hard to be real | Reviewer: deneicy | 8/15/11

He's complaining about the woman being fake; about the world being fake; about the man buying into fake beauty...then he confesses:

"If I could be who you wanted
If I could be who you wanted all the time"

We are doomed --and blessed--as social creatures to need each other, to want each other's approval and acceptance.

So we do things for others sometimes twist and contort and mold ourselves unrecognizably into something far from what is more naturally ourselves.

It's why women are told to find a mate who loves you "just the way you are," the lesson of BRIDGET JONES' DIARY.

This song is musically exquisite. To also have provocative lyrics generating so much contemplation...a bonus.

Late to the Radiohead Bandwagon~
De Neice in San Diego

PS thanks for the great insights. Appreciate them ALL.


I know what's going on. | Reviewer: Sage | 8/11/11

Radiohead is a band from the U.K. with permanent residences in the U.K., they wouldn't be writing about the West Coast of America nor California as they haven't fully experienced that sort of lifestyle. You are right about the song being about plastic surgeries and the like, and to mock you I'll transition with BUUUUTTTTTTT...

It's just whimsical disillusionment. Thom has said in an interview that the song was "funny" to him and was just "whatever popped" into his head. The girl is some sort of break up he had or girl he disliked, and talking about how she watered plastic trees (watering plastic...) with a plastic watering can by a plastic woman in a plastic world.

The repetition of plastic is key because it means that the underlying message of the song is that everything is plastic; cheap and imitating of the real thing, but it doesn't actually "taste like the real thing." The man she lived with had a job as a plastic surgeon, one who takes people and makes them plastic. I think in this song plastic tires you and may eventually kill you, the disposability of it and the cheapness of it. Once you become a plastic person in a plastic world, you just start to slowly burn out until nothing is left.

Simply and tldr enough: we are becoming plastic. Plastic is valueless, cheap, and easily disposable. We are becoming valueless, cheap, and disposable.

The end.

to the guy below | Reviewer: efc | 7/27/11

Nice try everybody BUT ...

this song is simply about modern day life for Westerners (American west coasters) embodied figuratively in the characterization of a married(?) couple who have crossed into middle-age or later, or maybe still yuppies, and are living a false existence with each other that does not have any authenticity anymore, if it ever did. Just going through the motions while inside he just wants to hit the reset button, perhaps.

It's a Hollywood-California-type town where life is full of facades and bullshit and the desperation to stay youthful while everyone's getting boob-jobs and plastic surgery.

And they are exhausted by it all. All the fake meaningless existence that pretends to be better than the real thing - but gravity always wins ... and then you frickin die.

He however is truly tormented by his cowardice and unwillingness to just turn his back and run from this horse-shit of a life. He made a good living in plastic surgery but what did he really gain?

So the moral of this lyric is ... what kind'a life do you live? Something meaningful and real and grounded or something pretentious, fake, and empty; void of any real life, just fake plastic trees.

Adam and Eve had it made but they decided it wasn't enough. They wanted less than best ... just gimme the bullshit.

So God gave them what they wanted and kicked them out.

And you can have it too !!!

But it will cost you your soul.

Good luck.

PS: This band is awesome.






LMFAO !! the guy above you is on to it

PHONY | Reviewer: Ray Clayborne | 7/11/11

I think the 2nd stanza is about an abortion doctor who feels guilty about it. The 3rd stanza is about a man who is dating a beautiful girl who he doesn't love, but he stays with her anyway. He's also remembering a genuine love affair that didn't last because he wasn't exactly what his ex-grilfriend wanted. The first stanza I'm still thinking about, but it has to do with beind surrounded by fake beauty, like in Las Vegas.

Guy Beneath Me Really Grinds My Gears | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/29/11

This song has absolutely nothing to do with plastic surgery and people of that nature, its a metaphor for a love that does not exist between them (mainly her to him). Its not rocket science, especially the guy beneath me trying to disprove everyones valid points with the "BUT". Easy, guy.

ADAM & EVE find it hard to believe in something better. | Reviewer: xtian777 | 5/29/11

Nice try everybody BUT ...

this song is simply about modern day life for Westerners (American west coasters) embodied figuratively in the characterization of a married(?) couple who have crossed into middle-age or later, or maybe still yuppies, and are living a false existence with each other that does not have any authenticity anymore, if it ever did. Just going through the motions while inside he just wants to hit the reset button, perhaps.

It's a Hollywood-California-type town where life is full of facades and bullshit and the desperation to stay youthful while everyone's getting boob-jobs and plastic surgery.

And they are exhausted by it all. All the fake meaningless existence that pretends to be better than the real thing - but gravity always wins ... and then you frickin die.

He however is truly tormented by his cowardice and unwillingness to just turn his back and run from this horse-shit of a life. He made a good living in plastic surgery but what did he really gain?

So the moral of this lyric is ... what kind'a life do you live? Something meaningful and real and grounded or something pretentious, fake, and empty; void of any real life, just fake plastic trees.

Adam and Eve had it made but they decided it wasn't enough. They wanted less than best ... just gimme the bullshit.

So God gave them what they wanted and kicked them out.

And you can have it too !!!

But it will cost you your soul.

Good luck.

PS: This band is awesome.

-cont ADAM & EVE DECEIVED, AND BELIEVED THE LIE | Reviewer: xtian777 | 5/29/11

i forgot to tie in all the lyrics but i am sure you can figure it out.

But i thought i'd just simply end with this ...

The fake town full of rubber people, full of rubbber plans exists outside of EDEN, post-banishment, naturally.

You live there now.

They bought the BIG FRIGGIN LIE for their souls.

Okay, I'm done.

Peace guys, get a clue, before it's too late.

"You Do It To Yourself"

PS:

WATCH Radiohead's "JUST" video.








Anonymous | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/29/11

This song is about both beauty and intellect. He finds beautiful girl and falls in love, yet he is missing something. His next relationship is with an intelligent women, who is also beautiful, yet he is still not satisfied.

Anon | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/30/11

I believe this song has one underlying theme that is illustrated from a slightly different angle in each verse. The theme is the misguided human desire for "perfection" which is like trying to find or define the infinite. Perfection doesn't exist, it would mean the end of the line for growth, hence death, and death is a state of non-existence. Also, perfection for one is nothing near perfection for another so we are then striving for something completely subjective. We must find the beauty in what already is and stop trying to control things to appease our egotistic desires.

The first verse is trying to show how we look to manufactured non-living waste products, like fake plastic house plants, to try to emulate beauty. In the process we end up creating a mountain of waste which will eventually be our undoing, hence the "rubber plans to get rid of itself". I do find it quite amusing that he says "fake Chinese rubber plant" because China is the mecca for disposable non-biodegradable plastic and electronic products. I would be willing to wager that the junk "disposable" electronics and other consumer goods being produced in China will soon claim a vast majority of the land fill volume of the world...

The second verse is in reference to the male perception of beauty and it's fake superficial shallowness. As a man, I can sympathize with this. While I realize the need and value for depth and intelligence in a woman, I'm still easily trapped by external beauty which is obviously fleeting. This man (the male aspect of society perhaps) was so obsessed with the outward physical appearance that he devoted his life's work to trying to preserve it with techniques that actually incorporated non-living plastic elements into the human body. He is crumbling and burning because he is facing the defeat of the impossibility to preserve what he believes to be beauty. He will lose his battle until he changes his perceptions. This is wearing him out. It wears all of us out....

The final verse is talking about the singers own battle with what part of him perceives to be beauty and what another part of him knows is not beauty. When he says "I can't help the feeling, I could blow through the ceiling, if I just turn and run" to me says that he knows he is with a woman who is only beautiful skin deep, and he feels that he could either evolve or at least find a more substantial woman if he could turn and run away from this woman who lacks true depth. Wearing him out as well makes one wonder if the singer believes that this is the struggle of society on numerous levels and is our main struggle today. I am inclined to agree with him. All one needs to do is ask is who are the most intelligent and ground breaking thinkers of our current times? We only know those who have created gadgets and went on to run large corporations who create garbage (I'm looking at you Apple) Now ask who are the most popular models and actors of our day, I'm sure we can name more than a few. This is pretty depressing.






The bends | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/2/10

This is a song about the superficialness and the depth that we all share as humans. We cannot debate that we are all superficial, it is in our skin, our largest organ. Our depth is in our mind and beneath the skin, to our core, in our hearts. Thats why things get under our skin, and we can relate to music. I asked a boy what a good song was and he told me Fake Plastic Trees. I wonder if I am the real thing...

realization | Reviewer: itreeye | 10/3/10

When he finds something real other than himself, the other, the real girl, he realizes his love is plastic, or unreal next to *realness* of her reality. It wears him out...we have to stay alone, or dishonest; fake.

Last Day of August '97 | Reviewer: Timo | 9/21/10

I was listening to K-Rock, 92.3 New York, and had CNN muted on TV, on the last day of August, 1997. Suddenly the look on the face of the newscaster appeared so broken, and I turned up the volume and the announcement he made said that it had just been confirmed that Princess Diana had died. I turned the volume down on the TV after the news had sank in, turned the radio back up and "Fake Plastic Trees" was playing. I have never been able to listen to the song since without thinking of her and her tragic loss. Somehow it fit, she lived with a broken man, and it just wore her out.

rubber plans | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/5/10

I think that the line "in a town full of rubber plans" the fact that the plans are rubber.. which connects with the main idea of the fake plastic trees, just shows the small advancements and the stunt of evolution in our society, since plastic trees won't grow unlike real trees, which are organic like us

Fake plastic earth | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/3/10

I think the lyrics should be taken more literally-the entirety of human society is "fake plastic" and for people who can see from the perspective outside of human society, as York says, it wears them out. Take the lines, "in a town full of rubber plans/to get rid of itself." He means that everything we build as a society are just "rubber plans" an we aren't making any progress, but rather are just working to get rid of ourselves. Each verse is about a person who sees through all the fairness in our society and is worn out by it because there's nothing they can do to stop it. As York says, gravity always wins, the Earth will correct itself eventually.

girls | Reviewer: Vincnt | 6/27/10

I think this song is about the love of people today. So much is fake and he says everything has to look beautiful these days to be good. When something is beautiful it's good, and that's fake. So he uses the metaphore of fake plastic trees for fake beautiful girls, boys, anything... Well that's my opinion