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Radiohead - Kid A CD (album) cover

KID A

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

3.92 | 542 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Turning a new leaf.

Three years following their massive release, OK Computer, Radiohead got back into gear and made this effort. It seems that they were making sure to do nothing like they had ever done before, and in the process got rid of just about every single rock riff or heavy section that ever existed in their music and made one of the most seminal albums that would have the largest possible influence on the post and ambient scenes.

Depending on who you are this could be seen as Radiohead's greatest or worst release. Not to mention that it goes without saying that the band would never be the same following this release, their following albums being much more in this vein than in the one that originally gained the stardom on efforts like The Bends. For those who enjoy the post rock scene, this album can be seen as a blessing from above. It's constructed out of intricate sounds and devices that build an intense atmosphere and chokes you with emotion until you simply can't take it no more. This does mean, however, that they've put most of their style on the backburner. While the songs may be memorable on the whole there's never once a standout solo, riff, or moment that really makes that hair on the back of your neck stand up. Obviously that's not the point, but if you're not someone who can constantly tolerate the subtleties of the more ambient scene then this may not be an album that appeals to you.

While the album certainly works better on the whole, some of the songs do stand out. Even though the album is a mesh of sounds and a complete song cycle from beginning to end there are tunes that slightly resemble traditional songs, and these are the ones that you'll probably remember between listens. Everything In It's Right Place is a gorgeous tune that opens that album's experimentalism with brutal honesty. It's slow, spacey and ambient. Yorke's voice is given some very chilling effects to really get across the emotion that he wants to provoke. Kid A itself is even stranger than the opening track, and computerized voice over the strange ambient soundscape is somehow scarily emotional and leaves you feeling rather uneasy at the end. Idioteque is the only song that vaguely resembles the band's previous work, although with an almost danceable bass and drum rhythm and a large dose of ambience it still manages to say within the experimental feeling of the rest of the album.

While the rest of the songs may not be as memorable in between listens they still remain as solid pieces of the puzzle that make up the album. Overall, this is an album that should only be listened to if you're 'in the right mood', given that it can either be amazing or terrible depending on what day of the week that you listen to it (if you're not one for ambience and wild experimentalism on a day to day basis).

In the end this is still, for some, Radiohead's best album, for others, an album to listen to now and then. As for a recommendation for the general populous, this one is going to get 3.5 out of 5, and add that extra half star if you're one for the post rock scene. Very much not for everyone, but those who like it will like it a lot.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |

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