Radiohead's Saddest Song Revealed

And the winner is...

  • · Posted 11 months Ago
  •  BY Jack Lowe

If there's one thing Radiohead are known for it's sad songs, but which one is the actually the saddest? In reality, that's pretty subjective, but just for kicks, data scientist Charlie Thompson decided to crunch some data and reveal what he believes to be the band's "most depressing song".

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Thompson used Spotify’s API to pull information about every track from Radiohead’s nine studio albums. One such piece of information is a metric called "valence", which is essentially a measure from 0.0 to 1.0 describing the "musical positiveness conveyed by a track". He then took this information and combined it with an analysis of how many "sad words" each track contained. For example, "High and Dry" has the most, being made up from 36% sad words. As if this wasn't all enough, Thompson finally determined how important the sad words were in each track, and combined all this information to produce a "Gloom Index".

Long story short, it was decided that "True Love Waits" is Radiohead's saddest song, receiving a Gloom Index score of 1 out of a possible 100.

Want to delve deeper into the data? There's a chart ranking each track and album on the Gloom Index here. Listen to "True Love Waits" below.

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Tags: radiohead, data,
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