Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Brent Northup

Second Advisor

Charlotte Jones

Third Advisor

Mac Randall


In the nine years since their first single “Creep” became something of a cult phenomenon, the British band Radiohead has garnered the attention and acclaim of literally millions. With so many people listening to their music, they have obviously struck a chord with a fairly wide audience. But what is it, exactly, that Radiohead is saying through their music? This study sheds light on that question through a textual analysis of the band’s lyrics from each of their five studio albums. From this analysis, three major - and interrelated - themes emerge: alienation, negative self-concept, and the struggles of modem life. All of these issues are of paramount concern within the band’s lyrics, and presumably, because so many people are listening to Radiohead, they are also relevant to an ever-increasing segment of the population. Thus, through analysis of Radiohead, we are led not only to a clearer understanding of a particular band and the modem music industry they participate in, but also to broad realizations regarding our modem social world as it is reflected through the lens of the mass media.