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Radiohead - Kid A
Label: Capitol Records
Release: 2000

Tracklisting:
Everything in It's Right Place
Kid A
The National Anthem
How to Disappear Completely
Treefingers
Optimistic
In Limbo
Idioteque
Morning Bell
Motion Picture Soundtrack

Kid A - Radiohead
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Average Blamo User Rating: (84 votes)

the first Radiohead album I owned and maybe still my favorite.

I only know the song "Optimistic" when I bought the album, a great song for sure, but the other tracks surpassed my expectations.

"How to Dissapear Completely" is maybe my favorite Radiohead song and the one that got me hooked on this band. It's wierd for me in that it's a song that's sad in a way I enjoy, introspctive and about that place inside you everyone can go to escape. It's atmospheric, like most of the songs on Kid A, but Radiohead do atmospheric right - it's not just a head trip but a beauty that is easy to sink into.

"Optomistic" is maybe the least atmospheric-y type song, being more traditional Radiohead rock, and of course still great.

Songs like "Idioteque" show their mastery of the electronic genre.

I think they were able to find their own niche in the music world, and seem happy and at the top of their form here making their own unique brand of music - showing that the people who commented on today's society in "OK Computer" have no problems being a part of it on "Kid A"

I don't know what else to say about this album except for that I really enjoy it, it's unique and maybe it's not for everybody but I hope it is - I don't see why people wouldn't like Radiohead's more experimental side - it just takes an open mind. "How to Dissapear Completely" just might have you hooked, too.





Reviewer Rating of CD :

Great stuff from Radiohead here, moving away from the sound of OK Computer and into more experimental sounds.

The album leads off with "Everything In Its Right Place", which feautures some cool vocal samples and an interesting organ-synth melody. "Kid A" is the most experimental track on here, and it really does the trick, with walls of fuzz and tribal drum beat. It even incorporates a harmonica solo (streched out for an extra few minutes in its live incarnation). "The National Anthem" features a full jazz band creating a mood of pure insanity over a rock solid bassline. "How To Disappear Completely" (in my opinion, the greatest song radiohead has ever recorded) is a haunting song with dissonant strings and an incredible atmosphere. Strangely enough, it is followed with the worst song on this album, "Treefingers" (basically, 4 minutes of long tones). The second half of the album is more upbeat and traditional Radiohead. "Optimistic" has a nice backbeat and mood (as does almost everything on this album), although it is a bit overlong. "Optimistic" segues into "In Limbo", a nice wavy little song, but it could benefit from being longer. "Idioteque" sharply contrasts with the previous songs. It sounds nearly techno, with samples and computerization galore. "Morning Bell" has a nice triplet figure from Phil Selaway on the drums and some interesting piano work. The album closes with the fantastic "Motion Picture Soundtrack", the perfect ending to an acid trip or a night spent crying in your room.

High Points: "How To Disappear Completely", "Kid A", "Motion Picture Soundtrack"
Low Points: Nothing really

Knock off "Treefingers" and replace it with "Pyramid Song" from the "Amnesiac" album and replace "Motion Picture Soundtrack" with the solo acoustic version played live (it carries infinitely more emotion) and you have a perfect 10. As is, it's a nine.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

you could say that this album is very controversial, but that would imply that outside of a select groups of passionate people, that good music really weighs enough on public conscious to even shuffle up controversy. Regardless, when I say an album is controversial I mean that in the back of record stores and in pseudo-intellectual internet message boards you will find people who either think this album is a mumbly mess of blips and buzzes or an all to modern mini-epic of profound yet understated beauty and experimental ambition boiling over the pot. I am part of the latter group, and not just because I like saying “the latter”.

If you look at the creative and biographical arc of the band you will see a band that is constantly trying to top itself and escape its own reputation. They started off as a young band that accidentally got a big hit with “creep” in the post-grunge American alternative rock era. After the big hit that was the standout track on the otherwise unremarkable debut “Pablo honey” they were written off as one hit wonders. Of course, Thom Yorke and company wouldn’t have it, so to follow it up they made an album that would be able to top “creep”. It was epic and guitar driven and full of plenty of potential singers… in essence it was a big sounding arena rock album the likes of which U2 would kill to be able to still make. The hype following this remarkable refusal to drift away into early 90’s 1 hit crapulence was huge and by the time they were ready to record a new album they decided to abandon that type of self indulgent arena rock wankery all together for an artsier, more experimental sounding album. What came out of it was the electronically tinged concept album masterpiece OK Computer, that abandon their previous singles oriented sound for a hugely cohesive album that surprisingly became one of the more profound sociological statements of the end of the century. Critics latched onto the album as a holy grail and Radiohead as rock saviors, they had become the stuff of legend… so of coarse Radiohead, never willing to be nostalgic or coast on their own reputation decided to abandon he guitars, the hooks, the melodies… all the things that made “rock music” into “rock music”.

They went into studio, and seemed intent entirely on kicking their own asses. What they came out with was a fusion of jazz chord progressions and ambient electronic weirdness and even further elaborations upon the “sci-fi” lyrical overtones of OK Computer. The most remarkable thing about the album though, was not the sound, it was their refusal to market the album, they released no singles, did no pre-release touring, interview or ads, the goal was to sell the album based entirely on fan word of mouth and direct connection with the fan base thru their now infamous website… refusal to comply with the media middleman is in most nearly any case considered career suicide… but the album made Radiohead hit the number 1 spot for 2 weeks in every major market… it was the most punk rock moment in modern music history… so… just as Radiohead expected it to do, the album speaks for itself…

Reviewer Rating of CD :

After 1997's "OK Computer", Radiohead found themselves in an impossible position. Ungratefully hailed as the saviours of British rock, the band were propelled into the musical strastosphere, with the world's music media's tongue firmly velcroed to the back of their trousers. Seemingly the only two options were to split up and explore other goals alone, or for Thom Yorke to die in suspicious circmstances. Nither happened. instead they coughed up "Kid A" from somewhere deep in Yorke's gullet.

For the most part, gone are the days of overdriven guitars and long-haired moshing antics. A new dawn of computers, wurlitzers and the infamous Korg Kaoss pad has arrived.

Perhaps Radiohead's most challenging album for the listener, the swampy warbles of tracks such as "Everthing In Its Right Place", "Kid A" and "Treefingers", combined with techno-influenced dancealongs "Idioteque" and "Morning Bell" puts the band a shuffle forward from "Ok Computer" and a great leap forward from "The Bends". Drawing on influences as diverse as Sigur Ros, Faust, Aphex Twin, Miles Davis, Brian Eno and Ennio Morricone, this is a feast for the the ears in the same way Sgt Peppers would have been. One cannot speak of pretentiousness in the same sentance as Radiohead - they really are eccentric, strange characters; the only ones capable of fulfilling NME's quota of saving British rock.

It seems like Thom Yorke had this in him all along, and it was waiting to burst out of his Britpop chest in a manner Ridley Scott would have been proud of. Radiohead are not a band who will satisfy you in any way, other than giving you the satisfaction of being completely baffled about what they will come up with next.


Reviewer Rating of CD :

After loving the last 2 albums, I picked up Radiohead's Kid A and felt sort of disappointed. As it seems that during the first listen I was distracted, so I gave it another listen, and then again and then again 6 months later, and then a year later, and it never grew on me and each time I am disappointed. I just can't get into the experimentation for the sake of experimentation that they seemed to try to pull on this album. I've never been a fan of instrumental albums either, and KID A had a instrumental feel to it, it just seemed the envelope of musical art had been pushed to just being noise and unintelligible musical dribble. I haven't heard much of Amnesiac, but hopefully it is a just a tad bit more musical and less experimental than this one.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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