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A data analyst determined Radiohead’s most depressing song

There can only be one.

 

Christine Friar

Streaming

Published Feb 24, 2017   Updated Feb 24, 2017, 11:29 am CST

There’s one Radiohead song that’s clearly more depressing than all others, according to a recent study conducted by analytics specialist/superfan Charlie Thompson.

“True Love Waits”—a song the band has performed live since 1995, but didn’t release an album version of until 2016—earned the distinguished title (which is saying a lot given the British group’s extensive catalog). It’s a quiet piano-driven plea that features such lyrics as “I’ll drown my beliefs / To have you be in peace,” and “I’m not living, I’m just killing time.” 

Thompson made his assessment using something he dubbed the Gloom Index. First, he looked at Spotify’s Web API to measure each song’s valence (how sad it sounds). Based on valence, “True Love Waits” and “We Suck Young Blood” were neck and neck for second place, with “High and Dry” in the lead. But then he used lyric data from Genius to calculate the share of “sad” words per song, weighing the equation to reflect how often those sad words get repeated, and that’s when “True Love Waits” swept in for the win. It turns out wailing the word “leave” over and over again can be… a bummer.

So there you have it. Listen carefully, fam. 

H/T Vulture

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*First Published: Feb 24, 2017, 10:27 am CST