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Radiohead - Kid A CD (album) cover

KID A

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

3.94 | 687 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Kid A" is the 4th full-length studio album by UK alternative rock act Radiohead. The album was released through Parlophone/Capitol Records in October 2000. It was recorded at multible locations and countries with producer Nigel Godrich. Following up a gigantic commercial and artistic success like "OK Computer (1997)" was always going to be a difficult task for Radiohead, but with "Kid A" they did exactly the right thing given the circumstances and went for a completely different sound and style. There had been development in the band´s sound from the debut album to "OK Computer (1997)", but the innovative musical leap they take here is huge and quite bold too.

Going from a mostly guitar/vocal dominated rock sound (although a relativey progressive and innovative one), to a predominantly electronic oriented experimental rock sound would probably kill the career of most artists, but Radiohead succeeded in convincing their listeners of their new direction, and "Kid A" proved to be yet another great commercial and artistic success for them.

The 10 track, 49:53 minutes long album works like a concept album with a dynamic flow and it´s obviously meant to be listened to as a whole journey as opposed to be listened to as out of context individual tracks (although they could easily work like that too). The music features a lot of keyboards, effects, programming, and electronic beats (and a surprising lack of guitars), but Thom Yorke´s distinct sounding voice and melancholic delivery always remind us that it is Radiohead we are listening to.

While "Kid A" is a coherent release with a great flow there are great variation between the tracks. Features like the driving bass and the brass section on "The National Anthem", the string arrangements on "How To Disappear Completely", the electronic beats on "Idioteque", and the ambient nature of "Treefingers", are some of the standout elements on the album. Tracks like "Optimistic" and "In Limbo" represents the more rock oriented part of the album, although they can by no means be called "regular" rock songs. They are far too intricate and sophisticated for that.

The album is packed in an intriguing and detailed sound production, which helps bring the best out in the adventurous tracks. Upon conclusion "Kid A" just reeks class on all parameters and you´ll struggle hard to find as adventurous and innovative an album that is also commercially successful. In that respect "Kid A" is quite a groundbreaking release and it also proves that under the right circumstances mainstream music listeners aren´t as close minded when it comes to experimental music as people might think. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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