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Radiohead - Kid A CD (album) cover

KID A

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

3.95 | 785 ratings

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thesameoldfears
5 stars "We're not scaremongering, this is really happening"

So where does music go from here? This is one of the most frequently asked questions in the history of music, and the fact that Radiohead were able to give a rather convincing answer speaks volumes to their credibility. I was originally planning to give this disc a solid four stars, because five should only be reserved for near-perfect albums. However, it became apparent to me that Radiohead's intention was indeed to make an imperfect album. They could have done have the easy thing: take the most accessible bits of the "Kid A/Amnesiac" sessions, make a smash hit super-disc, and leave the rest of the experimental works to sit on a hard drive somewhere. Fortunately, they did the artistically brave thing, delaying gems such as "Pyramid Song" and "You and Whose Army?" and including abstract pieces such as "Treefingers." Rumor has it that the band nearly broke up when trying to agree on the tracklist for "Kid A" and I can see why. Sometimes the most historically significant works are the ones that at the time of release were most divisive. Instead of living up to commercial pressures, Radiohead took their previous international success as a license to grant themselves artistic freedom, a course too little often taken by some of the major acts in today's music scene. As for the songs themselves, some are spacey, some are beautiful, some just wash over you, and for some you may never fully understand the meaning, but that is part of what makes "Kid A" so noteworthy. To listen to "Kid A" only once and write it off as weird would do this amazing music a great disservice. The soaking reverb, the synthesized electronic textures, the influences of modern classical music: it's all here, and the studio techniques perfected here have more or less become the standard in today's pop music.

"Kid A" leaves you wanting more, but fortunately there actually is more where this came from on the wonderful but sedated "Amnesiac" and that album's B-side discs (which contain some great but under-appreciated tracks from these same sessions).

"Kid A" is an enigma, but somehow also manages to be the wave of the future.

thesameoldfears | 5/5 |

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