El Clasico becomes Karma Police: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid is Brilliant Before Going Up in Flames

Aug 18

So this is the inaugural post here at soccersoundtracks.com. Bear with us while we experiment for a bit and establish some sort of identity. We know the concept: we love the beautiful game and beautiful music and the emotions they invoke, but we just need to work on the execution: blending the two harmoniously.

Anyways, as a Real Madrid fan, it has been a rough couple of years. Not only have we struggled to win titles, but our arch-rival Barcelona has been dominating and is the king and darling of the football world.

Real and Barcelona have met several times over the past couple of seasons. At the end of last season they met five times in the span of a month (twice in the Spanish Copa del Rey, twice in the Champions League semi-finals, and once for a league game in La Liga). Despite Madrid’s success in the Copa del Rey, Barcelona beat Real in the Champions League and went on to win La Liga, thus winning the two more important trophies.

Despite losing, Real has actually improved over the past couple of seasons against Barcelona. The two sides recently clashed again in the Spanish Supercopa prior to the start of La Liga.

The teams tied 2-2 in the first leg in Madrid and then yesterday Barcelona won 3-2 in the second leg thus giving Barcelona the 5-4 aggregate victory. Another victory for Barcelona and yet another tough loss for Madrid.

The problem and difficult part for the most recent losses has been the fact that Real appears to be an improved squad, but still not good enough to take down the ever-dominant Barcelona. The games have played out like the song Karma Police by Radiohead.

Karma Police starts out with a nice piano prelude. The music video starts inside a car. The music and image is soothing yet strong, like a pre-game warm up. You are calm, but also feeling good about the game. In your mind you haven’t won yet, but you definitely haven’t lost either.

When the lyrics kick in and the music gets going, its very much like a Real/Barcelona game. Barcelona is fluid and calculated with their football. Real is more disruptive and likes to attack more. The combination is very fitting for a Radiohead comparison. Radiohead’s music is often fluid and disruptive at the same time. Karma Police instrumentally is well crafted and very fluid. But Thom Yorke’s voice is somewhat whiny and disruptive. Yet the combination works and the music still flows.

Despite the mix of styles, the games always start off with a strong build up and lots of emotions. In the music video, after the strong start, the car is driving down an abandoned highway and approaches a man that appears to be running away from the car. In the backseat of the car is Thom Yorke singing the phrase, “this is what you get.” Which is actually very symbolic of the recent Real/Barcelona clashes.

It’s unclear if Barcelona is the driver of the car as they are the dominant team and trying to roll over Real (the runner) just like they do every team. Or if Real is the driver of the car trying to catch and take down Barcelona.

If Barcelona is driving, then their “this is what you get” moments could be a moment like this:

“That’s what you get Real for trying to take on the big boys.”

Or if Real is driving the car, then this would likely be their “this is what you get moment.”

The video continues on with the man eventually falling to the ground and the car pulling up next to him. This is the point where I hope Real is the car and has finally caught up to Barcelona and is going to run him over.

But I shouldn’t get my hopes up because just as I begin to think we might run over the guy and finally take down Barcelona, the music starts to spin out of control with lots of distortion and reverb. Just as it does, the man pulls out a match, drops in on a stream of gas which ends up lighting the car on fire.

It’s a moment all too familiar for Real fans. We think we are in the driver’s seat and that we have finally caught up to Barcelona and can finally take them down. We are tied with them late in the game and everything is looking good. But just as we are feeling confident, the wheels suddenly come off, Messi happens, and before we know it we are in a world of chaos and sitting in a car that is going up in flames and thinking, “not again.”