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Radiohead - Amnesiac CD (album) cover

AMNESIAC

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

3.61 | 315 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

moreitsythanyou
5 stars 5 Stars!

Okay, after that cheesy intro, let's get down to it. This album has enveloped me from start to finish every time I've listened to it. In short, I think this is one of the greatest, but sadly most overlooked albums of all time. People get some sort of impression that this is some Kid A B-sides collection when in fact, it is offering a different perspective in both sound and words to the story that Kid A creates. The catch is: the songs are better than on Kid A. Although not as unified as Kid A, Amnesiac is a challenging, yet beautiful collection of songs that don't seem to flow at first, but eventually, it all comes together.

First off, Thom Yorke's voice is top-notch throughout the album. His melancholy drone that many see as a negative aspect of the band is truly an asset to the macabre sound that this album provides. It's dark yet beautiful... haunting is a great word to describe it. Both experimental and catchy, this album comprises all that makes music special. The guitars have a bigger part on this album than its predecessor. Songs like "Dollars and Cents" and "Knives Out" provide a centerpiece for guitars on the album. However, the music is still very electronic. Keyboards and other electronic instruments are ever prevalent, the best example is opener "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box" where the electronic line is extremely catchy, yet still contain the certain mystique that the band delivers.

As I hinted before, this album is more experimental and challenging than the rest of Radiohead's repetoire. "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" for example has highly processed vocals, odd ambient keyboards, and a booming rhythm section. These stark elements combine to form a piece that at first seem somewhat startling and odd, but eventually it clicks and becomes an important aspect of the story. Another of the more challenging tracks for people is "Like Spinning Plates." This song seems different due to the process taken in recording it. It's actually the sample backwards while Yorke sings the vocals backwards, then having the whole track reversed. Both of these song are hurdles for the first time listener both are "growers" and add to the mystique and aura of the album.

My interpretation of the album is that it's supposed to be a bit of a contrast to Kid A, conceptwise. Kid A seems to be about all of the ignorance, greed, corruption, and other seemly unavoidable problems with society. Amnesiac, on the other hand, is the people's reaction to such problems, such as denial (hence, "I'm a reasonable man, get off my case") or anger (pretty much all of "I Might Be Wrong"). Basically, on this album Radiohead offer something deep and artistic and portray it through highly memorable songs such as the beautiful ballad of "Pyramid Song" . There are is a lot of post-rock like qualities to this album such as the dynamic instruments with beautiful, subtle vocals and the creation of a mood that circulates throughout the whole album and unifies the themes present in the songs.

To me, it's somewhat surprising that Amnesiac has the bad reputation it does. The only tracks that can be considered weak are ones that are highly experimental. Some claim that some tracks are pointless while the fact of the matter is that every song is important in this concept album in disguise. The music is in top form and does not let down. I recommend this album to everyone, with an emphasis on fans of Radiohead, post-rock, and Art Rock at it's most experimental and creative. Through it's extraordinary use of melody and rhythm in additon to electronics and atmosphere, I see it completely fitting that Amnesiac be considered and essential masterpiece of progressive music.

moreitsythanyou | 5/5 |

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