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Radiohead - Kid A CD (album) cover

KID A

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

3.95 | 785 ratings

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FloydWright
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Before I go further, I want to say that I do consider RADIOHEAD prog in the overall view. While I despise the "next Pink Floyd" comparisons I used to hear, I do think that's the element the two bands have in common. But there is less tradition here--this is the album, above all others, that to me proves what RADIOHEAD is capable and confirms their prog status. Whether they are always prog or always of high quality or not is debatable...but let me say it; they do belong here whether one cares for them or not.

Even after two subsequent RADIOHEAD releases, I have to say it--this is the most intriguing album they have ever created. This isn't to say some of their other albums aren't good (The Bends couldn't be any more different and yet I love it), just that if I had to be stranded on a desert island with one of their albums, this would be the one.

Never mind the depressing lyrics. To be honest, I ignore them most of the time, and I find myself wondering if that's what the band wants, on this album. Some reviewers have commented on the processed nature of many of the vocals, and I wonder if this is intended to highlight THOM YORKE's voice more as an instrument than a conveyance of information (something another excellent band, Sigur Ros, takes even further by using a made-up language). Fittingly, some of the album's most striking moments occur where YORKE uses his high, clear voice entirely without words--a direct expression of emotion.

One of the absolute most touching--even uplifting--moments on the album is the end of "How to Disappear Completely". The entire song is a marvel, how it starts out so soft and then gathers power all the way through until the end, but the end is absolutely superb. I find myself reminded of PINK FLOYD's "Comfortably Numb" for both theme and the absolute power of the music. This is probably the one song I actually pay attention to lyrically, because the combination of the music and lyrics is absolutely exquisite. But in the end, words simply aren't enough. YORKE's wordless singing feels like release, regained freedom. This is a song that seems to bear the listener aloft, and despite the depressing start, the ending gives a feeling of peace and closure. (The whole album actually can have this effect if you hang on for the very last hidden "mini-track".)

Every single track is superbly listenable; not once do I ever feel compelled to use the skip button, unless I'm in a hurry to get to one of my favorites. At times its sister album Amnesiac goes much too far, but this one has it just right. I would say more--except this album is just about beyond words...not to mention Bryan Adair's review includes everything else I would have said. Read that one and you should be convinced.

FloydWright | 5/5 |

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