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AMNESIAC

Radiohead

Crossover Prog


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Radiohead Amnesiac album cover
3.61 | 315 ratings | 35 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Packed Like Sardines in A Crushed Tin Box (4:00)
2. Pyramid Song (4:48)
3. Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors (4:07)
4. You and Whose Army ? (3:11)
5. I Might Be Wrong (4:53)
6. Knives Out (4:14)
7. Morning Bell/Amnesiac (3:14)
8. Dollars & Cents (4:51)
9. Hunting Bears (2:01)
10. Like Spinning Plates (3:57)
11. Life In A Glasshouse (4:34)

Total Time: 43:50

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Thom Yorke / vocals
- Jonny Greenwood / guitars
- Ed O'brian / guitars
- Phil Selway / drums
- Colin Greenwood / bass

Releases information

Capitol

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RADIOHEAD Amnesiac ratings distribution


3.61
(315 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
20%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (26%)
26%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)
4%

RADIOHEAD Amnesiac reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by FloydWright
PROG REVIEWER
2 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. My two-star rating is not an attack against RADIOHEAD's status as a prog band. It's just that my reactions vary considerably to these albums. This one was an experiment that didn't go so well.

It worked on Kid A. It didn't work so well here. It's tough to say given that I consider Kid A to be the ultimate RADIOHEAD masterpiece if not one of the most seamless albums that I own, but it's unavoidable. Unfortunately, I cannot honestly say that Amnesiac is of anywhere near the same quality as Kid A. For one thing, cohesion is mostly lacking here--there is not really a flow from one song to the other.

The truly damning problem, however, is the fact that there are too many songs that for various reasons, I simply cannot stand, and no amount of listening or re-listening has changed that. "Knives Out", "Morning Bell/Amnesiac", "Hunting Bears", and "Life in a Glass House" simply lack any enjoyable factor in them. The latter three just plod along directionlessly and especially in the case of that awful remake of "Morning Bell", rather tunelessly until the end. I simply cannot comprehend what possessed RADIOHEAD to slaughter a song that worked so well on Kid A, and actually release the corpse to the public. "Life in a Glass House" isn't that bad, but is dull enough that I simply have no need to listen to it. The same goes for "Hunting Bears", which more than any track on Amnesiac smacks of filler. As for "Knives Out", while it's faster-paced, I simply cannot stand it, neither lyrically nor musically. I don't understand what anyone sees in it.

That isn't to say this album is without merit. "Pyramid Song", "Push/Pulk Revolving Doors", "You and Whose Army" (the end of it, anyway), "I Might Be Wrong", and "Like Spinning Plates" are all certainly worthy of mention, especially the utterly sublime "Pyramid Song", which is almost on par with the ultimate RADIOHEAD masterpiece, "How to Disappear Completely". Which is no insult to it...I'm not sure most songs COULD ever attain to such a high level. "I Might Be Wrong" is excellent here--particularly when the synth riff kicks in. It works far better here than in the studio (I've never understood all the raving and drooling about live RADIOHEAD, anyway, for the most part).

As I said, there are some very nice songs on this albums that I would definitely select if I were compiling a Greatest Hits of RADIOHEAD album. The trouble is, there just wasn't enough for me to keep this thing around, and I finally ripped the songs that I do like and sold the CD. Amnesiac quite simply lacks the consistent quality for me to consider it a good album. Knowing that Amnesiac is essentially a slapped-together album of outtakes doesn't help me any, either. And coupled with Hail to the Thief, which I also think is excessively "hailed" by some, given that it's not up to par with the three RADIOHEAD greats, I have to wonder if RADIOHEAD floundered or flat-out lost its touch after its three masterpieces in a row. Only their next album will tell.

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Send comments to FloydWright (BETA) | Report this review (#33955) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 17, 2005

Review by frenchie
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.

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Send comments to frenchie (BETA) | Report this review (#33956) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Review by arcer
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The 'madness' of Kid A reaches its apogee with this set - which prior to its release was actually billed as 'the songs' the were left off Kid A!!!

In reality it feels like the bits that didn't make the Kid A cut but which were close to the band's heart.

In that it suffers a little from all such releases - perhaps the band was too close to the music to truly be objective. Indeedm they themselves have said that they considered the Kid A/Amnesiac sessions to be the hardest working period of their careers and that they did become detrimentally (to the band) ensnared in over-analysis of every note and noise recorded.

However, despite some fairly unlistenable material here, there are gems. Pyramid Song revolves around a gorgeous piano motif, I Might Be Wrong is a great piece and Dollars and Cents is a genuinely spooky piece of music.

Like other reviewers I find Life in a Glasshouse tedious, the dissonant brass at the end of the song seeming superfluous and smacking of a kind of 'wouldn't it be great if we added...' over-reaching.

Amnesiac is best viewed as a companion piece to Kid A. With the exception of the beautiful Pyramid Song, it is not essential, though if you're a fan of Kid A, it deepens the experience of that record considerably.

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Send comments to arcer (BETA) | Report this review (#33960) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2005

Review by slipperman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Considered the little brother of 'Kid A', and usually given less respect than that album, I'm probably in the minority of Radiohead fans who likes this one more than 'Kid A'. While some of the experimental aspects of 'Kid A' sounded like test-pattern blueprints for real songs, 'Amnesiac' is packed with fully-realized songs that retain their experimental edge while also possessing the approachable human quality of pre-'Kid A' Radiohead.

Electronic gadgetry is still the basis for their sound on 'Amnesiac'. The jarring quality of opener "Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box" is like Kraftwerk meets 'Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape'-era Porcupine Tree. This fractured alien vibe dominates other tracks like "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" and "Like Spinning Plates". It's when Thom Yorke starts releasing his more emotional side that this album starts to shine. His convincing wail is smooth as silk on "Pyramid Song", a nice contrast to the subtle oddball time signature that gently jerks the song from side to side. Other high points might revolve around Yorke's vocal purges, but there's also plenty of amazing musical dexterity and chemistry from everyone else throughout "I Might Be Wrong", "Knives Out" and the inspiring "You And Whose Army?" The album ends with in an interesting sequence: 1) hazy guitar theme ("Hunting Bears"), 2) melancholy electronic phasing ("Like Spinning Plates"), 3) smoky lounge weirdness ("Life In A Glasshouse"). A fitting if disorienting end to the rollercoaster rides beforehand. 'Amnesiac' deserves to be judged on its own merit, and not in the shadow of the groundbreaking 'Kid A'.

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Send comments to slipperman (BETA) | Report this review (#33962) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 07, 2005

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Not particularly memorable, but...

Amnesiac is not for fans of Indie music or Alt Rock, but fans of Can, Holger Czukay's solo material, and the more avante-garde will find plenty to enjoy both here and on Kid A, the two most creative and progressive albums of Radiohead's catalogue.

This is simply not the same Radiohead that wrote Creep, but a band seeking to obliterate the looming monolith of OK Computer that threatened to be a gravestone for the band. How could they possibly follow up a work of such magnificence, relevance and, as it turned out, influence. Every other band and it's dog started to sound like Radiohead in order to shift product, so the band were faced with a dilemma;

Create OK Computer 2, or choose the more artistically ethical path of attempting to create something new? Fortunately, they chose the latter, and we are left with two highly progressive albums that are not easily accessible as Radiohead's earlier work was, but challenging and very deep. Other reviews have exposed remarkable background information, so I will do what I prefer to do - just relax myself into the musical groove and pass on what I hear.

From the opening percussive sounds of "In a Crushd Tin Box", we can tell that there is an unusual sonic landscape unfolding before us. The deep thuds of the electro groove that drives the rest of the track recalls Can. Thom's vocals are oddly soothing, but Wow! the textures that open up on guitar and keyboards are like nothing else, and the odd mantra of "I'm a reasonable man, get off my case" punches through the mix. The music continues to unfold organically and increases in intensity and complexity of texture, with every detail in the music crisply marked out until the sudden ending.

"Pyramid Song" blows the memory of the previous textures away with a simple piano riff that attempts to be rhythmically neutral. Delicate washes of electronics occasionally wind their way around Thom's haunting melody. The entry of drum and bass is pristine and rhythmically complex, and more textural build-ups keep the momentum of the musical journey intact. Again, a lyrical mantra emerges; "Nothing to fear, nothing to doubt".

"Revolving Doors" catches us by surprise - the percussive sounds are massive, giving the feeling of equipment being pushed to the limits. Mmmm! Thoms voice is oddly processed, through some kind of vocoder, and again, we get a concentration on electronic textures, with some curious and fascinating alternations The rhythm section is worth noting, as it is very inventive.

"You and Whose Army" begins like a track from OK Computer or the Iron Lung EP, with Thom's vocals, delicate guitar work from Mr Greenwood, and slightly sinister mid-range vocal harmonies. The double bass changes the sound closer to a simplistic jazz texture, and Thom's vocals wander in a nice jazz style. When the drums enter, it does seem as if we're back in OK Computer territory, but Radiohead are ahead of the game and pull in the melodies nicely to concentrate more on the textures and natural ebb and flow in the music.

"I Might be Wrong" is just incredible and unpredictable - you just don't know which way this song is going to turn, and yet the building blocks are very simple. This is how to create great and original songs without resorting to virtuosic noodling in order to impress. Instead, Radiohead concentrate on taking textures, riffs and patterns from their own past - there is much about this song that reminds me of songs on "The Bends", but then subject them to a whole new treatment with electronic washes and the layering of instrumental parts.

"Knives Out" is much more conventionally in the previously established Radiohead style - but again, listen to the rhythmic invention; there's some really subtle stuff going on here. Thom's voice is given the full treatment for this track, and rings out beautifully - this is the first time we get the feeling of a "song" proper, as in previous tracks, the voice is used simply as part of the overall musical texture.

Through the rest of the album, Radiohead continue re-inventing their sound and style moulding melodies, scultping soundscapes, realising rhythms and throwing textures off the wall - Amnesiac/Morning Bell recalls "No Surprises" with the little xylophone motif, Dollars and Cents, a monumental track, continually threatens to erupt with the driving bass line and suggestive drums with controlled build-ups and pull-backs...

This is an album that rewards the patient listener - the listener that is not after a "hit" or to be bludgeoned by virtuosic impressiveness, but demands something a bit more special from music - something that recalls the past without blatantly stealing from it, something that looks to the future and enters the realm of the experimental without going into the more psychotic avante-garde - something truly progressive, rather than regurgitative.

There is nothing to not like about Amnesiac, and everything to like. It doesn't completely blow me away - and I don't want it to. It's not an album I'd revisit constantly, but one to return to every now and then to enjoy the refreshing change, and notice things you hadn't noticed before. Although Amnesiac is far more progressive than OK Computer, and a truly great album, a Masterpiece of prog should call me from the shelf every time I go to put some music on, telling me that if I choose something else I might regret it.

Amnesiac does not do that. In fact, it kind of lives up to its name - by the time you've heard it all the way through, you know you've heard something very special, but you can't remember any of it, and you don't really want to hear it again immediately.

Hence I do not consider it a masterpiece - but it is amazing and a great investment for any fan of Prog.

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Send comments to Certif1ed (BETA) | Report this review (#33963) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After Kid A, they showed us Amnesiac.

So many people consider this album as the little brother of Kid A or something, maybe because after The Bends and OK Computer, they decided to experiment more with electronic music, the first step was something great, a masterpiece released in 2000 called Kid A, therefore seeing a succesful album, maybe they wanted to follow that mix of electronic with their alternative roots, as a result of that, one year later Amnesiac was released, and what have i found?

First of all i have the Special Edition album, which contains smething like a book, which is always weird, with draws and strange figures as usual, the cover art of the regular album is not the best, but itīs representative, who does not remember that "bear" crying?, the same way goes musically.

"Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box", the title is the first hint of a strange album, it starts with a bass line which is always remembered for Radiohead fans at the beggining of the album, this song is merely weird in the sense of how Yorkeīs voic and drumkit are entering to the song, showiong us for the very first minute the electronic sound.

"Pyramid Song" (which itīs original name was Egyptian Song), maybe because when you hear Egypt you would probably remind pyramids and that things, anyway this is a classic song, not that beautiful as others, but with that piano landscape and mood is also memorable for any listener, that kind of songs that you could love or hate but never will be an average or "x" song.

"Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors", mmm i dont like this song at all, despite i like samples and Radiohead in itīs electronic moments, this song is boring for me, always the same style music and tones, maybe if you are a complete fan of electronic, you could enjoy it , but also you could say that this is nothing but a waste of time.

"You and Whose Army?", haha ilove this song, starting with the title, this is a very nice melodic song, with has Yorkeīs beautiful voice (as usual), and a soft guitar soung hand in hand with it, how i love that lines... cīmon, cīmon, i think you drive me crazy, you and whose army?, maybe what i love is not the lyric, but the way as Thom says it.

"I Might Be Wrong" is probably one of the best if not the best track here, which shows us for the first time in the album that beloved Greenwoodīs guitar, this song is not that electronic and take us back to the rockish and alternative part of Radiohead, with the always progressive part through it, here i love the changes because are always in the best place, i mean sometimes you can predict when a change comes, this time no.

"Knives Out", after a great song which is one before it, we have Knives Out making a couple of best songs of the album, this is again a song which shows us the complexity of the guitars, (remember Radiohead has 3 guitarists including Yorke), maybe you will remind a bit of Paranoid Android if you attemp to play this song, good enough for any strict listener.

"Morning Bell / Amnesiac", if you listened to Kid A you know what i am talking about, the new thing here is that is another version of the song, forget that drumming of the original, and think only of the voice and "air" as a background.

"Dollars and Cents" is another great song here, i think is one of that songs taht are always progressing despite looks like the same and repetitive way almost always, here i love tha bass making the rythm and the whole song, also the quality of the drumming is extraordinary, im sure that you might find this song interesting.

"Hunting Bears" is a short instrumental song whic offers us only some nice guitar sound, but actually is a slow electronic song, nothing special here.

"Like Spinning Plates", this is a tough one because i have to tell you that this song was only another song for me, nothing to be proud of and enjoy, but when i listened to it in the Live "I Might Be Wrong EP", i was shocked and amazed, a very different song beautiful piano replacing that poor electronic sound, so when im talking about Amnesiacīs version, i will tell that is only a nice song, nothing more.

"Life in a GlassHouse" is an excellent song to end and experimental electronic oriented album, this is originally a B- Side, so i think fans should know it very well, i love itīs emotion and everything, from the vocals and lyrcis, through the sax and melodic almost deppresive sound.

Well, after all i have to confess to you that this album has never been my favorite not even in my Radioheadīs Top 3, in fact talking about studio albums i think i like this more than Pablo Honey but thatīs all. Ayway im not saying that this is a bad album , but definitely not the best, some great songs, some bad songs, i would give it actually 3.5 stars, so here 3!

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Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#84414) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 21, 2006

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

Keeping Radiohead's adventurous spirits going, this album delves/dives deeply in the roots of Thom Yorke's depression or "mal-ętre" all the way down to paranoia, alienation and simply bordering the mental sanity frontier.

This album is rather unlike anything they had done before but at the same time is a logical artistic continuation of Kid A. somehow hovering between post rock (more like the Tortoise direction) and a weird sort of trip-hop or acid-jazz, mixed in with the usual sound of Radiohead. A good deal of these tracks deal with his contradictions and his confrontations (and apparently not just his internal ones) and we are far from the impressive inventions of OK Computer. BTW, Brother Jimmy ( Caravan's Pye Hasting's brother) pulls in a few clarinet lines with his brass section buddies, but this hardly saves the day.

Too many sampled and techno-oïdal moods are preventing me to really appreciate much deeper (but I do think this might be shallower than Thom had originally intended it also), but I do confess I have a problem really caring for the problem of this eccentric self- centred songwriter he is. Thankfully, he keeps the album short enough not to have you pop it out of your deck.

As intimate and personal or even inventive of an album, I think this is too obtuse for the average proghead to invest time (and money) into this album, for the little potential rewards that repeated listenings might just bring to you. And although there are moments of beauty, the risk of driving you to the brink of mental insanity or even suicide is a bit too evident should you decide to get intimate with Thom's alienations.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#92039) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Review by Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 2.4 Stars (in prog standards, for prog fans)

2 stars (in musical standards, for non-prog fans)

After two highly sucessful albums (Ok Computer, Kid A) where Radiohead developed their own interesting sound mixing rock with electronica, Radiohead seemed to have decided to develop their creative (Yet somewhat inaccessible) Kid A and make it even much more progressive. So, more progressive should be a good thing in a progressive rock world, but this time it isn't. This album is somewhat dull, hard to understand, and at points somewhat unlistenable. The music just reached a point that by being so obtuse and deep, I just can't really enjoy the music. In short, this album sounds like a psychological mess put to music, with questionable results.

Packed Like Sardines begins the album and sounds like a song coming from Kid A, electronic, hypnotic, creative, etc. Not really good, but it is quite listenable. Pyramid Song might make you think the album would be a complete masterpiece. This is possibly the most depressingly beautiful song I have ever heard and easily my favourite Radiohead song alongside Idioteque from Kid A. I can't put to words how beautiful this song is, you have to listen to it. Tom Yorke's vocals are at the very best, the keyboard arrangement and off-beat piano gives me goosebumps, and all the other instruments complement the perfect music flawlessly.

That's it, might as well stop the album here. When you hear someone as horrid as Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors attack your hears with the unmusical noise that makes up the rhythm. For some reason, the background noise reminds me of Porcupine Tree. You and Who's Army is as good as the opener. That means it is listenable. At least it sounds like music, with nice melodies and chords. I might Be Wrong , is an ok piece driven by a guitar riff, but it is probably too long for the amount of material it offers. Knives Out has a pleasant guitar riff, but the sound quality of the song is unbearable, and the song does not have much besides that guitar. Amnesiac/Morning Bell sounds very familiar, it reminds me of Sigur Ros but with a depressing tone. Not bad. Dollars and Cents might be the "Idioteque" of this album, with driving rhythms and desperate vocals but nowhere close as good. However, it is possibly the second best song of the album. An interesting thing to note is when a symphonic keyboard enters at minute 3. Hunting Bears is pointless guitar noodling for 2 minutes, but the next song Like Spinning Plates is a very paranoic and quote successful at portraying it, but as music, it is not that enjoyable. Life in a Glass House is, I must say, my 3rd favourite song of the album. It is a nice jazz song with the style of singing from Radiohead. As a result, it sounds quite unique.

1. Packed Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box (5/10)

2. Pyramid Song (10/10)

3. Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors (1/10)

4. You and Whose Army ? (6/10)

5. I Might Be Wrong (5/10)

6. Knives Out (3.5/10)

7. Morning Bell/Amnesiac (5/10)

8. Dollars & Cents (6.5/10)

9. Hunting Bears (2/10)

10. Like Spinning Plates (4.5/10)

11. Life in a Glasshouse (6/10)

Who Should Get this: Any fan of Radiohead's Post "Bends" period, especially fans of "Kid A". Any fan of the genre of post-rock (Godspeed, Sigur ros, etc), Anyone who wants to try to listen something quite obtuse and unusual.

Who Should Not Get This: Anyone who do not like Radiohead, Anyone who does not like electronic sounds. Anyone who does not want to take a risk over something inaccessible that might never click on them. Anyone on a tight budget who could just buy a more enjoyable experimental album.

My Grade : D/C

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Send comments to Zitro (BETA) | Report this review (#98298) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars If Radiohead surprised everyone with their previous album ("Kid A") they didn't repeat it with this one.

For several reasons.

The mood and sounds of this album are almost identical to "Kid A". Mostly because the music developed here was written at the same time and can be considered as left over. And they pretty much sound like this.

There are some blunders as well, like the very weak "Pulk Pull Revolving Doors" which is another dull electronic experimentation. Yorke's laments are the same as well ("You & Whose Army").

There is little inspiration to be felt on this work and the fan might have a feeling of being fooled in some way. The band should have released this "work" as a bonus CD for "Kid A". It would have been more honest.

Anyway, I really don't like this album very much (but "Kid A" wasn't my cup of tea either). Just as "Optimistic" was my fave from their previous album, "Knives Out" is my favourite on this one. The reason being very simple: it is a true and good "Radiohead" song. It is so simple to be effective, isn't it? I'm just asking more of these.

There is of course a languishing one as well; otherwise this shouldn't be a Radiohead" album ("Morning Bell/Amnesiac"). But that's almost it in terms of good songs.

As soon as the band gets back to their electronics, I just lose control. Can't help. In this respect, "Like Spinning Plates" is unbearable to my ears. Two stars for this average album.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#173974) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 15, 2008

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Amnesiac' - Radiohead (7/10)

It's a bit annoying when people simply pass 'Amnesiac' as just being a collection of 'Kid A' b-sides (even though that's sort of what it is.) It's not detached from 'Kid A' at all; I just don't think it's a complete subordinate to it's 'big brother.' In fact, I listen to this album alot more, and some of the songs on here, I like more than any of the material on the other one.

By why is 'Kid A' hailed as a masterpiece, and not this one?

I would say consistency. There's honestly some stuff here that really does sound like it's a b-side, whereas 'Kid A' wielded a strong sense of cohesion and album-sensibility...

But why doe's Amnesiac earn a good rating as well?

Because the songwriting is generally great, and it's only stripped of enough weirdness as to make it more listenable, but still progressive and unpredictable. Listening to 'Amnesiac,' I start to wish there were at least some songs on there that had a 'single' quality about them, so as to give a break from the strangeness and give the listener a mind's rest. Songs like 'Knives Out' and 'Like Spinning Plates' are full of emotion, and 'The Pyramid Song' while coupled with a bit of an annoying vocal performance from Thom Yorke, should appeal to prog fans.

'Amnesiac' will be compared to 'Kid A' until the end of time; theres nothing past that. However, on it's own, it is a relatively strong album with some gorgeous tracks, and deserves much more than being dismissed as a 'b-side compilation.' 'Amnesiac' is a companion to 'Kid A,' and nothing less. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#207701) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Amnesiac" is the 5th full-length studio album by UK alternative rock act Radiohead. The album was released through Parlophone Records in June 2001. The material on "Amnesiac" were recorded during the same sessions as the material for itīs predecessor "Kid A (2000)" and released just 8 months after the said predecessor, so itīs fair to call them sibling albums.

Stylistically "Kid A (2000)" and "Amnesiac" feature a lot of similarities, which is only natural since they were recorded during the same sessions, and the tracklists for the two releases probably werenīt chosen before all material was ready, but there are differences between the two albums too that make them stand out as individual entities. Overall "Kid A (2000)" is a more electronic inclined release while "Amnesiac" reintroduces rock guitars to the bandīs sound. "Amnesiac" is still an alternative rock album, featuring a lot of electronic elements though as well as elements from ambient pop/rock, rather than a more guitar driven rock release. Itīs pretty eclectic too which the New Orleans-styled jazz rock track "Life in a GlassHouse" is an example of.

"Amnesiac" features high level musicianship and while there is a lot of focus on experimenting with sounds itīs still lead vocalist Thom Yorkeīs emotional vocal delivery thatīs predominantly in focus and ultimately defines the bandīs sound. The whole thing is packed in a professional and well sounding production, which brings out the best in the music.

With "OK Computer (1997)" and "Kid A (2000)", Radiohead more or less revolutionized the alternative rock scene and also managed to bring a more experimental spin on creating rock music to a mainstream audience. Itīs quite a huge achivement and therefore itīs probably utopia to think that they could continue releasing such high quality statements. My overall impression of "Amnesiac" might suffer a bit from the huge expectations I had as the result of listening to the two innovative predecessors. To my ears it doesnīt quite reach the heights of those two albums. Itīs however still a pretty great and quite adventurous release by Radiohead deserving a 3.5 star (70%) rating.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#229206) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 31, 2009

Review by The Sleepwalker
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Amnesiac is Radiohead's 2001 release.The album is often described as a collection of B-sides from the previous release, Kid A. This might be because of the musical style, which hasn't changed its direction at all since Kid A. The music is not bad in my opinion, and I actually don't enjoy this album much less than Kid A.

Amnesiac features some fantastic songs that are among Radiohead's best. The emotional "Pyramid Song" is a very interesting and emotional piece telling a dream Thom Yorke once had. "I Might Be Wrong" features a catchy guitar riff and a great chorus, which makes this one of my favorite Radiohead tracks. "Knives Out" is one of the album's singles and is one of the most accesible songs here. This doesn't mean that it isn't a great track though, and I can always enjoy it. "Dollars and Cents" is one of the darkest tracks on here. It features a good bassline with mysterious sounding vocals.

The remaining tracks are less interesting, though most of them are still nice. "You And Whose Army" is a beautiful and gentle piece and the final two tracks are good, though not among the album's best at all. "Morning Bell/Amnesiac" is a remake of "Morning Bell", which originally appeared on Kid A. This version is much weaker than the one appearing on Kid A though. Just like Kid A, Amnesiac features a bunch of weaker pieces too. The opener, "Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box" isn't an interesting track at all, and the same goes for "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors". "Hunting Bears" is another track that simply doesn't do much good to me.

Amnesiac is a slightly less good album than Kid A in my opinion, though the difference isn't very big. I rate this album three stars, as it's a pretty good album, though very far from perfect. The album is rather inconsistent and not as interesting as several other Radiohead releases.

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Send comments to The Sleepwalker (BETA) | Report this review (#254522) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 06, 2009

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I find it absolutely hilarious that Radiohead specifically promised this would be a more guitar-heavy (which it might be, but not by much) and less inaccessible album than Kid A. This was recorded in the same sessions that produced Kid A, and it sure as heck sounds like a Kid A outtakes album. I liked Kid A pretty much from the start, never considering it at all inaccessible, and I still had a very hard time absorbing this album. The general approach to the songs might be more or less the same as on Kid A, but the songs, on the whole, are much more abstract in sound and feel than the ones on Kid A, and that's to its detriment.

The album bunches all of the "normal" songs into the middle, in a move that seems a little odd to me. Despite how much I enjoyed the experimentation on the last album, these are easily my favorites of Amnesiac. "I Might be Wrong" boasts an extremely effective riff that plays well off of the various "modern" (circa 2001) percussion rhythms, and Thom delivers a performance that reeks (in a good way) of snide cynicism. "Knives Out" sounds just like a typical OK Computer track, with a great set of guitar lines and a hell of a dark vibe (it appears to be about cannibalism), and because of that it's not surprising that so many fans clamored for this track to make it onto a proper studio album. And finally, "Amnesiac/Morning Bell" is a reworking of the Kid A version of the track, as the arrangement now centers around slow guitars instead of keyboards, and it's quite nice.

The other eight tracks, though, are all over the map. Quite a few of them, as has been pointed out by some others, work better as ideas than as completed tracks, and don't feel quite done yet. The most obvious offender is "Hunting Bears," a two minute guitar (mostly) instrumental that basically keeps playing a single line (that's not that great) over and over again, and it clearly should have been left off the album. "Pyramid Song" works more as a mood song than anything else, as the piano chords and various synth wails sound pretty and sad, and largely cover up the seemingly directionless nature of the song. I guess it would help if I could figure out exactly what mood the band tried to convey here. Some tracks, like the opening "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box," or "Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors," or "Like Spinning Plates," basically take a few off-kilter electronic rhythms and textures and build an entire song around them, with some singing that doesn't really have much of an effect one way or the other. I mean, I basically like these tracks, but I still find them a little off-putting, and I don't "get" them the way I do a lot of the Kid A material. I do like the closing "Life in a Glass House," with some effective and unexpected use of big band sounds, but the other two ("You and Whose Army?," "Dollars and Cents") more or less pass me by every time I hear them.

So basically, I still don't really know what to think of this album. My inclination is that I quite like the album overall, and that parts of it are great, but it still confuses me in a lot of places. I'd rather listen to this album straight through than The Bends, which is why it gets a slightly higher grade (to be exact, The Bends is a high ***, this is a very low ****), but I can't go higher than that. Fans of the band will definitely want this, but others should probably make sure they like Kid A a lot before getting this one.

PS: The "Hunting Bears" slot was originally supposed to be filled with a fantastic track called "Cuttooth," but was pulled out at the last minute for reasons I still don't know. With that track in the "Hunting Bears" slot, the flow and feel of the entire second half changes and improves drastically, and this becomes a more solid **** that could make a case some days for a *****. Alas, 'twas not to be.

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#299394) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I actually prefer this one to the earlier Kid A, to which this forms a companion album (with many of the recordings here originating from the Kid A sessions). There's a curious emotional warmth and rawness here which contrasts interestingly with the icy cold distance of Kid A, there's one of Radiohead's best latter-day guitar rock efforts in the form of Knives Out, and there's some intriguing twists to the Kid A approach - witness, for instance, the cameo from jazz legend Humphrey Lyttleton on Life In A Glass House, providing one of many warm, organic touches growing over the cold inorganic electronic edifice.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#641586) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 26, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars "This just feels like spinning plates" "Amnesiac" has the unfortunate distinction of being the album to follow the genre-bending masterpiece from outer space that was "Kid A." The two albums were in fact recorded at the same time ("twins separated at birth" as Jonny Greenwood puts it), and I s ... (read more)

Report this review (#299410) | Posted by thesameoldfears | Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When I reviewed Kid A I forgot to mention the insane CD booklet. Amnesiac's, while not as elaborate, was also extremely complex and I remember as a troubled young man in 2001, lying on my bed for an inordinate amount of time staring at the art work and trying to find the hidden meanings, thoug ... (read more)

Report this review (#280644) | Posted by Textbook | Wednesday, May 05, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What's this? Amnesiac? The most non liked Radiohead album ever? WHY. I will never get you Radiohead fans. You should all be happy that radiohead is as progressive as they are. And not in terms of "zomg lol 64/176 time 18 hour songs endless PETRUCCI SOLOS AAAH". More in terms of sound. One of the ... (read more)

Report this review (#260179) | Posted by Treasure | Saturday, January 09, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I consider to KID A-AMNESIAC to be one, 2-disc album. As such, the 5-star rating I've assigned includes both albums. These two albums were recorded at the same time, and the themes of both albums overlap and complement each other. I consider both albums to be so culturally relevant and importa ... (read more)

Report this review (#247414) | Posted by jude111 | Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Reflection about "Pyramid Song" This album for me is through the songs like "Pyramid Song" reached the highest expression by Radiohead. The album in my opinion runs a lot about this title that was also taken as the soundtrack for several movies, this to the fact that awakens the listener a state ... (read more)

Report this review (#231100) | Posted by zeparus | Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Radiohead is my 2nd favorite band of all time, just behind Pink Floyd. They are ambitious, inventive original, and they sound great. They can do pop (Pablo Honey), straight-up Alternative Rock (The Bends), and Alternative with a strong progressive edge (OK Computer). But where they really become ... (read more)

Report this review (#223296) | Posted by Neurotarkus | Friday, June 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Radiohead - Amnesiac Radiohead's Amnesiac turns out to be nothing more than a continuation, or rather a conclusion, of the experiments that began on the phenomenal Kid A; however, while on Kid A almost every experiment was a unique success, which piled together to make one alarmingly great alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#171115) | Posted by Figglesnout | Thursday, May 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars KID B This is their peak from their electronic period (I mean, since Kid A). As Thom Yorke said, this release and his predecessor are "siamese/twin brothers, separated at birth", in reference to the fact that both albums was taken from the same studio sessions... Anyway, this is, in fact, quit ... (read more)

Report this review (#124695) | Posted by sircosick | Monday, June 04, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This surprised everyone coming only half a year after "Kid A", but it's a collection of leftover material from the same sessions. As such it doesn't hold together nearly as well. Even though it's not a "proper" album, it's a valuable insight into this band's period of huge creativity, and betwee ... (read more)

Report this review (#108057) | Posted by Open-Mind | Friday, January 19, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 5 Stars! Okay, after that cheesy intro, let's get down to it. This album has enveloped me from start to finish every time I've listened to it. In short, I think this is one of the greatest, but sadly most overlooked albums of all time. People get some sort of impression that this is some Kid ... (read more)

Report this review (#107509) | Posted by moreitsythanyou | Sunday, January 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Amnesiac is as sort of a continuation of the sound and ideas found on Kid A, experimentalist ambient noise, robotic cacophony, and distorted, repetitive vocal. However the negative aspects are numerous, the music is cold. It's distant, far away stuff and Amnesiac doesnt sound like an album but ... (read more)

Report this review (#104650) | Posted by Quba | Wednesday, December 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars After buying the sucidal 'Kid A', I decided to pick up its brother 'Amnesiac' to see if it was any better. Not much. It's just a disjointed and watered down version of 'Kid A', which actually makes it one star better than that one. But still not recommended. I like the opening track 'Packt Like ... (read more)

Report this review (#104303) | Posted by bryantm3 | Saturday, December 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars On the whole, very good. Very progressive. Some filler that is a bit worthless, I think some of the songs seem to be an attempt by Radiohead to be so non-accesible that they exceed completely overboard at just that. 1. in a Crushd Tin Box (4:00) Very cool vocal line "reasonable man" Great s ... (read more)

Report this review (#98522) | Posted by endlessepic | Monday, November 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well, this album starts good, with their best electronic track ŧPact like Sardines...Ŧ but all other electronic tracks are so simple and not progressive at all. Singer's voice made me once again annoying. It is just too much monotone. He creates good voice effects in Pyramid Song, but the ... (read more)

Report this review (#87511) | Posted by nisandzic | Thursday, August 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It took me years to fall for this one. Like the weirdo you know since school days. You were a bit repelled by his strange look back then and never really found the time to get close to. Amnesiac was released after Radiohead already proved their uniqueness and special quality. At the time OK ... (read more)

Report this review (#84836) | Posted by ori_by | Wednesday, July 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Amnesiac, brother or sister of Kid A, is another experimental album with great moments. However, it isnīt as good as its predecessor. The concept of the album isnīt clear here. Itīs without discussion the most strange record they produced. The skip button is nearer than in Kid A but not so n ... (read more)

Report this review (#62584) | Posted by tailsme | Saturday, December 31, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Definitely the most unaccessible yet compelling work by such a genius band. Basing themselves a little more into proto-krautrock a la Kraftwerk/Can with a more post- rock/antipop/incredibly depressive ambiental music/pseudo-psych-rock they achieve a sound similar to that of Bjork's least access ... (read more)

Report this review (#50186) | Posted by | Wednesday, October 05, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The highly anticipated companion album to "Kid A", "Amnesiac" should not disappoint those who picked up last year's release. Many are sure to write this one off as "more of the same" and to be sure, the production quality, as well as the electronica laden songs put this record neatly in the same ... (read more)

Report this review (#44800) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars an overlooked masterpiece!! radiohead aimed for something big, and they missed, wot they got instead was even better, wot this album lacks in consistancy, it makes up for in originality, its not that the musical genres in the album r new and original, its the way in which they r presented w ... (read more)

Report this review (#33966) | Posted by | Friday, May 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Ehh...not sure on this one. Follow the same path of Kid A but this time it seems more like "hit or miss". There are some great songs here, like "Pyramid Song", with its haunting atmosphere. Definately one of their best songs. "Knives Out" is another good one. The rest is not as good: "Life In ... (read more)

Report this review (#33959) | Posted by | Friday, January 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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