The penultimate track on Radiohead's bloated, schizophrenically sequenced Hail to the Thief, the fragile "Scatterbrain" appears like a tranquil oasis between the manic "Myxomatosis" and the 2003 LP's sinister closer, "A Wolf at the Door."
As Yorke explained in a 2008 interview with The Quietus, "Scatterbrain" stemmed from the singer's frustration following his involvement in the Jubilee 2000, which radically changed his worldview as well as hammered home many of Hail to the Thief's Nineteen Eighty-Four undertones.
"I realized how out of control the disintegration was," he said. "When I started with Jubilee 2000, I thought it was the most exciting thing I'd ever got involved with. Potentially, we could show what's been going on for what it is. But it never happened, because the G8 were very smart, and they and the IMF and the World Bank kept passing it to each other, and eventually I found myself thinking, 'Now I get it. It's never going to happen.'"
"Yesterday's headlines blown by the wind/Yesterday's people end up scatterbrain," Yorke wearily sings. "Any fool can easy pick a hole (I only wish I could fall in)/A moving target in a firing range." D.K.