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Radiohead - Amnesiac CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.63 | 445 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars my favourite Radiohead album, i'm not sure why. This one is considered to be "Kid B", taken from the same sessions as the almighty Kid A, it is basically part 2 of a double album and a truely incredible project. Not to say this is better or worse than Kid A or any of their albums really, they are all masterpieces in their own right (some more than others). This one follows the same basic patterns of Kid A, fusing rock with electronica. Drum machines and acoustic drums are combined on this album like its predecessor. This one is easy to get into once you have got into Kid A, yet it is still slightly challenging. Radiohead explore the bold use of trumpets on this album, especially on the closing track. The production highlights this album as another oddity with lots of strange effects. This builds up a very technical and complex album, yet has a more accessable overlook than the previous album.

"Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box" kicks off this one with the use of clanging sounds and drum machines with an excellent mid section, it flows well throughout and is a decent introduction. This hints that this album is full of prog tendancies although the album is not prog in itself. This track flows into "Pyramid Song", which is a strong contender for the greatest Radiohead track ever written. A beautiful, simplistic piano piece with a building up atmospheric orchestra. Simplicity would be the key, but this is Radiohead, so they have combined this simplicity with lots of technical sounds. This adds to the song giving it a unique stance and making it truely beautiful and breathtaking. The track only has about 5 lines of lyrics which dont really make sense, though they dont need to, it is very moving, emotional and depressing yet breathing positivite life.

"Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors" is a decent track though i wouldn't be surprised if it got skipped. Its basically 4 minutes of glamourus electronic beats and sampling, showing off the technical production and complexity. "You and Whose Army" is a very gentle piece by this band is one of the best pieces on the album. Thoms voice sounds almost angelic on this album. there is a dirty production used in the intro to build up the uniqueness and effects. This track has a mellow piano build up with wonderful vocals that sounds pleasing to the ears. It then picks up with an uplifting melody and even better vocal work from Thom, notice also how the production effects build up too. This track starts brilliantly but the key to this song is in its build up and climax.

"I Might be Wrong" is the first real guitar based track, opening with some feedback and leading into a cool distorted riff combined with thoms ghost like vocals. This is a great piece to listen to and moves along very swiftly. My favourite part is the climax as on the previous track. "Knives Out" is the most ordinary track here. it isn't too weird and became the albums second single. This track uses more basic standards to writing a rock track with verses and chorus structure but for Radiohead this is a welcoming change, not something they have really done in a while. "Morning Bell/Amnesiac" uses the same structure and lyrics as "Morning Bell" on Kid A yet uses different instruments to produce a very gloomy and dramatic sound. I prefer the original track though this one works well enough to please.

"Dollars and Cents" opens with a lush sound even if the vocals sound very opaque. This track has a good build up leading into some speedy vocal work by Thom. This shows off a darker edge to this album. this piece really picks up during the "why don't you quiet down" part and shows off some excellent basslines. "Hunting Bears" is a weird guitar track used to keep the album flowing. A bit of a filler but i like it, nothing much to say here really, it neither drags the album down nor excells it, skip it if you want, its barely (or bearly) a vital track. "Like Spinning Plates" is plain weird! I like it a lot even if it enduces headaches. This is the pinnacle of strange production effects. The vocals are really good here. I highly recommend you check out the live version on the I Might Be Wrong EP. "Life in a Glasshouse" almost made it onto Kid A and was the main urge for releasing the rest of Kid A's tracks that got missed out onto Amnesiac and i am damn glad they did as i love this album. This track is quite progressive, lead by Thom and the trumpeteer. This track builds up and is another headache inducer. A brilliant close to a masterpiece of an album.

This isn't the most enjoyable or accessable album of the bunch but Radiohead are at their musical best here and the album works magnificently well. This one is more difficult to see the best of and probably should be one of the last studio albums you get, when you are ready to take this on you will experince pure Radiohead bliss.

frenchie | 5/5 |


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