different to each other and I feel like that's largely a case of the band telling him how they want it to sound and him doing it.

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Definitely he is the type of producer who blends with what the band is doing - which is a real strength with a band like RH.  My point about Thom's solo projects was that Nigel actually plays instruments etc on most of those records - so by definition there is more of him in them.  Although Thom obviously tends to dominate to death whoever he plays with in those situations.

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I don’t think you’re giving him enough credit. Except for httT I think every album he does is clean. The instruments / parts all occupy their own space in the spectrum and don’t compete. A delicate mix of electronic and acoustic is another hallmark.

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