Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Crossover Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Radiohead Kid A album cover
3.96 | 863 ratings | 92 reviews | 40% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Everything in Its Right Place (4:11)
2. Kid A (4:44)
3. The National Anthem (5:51)
4. How to Disappear Completely (5:56)
5. Treefingers (3:42)
6. Optimistic (5:15)
7. In Limbo (3:31)
8. Idioteque (5:09)
9. Morning Bell (4:35)
10. Motion Picture Soundtrack (3:17) [+ untitled hidden track]

Total Time 46:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Thom Yorke / vocals, programming, keyboard, guitar, bass guitar
- Ed O'Brien / guitar, programming
- Jonny Greenwood / Ondes Martenot, guitar, string arrangements, sampler
- Colin Greenwood / bass, sampler
- Phil Selway / drums, percussion, programming

- The Orchestra of St. John's / strings
- John Lubbock / conductor
- Henry Binns / rhythm sampling (3)
- Paul Lansky / sample of "Mild und Leise" (8)
- Arthur Kreiger / sample of "Short Piece" (8)
Hook Horns (3):
- Andy Bush / trumpet
- Mark Lockheart / tenor sax
- Andy Hamilton / tenor sax
- Steve Hamilton / alto sax
- Stan Harrison / baritone sax
- Martin Hathaway / alto sax
- Mike Kearsey / bass trombone
- Liam Kerkman / trombone

Releases information

Artwork: Stanley Donwood with Thom "Dr Tchock" Yorke

LP Parlophone ‎- LPKIDA 1 (2000, UK)

CD Parlophone ‎- CDKIDA 1 (2000, Europe)
CD Parlophone ‎- 7243 5 29684 2 8 (2000, Europe) With a 6x6 inches book and different cover art

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry


RADIOHEAD Kid A ratings distribution

(863 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

RADIOHEAD Kid A reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by FloydWright
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.

Review by frenchie
5 stars What happens when you write one of the greatest albums of all time and reach the inevitable peak of your career, knowing that nothing can beat the previous album? It's happened to many bands. A classic case is Dream Theater struggling to beat their "Scenes from a Memory" album because it was too good (altohugh in my opinion, siz degrees and train of thought are masterpieces). Radiohead avoided their plummet and produced "Kid A". This album takes the height of experimental rock music, multilayered sounds, bittersweet vocals, haunting melodies and depressing lyrics, and fused it with some mild electronica to create their weirdest and most experimental album yet. This one could definetly be seen as prog. Part one of an incredible double album (the second being amnesiac which was recorded in the same sessions). This album had no singles or promotional videos, yet still came out on top as a bestseller and blagged best album in the brit awards, beating many pop acts and mainstream rock albums.

This album took me months and months to get into, as it was so different to anything i had ever heard at the time, this album is one of the strongest, weirdest and most beautiful moments of the bands career. "Everything in its Right Place" kicks off the album with gentle electronica. This album combines a mixture of drum machines and Phil Selways own personal touches. The production on this album isn't quite as layered and complex as Ok Computer but they have gone for a different kind of experimental outlook by putting in weird mixing and mastering into this album which builds up the weirdness of it all. This is evident from the very start.

the title track is a difficult one yet i think it is incredibly ghostly, sounding like something out of a horror movie or a Silent Hill game. It is scary in the fact that is so gentle and strange, making the album unique in a whole new way. The band have obviously lost some of their rock qualities of the first 3 albums and gone for a more underground approach. This album still possesses the classic Radiohead signature sound, it has evolved tremendously here. This track uses the first set of electronic beats, almost referencing a mellow techno related sound. Thom uses very weird effects on his voice yet that piano intro is undeniably beautiful.

The weirdness continues, with a stretchy yet rocking intro that sticks the bass guitar up on the front line to give a more dirty and familiar sound. "The National Anthem" is a live favourite, Phil uses manual drums on this track and gets a lush sound. there is the addition of brass instruments which is new to this album, giving not only an experiment in sound and production, but expanding their choice of instruments as well, a technique familiar amongst us prog rockers. The high pitched squels that Thom provides on this track pay off well, making "The National Anthem" a classic track.

"How to Disappear Completely" is one of my favourite Radiohead tracks. This brings back that familiar depressing, moody vocal sound with a dirty mellow musical soundscape. when Thom sings "i'm not here" it is very deep and emotional. "Treefingers" is a strange instrumental track that keeps the flow of the album going using progressively built up sounds. It is neither a standout track nor one to skip.

"Optimistic" is a wonder. Optimism isn't exactly a very Radiohead thing but this track is both dull and full of life. Thoms dull and depressing vocals are still apparent yet shine out greatly with the guitar work here. The lyrics are again, very clever, weird and just plain incredible. This adds balance and life to the album brilliantly and is well placed in the middle of the album.

"In Limbo" is a masterpiece in its own right, perfect with builds ups, a strange intro that tags on so well from the previous tracks closing techno jam. Thoms chilling "I'm on your side" cuts through the song, breathing new life. This track weaves in and out of quiet and emotional parts and builds furthur to end in a distorted uproar with tortured vocals.

"Idoteque" is the peak of the album, probably the greatest track on the album, blending electronic beats perfectly with some of Thoms craziest yet best vocal and lyrical work, this is really something original and different. I've never heard anything like this. The song thrives with unexpectancy and anticipation so much that it will have you listening again and again.

"Morning Bell" is a fine follow up to this track, i prefer this to "Morning Bell/Amnesiac" on the next album. This is definetly a progressive track as it changes and changes almost as if its following different movements within the song. The album closes with a heartwarming epic, "Motion Picture Soundtrack" which is full of emotion. Once the strange intro is out of the way, Thoms signature vocals build up a depressing lullaby yet something we can all relate to and cry over. There is a bit of silence and then a trumpety extra bit to close the album.

This is a stunning piece of music, incredibly original and accessable once you have got past the difficult change in style. This album is very prog in a subtle way but not full out prog. This is definetly an essential album along with all of their works, and will fit nicely with the most die hard prog fans collection. Radiohead prove that they can follow a masterpiece with another masterpiece and are definetly one of the greatest bands in existance.

Review by arcer
4 stars Here we go .... let the weirdness begin

On its release this baffled many - with some suggesting it was to Radiohead what 'Metal Machine Music' was to Lou Reed - but to my ears it is simply the logical extension and progression of what was begun on OK Computer. With Thom Yorke becoming fascinated with the idea of totally deconstructing their 'pop' music model and delving deeper and deeper into the use of sequencers and loops, Kid A takes Ok Computer removes 90% of the guitars, chops up all the vocal lines and attempts to remove anything resembling a chorus. You know you're for a long strange trip as soon as the stuttering, jumpy Everything in its Right Place starts. Mumbling vocals, drums on the edge of breaking up, the band tumbles pell mell into a netherworld of broken chords, spitting electronic bursts of noise and Krautrock-like fields of jam-band clamour. There are further nods to Can and Faust, a tip of the hat to Joy Division in the thunderous bass line from National Anthem, a hefty thank you to the likes of Autechre and Aphex Twin and all with the bands undimmable ear for a goof tune - despite their most nefariosuly unmelodic intentions. National Anthem is a rollercoaster ride of noise driven by the stomring fuzzed bass. How to Disappear Completely floats on a icy swathe of acoustic guitar. Idioteque is a clashing, brash and metallic piece of electronic wilfulness. This is a hard album to listen to. It will alienate many. But prolonged exposure will reveal bounteous depths. There is tons here to enjoy, to mull over, to feast on again and again. Excellent.

Review by richardh
5 stars A much more experimental album than OK Computer,the band explore sound landscapes to create a textural and ambient record full of subtlety and original ideas.This is true PROGRESSIVE music.Original and satisfying,but it does take more than a few listens to appreciate.Also the singing of Thom Yorke is kept to a minimum which is a good thing!
Review by Eclipse
4 stars A grower album. It took me a long time to get into this RADIOHEAD's piece of art, but it was worthy the challenge. This album just proves that RADIOHEAD can't be compared to bands like COLDPLAY, hence the strong direction change showed here. This isn't the same band that created "Ok Computer" or "The Bends", one would say, if it wasn't for the vocals. What we have here is the final proof that they aren't just a commercial alt-rock group who want to be loved by each single person from the mainstream audience. To have the courage of making an album like this after making the "new Dark Side of the Moon" as some people classified their last work makes me wonder how "commercial" this band is.

Kid A (a concept album about the clones' life in the future?) opens with keyboards. That's right: there's no more constant guitar based songs here. The atmospheric sound produced by the keyboards is this album's charm, and what makes it so different than their last ones. "Everything in its right place" is very trippy, Thom's vocals are softer than ever, and as some prog reviewers here mentioned, they serve more as an "instrument" than a communication resource. The title track is my least favorite here, but it doesn't make it bad. In fact, this is probably the hardest one from this album, and may sound a bit repetitive. The voice here has been electronically changed to give that extra feel, a "fly" like voice if you ask me. Next track we have a jazz section that makes the so loved PROG word more at the side of RADIOHEAD's name. This is my favorite one from here, and it somewhat reminds of KING CRIMSON (?) at the jazzy part. After the crazy jazz part and some drum beats we encounter one of the most beautiful and melancholic works by this amazing group: "How to disappear completely" is one of those songs useful to prove if you're a cold hearted carbon made being or if you have something inside and is not a robot. If you don't feel anything move you by inside when you listen to this track then i sadly declare you being the former, now if you do get touched by it and mainly in that dramatic ending with those violin sounds and Thom's heart filled vocals and aaaAaas leading to the album's emotional climax, then congrats, you are the latter. After this, the atmospheric "Treefingers" appears and segues into the almost rocker "Optimistic", where we have nice messages like "I'd really like to help man", showing a not so characteristic optimistic mood from RADIOHEAD. "In Limbo", "Morning Bell" and "Motion Picture Soundtrack" deserve to be into a group of their own. These 3 are very beautiful and emotional songs that go around the energetic "Idioteque". While those 3 get you moved inside, "Idioteque" makes you want to dance around in a techno rhythm that i once couldn't stand, although it surprisingly grew on me as the rest of this album. But this is probably the only techno i'll really care in my life. The hidden mini- track on "MPS" is very short but still beautiful, and it is worthy waiting during one minute of silence to listen to this excellent album closer.

Overall, this is a great album that won't please anyone who is not interested on reaching new musical horizons. If you don't like it at the first listens (which will be understandable) try a bit more and in some time your mind will change and then you'll appreciate one of the best musical works of the past 5 years.

Review by Zitro
4 stars This is an excellent Album from Radiohead and probably their best, it follows nicely like a concept album does.

BEWARE : Don't listen to this while depressed, it has a very depressing and dark mood and depresses me more than The Wall.

The guitar player is decent, the drummer is superb, the vocalist is one of the best in modern music, and the keyboardist and sound engineer steal the show.

Everything in its right place begins the album with strange electronic effects that needs some time to get used to, good keyboards, and dark vocals. Excellent opener. 9/10

Kid A follows with an even darker sound, with electronic voices. The keyboard is used majestically here. Overall, the title track is superb. 8/10

National Anthem follows with a bass riff with good melodies, and then it uses horns; I found them a little irritating in the song at first, but I got the hang of it. It ends with horns playing chaotically all over the place. 7.5/10

How To Disappear Completely : finally I hear some guitar, but its just faint and acoustic. The song sounds like a movie soundtrack of the highest level. It is a great song, but very depressing. 9/10

Treefingers : it has no melody and it can be called filler, but it sounds pretty. 6.5/10

Optimistic : I think it is the best song from the album. Great melodies, good rhythm, nice instrumentation. The highlight are the vocals. 9.5/10

In Limbo : It has a similar style as the previous songs, but this one is dominated by a soft guitar riff. 7.5/10

Idioteque : I can't describe enough how much I love the drumming + electronic chord progression + these desperate sounding vocals, which combined form this creepy piece of art. 9/10

Morning Bell : IT starts as an atmospheric track dominated by keyboards and solid vocals like any other song of the album until there comes a guitar solo and strange sounds. 7.5/10

Motion Picture Soundtrack : sounds like a "motion picture sountrack" with mellow vocals. Usual Radiohead depressing stuff. 7/10

My Grade : B+

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Another great album from a great band. I know Radiohead has been a frequent controversy theme, if it is or isn't progressive rock, I don't know, if it is Art Rock etc. Anyway, I love this band progressive or no, i really love them, because they always have a innovative sound, since their second album "The Bends", they showed us what a great band are, and every album has something different which makes this band more special, after another masterpiece called "OK Computer", in 2000 they release "Kid A", a great compromise with all their fans because OK caused a change in the lives of lots of people, and of course we expected with anxiety their new album .

Kid A is portrait of a mix of feelings and emotions, shaped in one album, with electronic and atmospheric sounds, lots of melancholic passages, great guitar work, nice bass lines, alternative sound, and a very complex arrangements in some songs, Im not sure if Radiohead as a band belongs to progressive rock, but this album is progressive in every way.

"Everything in it's right place" is the opening song, it is not my favourite song, for me is a bit exasperating, it's a freaky song, with synths and repetitive bass sound, the same with vocals are repetitive here, is a good song, sometimes I thought that it is kind of Thom Yorke`s insanity, but I don't know. "Kid A" is an electronic track, with maybe a sad atmosphere, it has something like a robotic voice, with a good drumming marking time, and spatial effects, guitar here is not a hard guitar, it only makes some soft sounds . "The National Anthem" is maybe the most loved of this album, because it has a particular beginning, it is an electronic effect, and then a very known and nice bass line, it is repetitive but it has the control of the song, I think all these facts make it progressive, because it has progression in the most of the songs, mix of emotion and atmospherical sounds, with a great musicianship and of course I have to say with an incredible and beautiful voice, I love Yorke`s voice, another fact are the lyrics, as ever weird lyrics with a melancholic and sad sense, but with a hidden meaning I think, and talking about future life or something, it is something very experimental. "How to Disappear Completely", this song is absolutely beautiful, it has a particular sound of acoustic guitar, it is incredible, I love this song, maybe because it fills me, sometimes I have cried with this song, but that's not the case, musically is great, again with some effects. "Treefingers" is a complete electronic song, without vocals, and with a very depressing mood, after How to Disappear when you maybe are in tears , listening to Treefingers is a complement for that felling, musically it is one of the weakest tracks. "Optimistic" is next to that depressing moments and it has a more hard edged sound, the rhythm of this song is lead by guitars, Jonny Greenwood is an excellent guitarist, and maybe this song is one of the few with a known Radiohead sound, I mean with more power and vocals and guitars, not so electronic. "In Limbo" is a song that I don't enjoy so much, its immediately next to Optimistic, is softer with nice guitar sound, but pretty boring I think. "Idioteque", that beginning of the song makes me shout, what a great song, here we can listen to a drums sound controlled by electronic devices, in concert Phil Selway (the drummer, great drummer) plays it with his drums and it sounds notably different but great, this song is great , with a faster sound , again, a weird lyric, and great vocals and electronic sounds, it is excellent. "Morning Bell" is that song that you will remind, because it is not the best, but it has something that is attracting you, until you love it, you will always remind that it in Amnesiac we can listen to this song but in Amnesiac Version, I prefer by far this version. "Motion Picture Soundtrack", the best weird track to finish a weird album, this song is beautiful, with a great organ and strange but great soundscape, and the voice singing while we are suffering, what a great album. It has also a hidden track, a little electronic track. Well, after this, and because I love this album, every time I listen to it I get impressed again, it is simply a masterpiece of rock, and in this case, a masterpiece of progressive rock, I know some of you wont enjoy it because simply don't like Radiohead, but believe me, this album is amazing.

So, 5 star of course!

Review by Menswear
3 stars This was announced as a revolution.

Well, it was not. Not at all. People got so hyped up on Ok Computer in the dayz, it was crazy. Even my grandma had this album for crying out loud. With expectations has high, Kid A fell flat on his back, leaving Radiohead fans with a choice: love it or hate it.

Many of us, including me, were speechless (by hate) hearing this the first time. It was Radiohead first genuine 'progressive' attempt. And many bands like Sigur Ros or even OSI inspired them from this album. I wasn't ready for a drastic change of pace like this one: electro style, tormented singing, programming bonanza, insane atmosphere. But now, I do understand that they flew too high and they decided to sabotage their reputation themselves before the media, like Pearl Jam did for instance.

A somewhat difficult album to get around, getting more and more asylum bordeline. Yorke is showing signs of schizo problems (in my opinion), and the results are relevant: this is different. Radiohead got so much weirder with that album, leaving me with a stagnant aftertaste of clautrophobia mixed with mental illness. Hard to describe, so just listen to it.

Listen before buying.

Review by con safo
5 stars Absolutely a masterpeice. This album is Radiohead's most experimental album, with heavy emphasis on electronic instrumentation. Their least acccesible album for sure, but in my opinion, their absolute finest. The first track opens the album perfectly, letting you know that this is far beyond the mostly straighforward alt-rock of The Bends and Ok Computer. Dense keyboard textures and odd vocal glitching add to the very surreal atmosphere of this peice. While songs like "Optimistic" remind of Radiohead's alt-rock past, brilliant tracks like "The National Anthem" show how much the band has progressed - featuring an intense buildup of chaos, eventually boiling over into an explosion of squealing horns and bizarre ambient sounds - all overtop of the fantastic bassline. One of my favourite Radiohead songs. Some other highlights include "Idioteque" - a glitchy electronic track, featuring an oddly compelling vocal performance by Thom- and some trruly bizarre lyrics. "How To Diassapear Completely" stands as on of Radiohead's most beautiful songs, a divine crescendo of beauty overtop calming acoustic guitars and backed by a superb string section.

Although i would not consider this album "prog" in the traditional sense, it is most definitely a progressive album- and certainly a masterpeice. Highly recommended. 5/5

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

How DOES one follow-up such a stunning album as OK Computer? This is probably the same question Floyd asked themselves after Dark Side or Supertramp after Crime Of The Century. No matter what they would do, the specialized press would be waiting for them around the bend even if the fans usually have no major apriority. It turns out the best thing to do is to not worry about it, as this unnecessary pressure is harmful to creativity.

So Radiohead forged on ahead with what is a full-blown concept album delving into a soret of post rock interlaced with some trip-hop influences. The album is actually fairly interesting even though there are some obvious flaws that could've been avoided had they shown a bit more rigorous with themselves. Examples like the idiotic Ideotheque and its awful beats: I hear you yes, it is the point they want to make! But it still breaks the album's ensemble feeling and actually ruins the enjoyment of the whole and therefore a blunder. Most of the tracks flow after each other successfully, creating a rather haunting atmosphere until that one comes along. Thankfully it comes towards the 2/3-mark, but the rest of the album does not manage to find its original feeling. Not being the only imperfection, most of the album glides rather effortlessly into your daydreaming-like haze, meandering around aimlessly onto the edge of your readiness of making something out of this music, where not many hints are given you.

Although not quite the stunner its predecessor was, Radiohead comes-up with an album that is certainly not a "son of OKC", and even if hardly perfect (and not exactly essential either) the album is fairly successful, but did it really stand a chance against its forerunner? The answer is yours ;-)

Review by OpethGuitarist
3 stars An odd duck this is.

The common complaint for this album is that it's "too weird". The other is that it is "not prog". How, exactly, can it be both? And if it is, then what genre of music would you describe it as? That's my premise, anyway, that this is most definitely prog, which envelops all sorts of musical "weirdness". It is perhaps the weirdest release of a commercially successful band, but by no means the King of Weird. Enough with the weird, onto the music.

Idioteque and Everything in its Right Place are the best tracks here. The album starts out very strongly, under the premise that less is more, and here, indeed it is; we touch on a piano/electro mix with an intriguing vocal arrangement. Idioteque really doesn't get kicking till a few minutes in, with an electronic melody which is unlike anything else on the album, for better or for worse. Most of the other songs can be categorized by having a general depressing nature to them.

I would also like to point out some of the similarities this has with Ulver's later work, that being the heavy electronic influences, along with experiments in trip hop and minimalism. Although both bands have a very different sound, the commonalities are enough to warrant a semi-comparison.

This is not a "stunning" album particularly, but for me it more than solidifies the premise that yes, Radiohead is prog, regardless of what their fan base is. Anytime we have creativity and artisitc expression at the forefront, it can almost always be certain that the effort can be classified under the prog umbrella. Kid A gave us a successful prog release, even if no one knows it's prog.

Review by Prog-jester
2 stars Much ado about nothing.

I'm not sure if Thom Yorke read Shakespeare. I'm not even sure if he reads at all. It seems he lives in a cage filled with different sound machines and makes album after album. I remember I started a thread wanting the people to explain me the greatness of "Kid A". Again, it evoked old argue - "Is RADIOHEAD Prog?" I have my own point here - it depends on what you mean with that word. If you mean something new and unique, then feel free to submit here KORN or BJORK - they're unique and established their own styles. But if you mean "progressive" in that kind we all got use to, then NOT.

There's only one worthy song - even genius song - here. It's called "How to Disappear completely" and it's a Touch of God. Another songs are electronic noises, late KCish jams wrapped into experimental shape, and simple brit-pop songs of early RADIOHEAD kind. "Kid A" seems to be a Revelation for those who haven't heard yet CRIMSON, TANGERINE DREAM or at least TALK TALK, but I wonder why is it appreciated so much by people who have experienced it all already. A Mystery to solve.

Review by Heptade
4 stars I was listening to this and Amnesiac the other day, after a long period, and I was quite impressed. On progarchives there have been many heated debates about the merits of Radiohead, but I have to come down firmly on the "they are prog" side. The reason being that these two records are such obvious homages to Krautrock that the fact can't be avoided. It's plain that these chaps were subsisting on a diet of Faust and Neu! when they conceived Kid A, and it shows. I'm reminded very much of Faust IV in the chaotic nature of the album, with noise experiments, beat-based tunes and odd little songs interspersed throughout. I won't do it track by track, since most of you will have heard this album, I imagine, and you know what I mean. The highlight for me is the moody ballad "How to Disappear Completely", since the tune's elegance sticks out among all the tortured beats and Thom Yorke's usual strangulated wailing on the other tunes. There is also a nice ambient piece, "Treefingers", that impressed me (I am a big ambient fan).

The big differences between this album and its Kraut antecedents are, of course, the greater variety of technological advances available to Radiohead (I imagine most of these sounds were computer-generated), and the fact that humour plays almost no role in Radiohead's music. Kraut bands were known for the jokes and wit of their recordings- they rarely took themselves seriously, whereas Radiohead (and Yorke particulary) are mainly interesed in expressing a very bleak worldview. If you can take the doom and gloom, this is a very satisfying recording of modern rock with a definite influence from the sonic experimenters of the early 70s.

Review by TRoTZ
5 stars When everybody was waiting for a OK Computer II, in a certain belief that Radiohead had found their own charisma (and mainstream success), the band surprisingly not only rejected it but also made a radical transformation on their sound. Kid A shows the sparse experimentations of the predecessor in a complete abstract, opaque expressionism. Guitars were almost entirely abandoned, which upset the crowds, while tracks merely served as brood and tangible archetypes for electronic soundscapes, which worsened even more the scenario. Adding to Thom York's depressive paranoia, atmospheres were also imbued from Kraftwerk's experimental sounds to Klaus Schulze's languid and balanced nuances. The result may not be as revolutionary as many might think, but its aesthetics, this paradoxically comfortable ultra-depressive endless state, was perhaps never embraced so concisely in rock music.

Everything was processed, even voice, giving this effort a very artificial, though sensible, approach. Globally the album flows very naturally, peak points are the enigmatic introspective strangeness of the title track, the blow instruments chaotic explosions of "The National Anthem", the melancholy moan of "Limbo" and the post-dance "Idioteque". "How to Disappear Completely" touches depression in its most dark abyss, while "Morning Bell" and "Optimistic" were the most concise and radio-friendly movements of this expression.

As they refused to give the crowds more of the pills they created with OK Computer (dream rock), and decided to be more and more abstract (when the history proves rock bands move usually the opposite path), a horde of groups leaded by Coldplay had been thankful and made the favor of playing for them. But Kid A was no mistake, its unprecedented strangeness decomposes feelings in a beautiful avant-gard way, which may even be deeper than everything they've done in the past. Of course we can argue others may have done these electronic experiments many years before, and even some (Mark Kozelek) dealt with this antagonistic introspective feeling. But, somehow, after many and many listens, this combo reveals something of its own, something impenetrable and disturbing not experienced before, at least in one form.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I give these guys credit for going in a totally new direction with this release after the massive success of "OK Computer". It would have been easy to follow in the same pattern wouldn't have it ? This is such an experimental album, and where did the guitars go ? Well, they were replaced by electronics sounds for the most part. You could even ask what happened to Thom's vocals, as they are processed in many instances.

"Everything In It's Right Place" has some pretty cool vocal sounds and arrangments, with synths and electronic noises as well. "Kid A" has more processed vocals and electronics with synths after 3 minutes. "The National Anthem" is one of my favourites. It has a really good beat of drums and bass with more processed vocals. The horn section 3 minutes in is a real highlight for me,they are amazing and at times dissonant.

"How To Disappear Completely" has actual normal vocals ! And guitars ! Waves of synths and light drums add to the sound. "Treefingers" is an instrumental that has a spacey climate with a Post-Rock flavour. "Optimistic" features Yorke's mournful tinged vocals that actually shine on this catchy tune that blends into "In Limbo" a slow, drifting song. "Idioteque" has a spacey background as Thom sings the lyrics rather quickly. "Morning Bell" has more space and atmosphere with a beat. "Motion Picture Soundtrack" is a melancholic tune with a harp like melody.

This is bleak and experimental with the focus on the soundscapes. Favourite songs for me are "The National Anthem" and "Optimistic".

Review by russellk
4 stars Now this is the business, unlike its predecessor. 'Kid A' takes electronica, a genre very familiar to me, and dusts it with progressive sensibilities to create something wholly other.

The opener, 'Everything in its Right Place', is masterful. It rumbles along, offering a disjointed pastiche of sounds and samples, sounding for all the world like an anthem of the turn of the century - ominous, heady, cacophanous. This easily tops anything I've heard of theirs. How the rock critics must have struggled to draw breath, their pens poised to praise RADIOHEAD's guitar-driven angst, when they discovered what they had was not what they thought.

There is a grab-bag of influences here: those familiar with the 90s electronic scene will hear both conscious and unconscious tributes to artists who made startling stuff and achieved a small fraction of RADIOHEAD's record sales. But that quibble doesn't stop this being an enjoyable, if challenging, listen. Those familiar, for example, with THOM YORKE's tones will wonder what he's up to in the title track. Everything's muted, understated, the world-weary sound adding a veneer of sophistication to the music.

It gets weirder. A drunken brass section dissolves into minimalist electronica; wistful songs pass by in heartbreaking beauty; techno tracks tangle and twist; without a single riff or lead break RADIOHEAD create a miasma of sound that drenches the listener in compelling music. This really is an absolute treat.

By no means the best progressive electronic record of the decade - that title goes without question to ORBITAL's 'In Sides' - this record does, however, demonstrate to the masses that electronica is much more than trance, and for that we must be grateful.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars It must be pretty difficult for a band to decide a change in their musical direction after such a pivotal album as "OK Computer".

If they record a clone of this, they will be judged as little creative and only looking for security. If they release a totally different album some might say that their new style doesn't cope with the idea one can have about a "Radiohead" album.

And I belong to the latter category. Most of these ambient songs just don't kick me. At the very end of the album, the feeling of boredom prevails. I truly can't bear "The National Anthem" and its whole cacophony.

All these electronic experimentations are rather difficult to swallow. Fortunately, this album is on the short end (less than fifty minutes). It shows no passion, too much uniformity.

I wouldn't say that this record is bad, it might work at times, depending on your mood (at least it is how I feel). Good for meditation ("Treefingers") and relaxing ("How To Disappear Completely"). But I don't expect "Radiohead" to produce some "Tangerine Dream" type of music. Therefore, there is TD.

"Optimistic", is more of a traditional "Radiohead" song. One within an ocean of ambient moods. Another "Echo & The Bunnymen" oriented song. But that fine with me (I already have mentioned this). It is my fave from this album (but I don't like plenty of them).

Another nadir here, is the fully electro-oriented "Idioteque". A repetitive and languishing track, some sort of lamentation which would have been best avoided. The type of "press next" song IMO.

This album is a deception as far as I'm concerned but progheads might well consider this album as the first "progressive" one of the whole. Which makes sense.

Two stars.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Kid A' - Radiohead (8/10)

When I was reffered to 'Kid A' by a friend, he deemed it as being his favourite album of all time, and that 'once you got into it, it would change your perspective of music forever.' I was warned however that the music was extremely hard to get into, and that at first listen, I would think it was the worst thing ever. He was pretty much right about everything.

I must admit, I've never quite listened to anything that's like 'Kid A.' It's one of the weirdest pieces of music I've ever listened to, and a nice kick in the face to anyone that doesn't think of Radiohead as being a progressive band.

This is truly what it means to be progressive; there are electronic and jazz influences mixed into a incredibly dense and rich soundscape. At first listen though, I honestly couldn't even get through it. It was too much for me. It was actually after about a week or so that I actually gave it the full listen it deserved, and then things started to fall into place.

This isn't music you put on 'just to listen to' while working. 'Kid A' requires your complete attention to be appreciated. There are so many musical niches in here that just need to become familiarized with, to enjoy. That's why I would have given this one star on first listen, and that's why I would give it five stars now.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Turning a new leaf.

Three years following their massive release, OK Computer, Radiohead got back into gear and made this effort. It seems that they were making sure to do nothing like they had ever done before, and in the process got rid of just about every single rock riff or heavy section that ever existed in their music and made one of the most seminal albums that would have the largest possible influence on the post and ambient scenes.

Depending on who you are this could be seen as Radiohead's greatest or worst release. Not to mention that it goes without saying that the band would never be the same following this release, their following albums being much more in this vein than in the one that originally gained the stardom on efforts like The Bends. For those who enjoy the post rock scene, this album can be seen as a blessing from above. It's constructed out of intricate sounds and devices that build an intense atmosphere and chokes you with emotion until you simply can't take it no more. This does mean, however, that they've put most of their style on the backburner. While the songs may be memorable on the whole there's never once a standout solo, riff, or moment that really makes that hair on the back of your neck stand up. Obviously that's not the point, but if you're not someone who can constantly tolerate the subtleties of the more ambient scene then this may not be an album that appeals to you.

While the album certainly works better on the whole, some of the songs do stand out. Even though the album is a mesh of sounds and a complete song cycle from beginning to end there are tunes that slightly resemble traditional songs, and these are the ones that you'll probably remember between listens. Everything In It's Right Place is a gorgeous tune that opens that album's experimentalism with brutal honesty. It's slow, spacey and ambient. Yorke's voice is given some very chilling effects to really get across the emotion that he wants to provoke. Kid A itself is even stranger than the opening track, and computerized voice over the strange ambient soundscape is somehow scarily emotional and leaves you feeling rather uneasy at the end. Idioteque is the only song that vaguely resembles the band's previous work, although with an almost danceable bass and drum rhythm and a large dose of ambience it still manages to say within the experimental feeling of the rest of the album.

While the rest of the songs may not be as memorable in between listens they still remain as solid pieces of the puzzle that make up the album. Overall, this is an album that should only be listened to if you're 'in the right mood', given that it can either be amazing or terrible depending on what day of the week that you listen to it (if you're not one for ambience and wild experimentalism on a day to day basis).

In the end this is still, for some, Radiohead's best album, for others, an album to listen to now and then. As for a recommendation for the general populous, this one is going to get 3.5 out of 5, and add that extra half star if you're one for the post rock scene. Very much not for everyone, but those who like it will like it a lot.

Review by FruMp
3 stars What's all the fuss about?

Radiohead are admittedly a band I have been avoiding for years for various reasons, mainly because they never really seemed like the kind of band I'd enjoy. On a whim recently I got a copy of Kid A and listened the whole way through and found it to be an entirely unremarkable experience. Whilst there is nothing inherently bad about Kid A I certainly didn't see any of the things to justify some of the wild praise I have seen it receive. The first 2 or 3 songs are rather pleasant relaxing ambient rock but by about track 4 I felt distinctly bored and this feeling continued more or less to the end of the album.

After some thinking I managed to discern what I think is 'wrong' with this album - It's dilute. It just seems like Radiohead have dabbled with a bunch of genres and concepts but haven't committed to one or the other and have brought them together in a nice cohesive digestible package adhering largely to the popular rock paradigm. And while this is a commendable feat it really didn't come off for me. In the different elements I was hearing I was thinking of bands that had done it before and had done it much better. Bands like Tortoise and Tangerine Dream sprang to mind as influences that would surely not be surpassed by this release.

I'd say approach this release with caution, there certainly is something to it given it is held in high regard by a lot of people. However it is in a sense going on an adventure without leaving your house, a paradox of ambition and execution.

Review by 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 bandīs 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 itīs 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 Yorkeīs 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 youīll 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 arenīt as close minded when it comes to experimental music as people might think. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Review by The Sleepwalker
4 stars Kid A is a huge change from Radiohead's previous release, Ok Computer. Where OK Computer combined alt pop/rock with innovative and experimental music, Kid A experiments with combining alt pop/rock with trip-hop and techno. This might sound a bit unusual, and it is actually. Thom Yorke used to be a Techno DJ before Radiohead though, and many of his influences are other Techno DJ's. The use of bleeps and beats on the album isn't a negative thing I think. The band really created a combination of music styles that works out pretty well.

The album opens with some of Radiohead's best songs ever. "Everything In Its Right Place" is a mellow masterpiece. The song features some great vocals from Yorke and the music is very trip-hop influenced. The title track even could be called Trip-Hop. It features mellow instrumentation and electronic sounding vocals over nice beats. Another excellent Trip-Hop track is "Morning Bell", which features some interesting drums and very nice sounding instrumentation and vocals. "Idioteque" is a song that features lots of Techno influence. A pounding beat is heard, while Yorke sings over it and lots of bleeps can be heard. The track is pretty good though, but might take a while to get used to. Another spacey song is "Treefingers", it's a nice instrumental that stagnates a little bit too much.

The album features some more conventional songs too (though those still are pretty experimental) "The National Anthem" features a striking bassline and interesting sound effects and horn section. The bass sounds a bit flat though, and there are live versions available that sound much more interesting. "Optimistic" is a pretty experimental track, and features some usual Radiohead hooks. It's a very solid song. "In Limbo" is pretty spacey, but not as good as a song like "optimistic". This is definitely one of the less memorable on the album. There are a few songs left to discuss, and there iss a reason for me keeping these to be discussed last. They are some of the most depressing Radiohead songs ever written. "Motion picture Soundtrack" is an unusual track, and doesn't fit with the rest of the album at all in my opinion. I don't like it much at all. "How To Disappear Completely",however, is brilliant. It features some haunting music and Thom Yorke at his best.

Kid A is experimental, and features several of the best Radiohead tracks ever, though also a few pieces that are less interesting. Also I have to say that I found the production a little flat, definitely compared to Ok Computer. Kid A is an excellent album though, and therefore I will rate it with four stars.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars With the exception of a few remarkable songs, Kid A is one of the most tedious albums in my collection. And whenever the band sees fit to kick it up a notch, it's inharmonious and horrid. The lyrics do not have clear meaning- in fact, it is reported that Thom Yorke drew phrases out of a hat, but even if the words did have meaning, no one would know what the words were, since the man sings like he has just come out of oral surgery, having had four wisdom teeth extracted, and drool oozing down his mouth. Radiohead's fourth studio album is a far cry from their masterpiece, the 1997 album OK Computer. I wish I had researched more before purchasing this while still on the high of their previous record.

"Everything in Its Right Place" Rich electric piano pours over the first track, as sputtering semi-vocals sneak in. The soft organic lead singing is manipulated electronically. Memorably somber, this is one of Radiohead's greatest works, and pretty much the only one I really love on this indolent disaster.

"Kid A" The title track is more like a stripped-down version of the previous song sound-wise, but this time incorporates drums and a pitch-bent, distorted vocal melody, which is like a cancer victim singing through his mechanical larynx.

"The National Anthem" This piece has a solid bass and drum groove, with electronic noises hovering about. Obnoxious brass blasts through what has effectively become a noisy affair. Other times, it sounds like music for the Sim City video games- only not as good.

"How to Disappear Completely" A restless bass line and acoustic guitar give way to pleasant vocals. This is much closer to the Radiohead I want to hear- it is a decent mellow song with a languid vocal. Unfortunately, the music devolves into discordant strings that is painful to hear.

"Treefingers" Drowsy synthetic pads offer sleepier music from the already placid listening experience.

"Optimistic" Grungy guitar, pounding percussion and Yorke's feathery voice make for a pretty good alternative rock track with a nice interaction between the vocals and the instruments on the refrain, but nothing nearly approaching the level of most anything on Radiohead's previous album. A seemingly misplaced drum track is the conclusion.

"In Limbo" A creative guitar riff works as the anchor to this otherwise loose, floating song. Like other tracks on this album, this one turn into a noisy mush.

"Idioteque" The electronic beats and Yorke's practically unaccompanied high-pitched mumbling is like the Saturday afternoon doodling of a teenager who just got his first recording software but for whatever reason cannot open his mouth.

"Morning Bell" Flowing directly from the previous track, this has a more coherent rhythm and that delightful electric piano. But like most of the compositions (I use that term loosely) on this album, "Morning Bell" is dreary and slipshod.

"Motion Picture Soundtrack / [untitled]" Yet another dull, sluggish piece of music, this at least has dazzling keyboard. After about three minutes, there is silence. The hidden piece is just a terse, fuzzy bit of synthetic and orchestral sound, after which one may expect two minutes of silence, which is a good thing, since the listener has probably embraced slumber by then.

Review by tarkus1980
5 stars By late 2001, I had owned OK Computer for a few months, and after some initial resistance the album and the band were starting to warm on me. I didn't really want to make my next purchase The Bends, since I wasn't thrilled about buying an album I'd heard was heavily seeped in 90's rock stylistics, but I kept hearing a number of bad things about Kid A too. I knew some people who liked it, but I kept being told by people that the album was too difficult and wanky for its own sake, and that there weren't many real songs on it, and generally that it made no sense and was close to unlistenable. Eventually I decided to make Kid A my second Radiohead album, and as I started to listen I really had no idea what I'd think of the album by the end. Well, by album's end, my gut reaction was this: all the people who had told me all of these various bad things about the album were drooling idiots with no attention spans.

I have NEVER gotten the supposed excessive difficulty of this album. I mean, it's certainly a less immediately accessible album than The Bends, as it's far from the guitar rock style of that album, but I don't buy for a second the idea that Kid A is some unlistenable monster. One thing that is obvious is that this album draws from different influences than The Bends and the bulk of OK Computer; this one reeks of Brian Eno, "post-rock"/electronica, Can and even old-school free jazz (the saxophones in "National Anthem"). The thing is, though, with the possible exception of the free jazz influences, I can't buy the notion that any of these sources are really that difficult to absorb. You just have to have a taste for music that relies on more than just strong melodies and immediately understandable lyrical topics to enjoy them. True, many people essentially think that such music has no real emotional power and can only be enjoyed by pretentious people (are there really people like that around here, though?), but I find that mentality somewhere between pitiful and loathsome. I like well-done pop music too, but focusing only on melody as a worthwhile element of music (as did so many people I knew who disliked this album) while ignoring mood, texture, and half a dozen other features just seems ridiculous to me.

Why do I rate Kid A so highly? It's simple, really: every track on here works on some level that I can appreciate and enjoy. The melodies aren't usually immediately memorable, which puts off a lot of people, but that's because they aim to succeed in other ways. For instance, take what I consider the album's weakest track (which I still enjoy plenty), "In Limbo." This is actually one of the more guitar-centered tracks on the album, full of quiet arpeggiation, but what makes the track work is the disorienting, chaotic and hazy layering of the vocals. The only easily discernable lyrics in the piece come whenever Thom sings "You're living in a fantasy world," and that's fitting in a track that feels like a weird dream happening close to reality but not quite in it. In other words, it's a track that reminds me of what a limbo state would be like.

I like the album's most controversial track, the ambient instrumental "Treefingers," for a similar reason. A lot of people consider this the quintessential example of the album's problems; a boring, go-nowhere drone that should have been an outtake. The thing is, though, as with the best of Eno's ambient work, I have little difficulty associating this track with a specific mental image. Every time I listen to this track, I envision myself in a forest after dark, surrounded by endlessly tall trees with long branches. As the track develops, the branches of the trees around me bend down and grab me, slowly raising me high above the ground to a giant black mouth in the sky. It is a deeply unsettling set of images that fits a deeply unsettling track, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

The rest of the album, on the whole, is just fantastic. "Everything in its Right Place" is a perfect introduction, both in terms of establishing the album's sound (the music in the track is driven almost solely by soft, understated keyboards) and in terms of establishing the album's general mood (one of crushing paranoia, confusion and despair). I've noticed that a lot of people are bothered by the fact that the vocal melody isn't strong in any traditional sense, and that the lyrics aren't immediately coherent, and that there are a lot of backwards vocals stuffed into the background. Now, I'm not exactly somebody who automatically loves songs that include elements like this, but I am somebody who likes it when elements of this nature obviously have a point, and this track delivers. The title track, then, must have thrown fans of the band for a complete loop, as it's a total "post-rock" electronica piece that deviates far from any definition of "song" the band had previously used. What fascinates me most about the track is not the main portion, a mix of completely indiscernible processed vocals, synth textures and drum sounds that sound like they're from "Peking-O" (by Can), but rather the simple, somewhat off-kilter piano line that starts the piece and pops up again later. It reminds me a LOT of a computer game from the early 90's called The 7th Guest, which was basically a puzzle game set in a haunted house where a bunch of people died. Aside from the ridiculous upbeat ending (which still seems tacked on to me and which was one of the most shattering disappointments of my youth), that game has one of the creepiest atmospheres I have ever come across, and anything that can remind me of it is ok in my book.

"The National Anthem" is another track that a lot of fans seem to hate, though just as many seem to like it. One thing I think is a mistake is to put too much emphasis, for good or bad, on the chaotic horn soloing that largely takes over the track near the end. I think there are lots of people that basically say, "Oh, a track that has complicated free jazz discord, this automatically makes it a great track," and I also think there are a lot of people that basically say, "Oh, a track that has complicated free jazz discord, this automatically makes it horrible." Well, I know some people will disagree with me, but I really see the sax parts as a finishing touch on the song, and not the main feature (the live version on I Might be Wrong does just fine without it), so pegging one's attitude on the song to one's feeling on the horn parts seems overdone to me. I'm personally more enthralled with the simple, yet powerful bassline, the disorienting vocals, the creepy synths, and the overall paranoid effect of the piece.

"How to Disappear Completely" is the album's most accessible track (at heart it's just a sad acoustic ballad), but that's not the reason I consider it one of the highest points on the album. I mean, this is just a masterful depression anthem, with amazing synth string parts giving an epic sweep as Thom gives an amazing performance, culminating in each repetition of the line, "I'm not here, this isn't happening." And don't forget the way the sound just kinda dissolves in the end. It's probably my favorite Radiohead song, for what it's worth. Then, after "Treefingers," we come to "Optimistic," which probably would have been a more accessible track had it been made five years previous. It's a nice piece of discordant guitar rock, with guitars that (for whatever reason) remind me a lot of The Velvet Underground and a memorable melody that gets catchier with each listen.

Upon my first listen to "Idioteque," I really had no idea what I thought of it. Part of me had the reaction that I'm sure occurred in some form with a lot of listeners, namely that I didn't really like the idea of Radiohead making a song that so resembled dance pop, what with its emphasis on electronic beats. Well, in thinking that, I think I completely missed the point of the song, and I'm not just talking about the lyrics (which have a very apocalyptic feel). What the song captures perfectly for me, and I'm serious here, is a sense of utter despair at the disconnect I feel with those around me when I watch other people enjoying themselves dancing, particularly to beat-heavy music. You have to understand: I don't like dancing (in the "clubbing" sort of way) at all, but more than that I hate being around people who are enjoying themselves dancing, because it reinforces to me that I am fundamentally different from everybody else who is enjoying themselves, and watching people dance always triggers a deep (if temporary) fit of depression within me. Well, everything about this song properly captures that feeling, from the mournful chords playing over and over, to the fact that it's nearly impossible to actually dance to the song, to the weird clanging breakdown in the middle, to the paranoid, frightening vocals. This is the only song I can think of that properly captures and articulates my feelings on this, and even if this wasn't part of the intended point from the band, and even if I have other reasons to enjoy the song, this is enough to make it seem like a classic to me.

The closing two tracks always seem like a comedown to me after "Idioteque," but I still like them a lot. "Morning Bell," when you cut through the arrangements (heavily based in keyboards), is basically a pretty standard pop song, albeit one with Thom repeatedly singing "Cut the kids in half" or "Release me." And finally, "Motion Picture Soundtrack" might have started its life as an acoustic number (which Thom wanted on OK Computer), but I really like the way it's presented here. I like the idea of a song about death prominently featuring an organ (or something sounding like it), and I especially like the idea of a song with the lines, "Stop sending letters/Letters always get burned/It's not like the movies/They fed us on little white lies" including a bunch of cheesy Hollywood-style harps (in a sharp dose of irony). This is a sad, bitter, bleak song, and the fact that it ends on so much silence (I guess symbolizing death) is only appropriate.

I guess it really ends up coming down to what you want from Radiohead, and what you think they do best. I'm actually (still) a little surprised that I enjoy this album as much as I do, since I'm certainly more inclined towards guitar rock than this kind of music, but the fact remains that I feel that Radiohead do this kind of music better than they did guitar rock. Simply put, I consider this one of the most essential albums to come after 1990, and it's an absolute must for any collection.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It took me some time to finally discover this album. For me, Radiohead is defined by The Bends and OK Computer, so I had quite a few reservations about this new electronica direction that the band was striving for with Kid A and Amnesiac. I remember seeing the video for Pyramid Song on MTV and feeling a bit betrayed by this promising young act. Besides, I was still in my early teens and had so much other music to catch up with which resulted in me completely ignoring these two albums upon their initial release dates.

Eventually I did try to reconsolidate with Radiohead once they released their so called back-to-basics album Hail To The Thief but that record left me even less enthusiastic about pursuing any new explorations of the band's discography and singlehandedly pushed my discovery of Kid A another 5 years in time! I finally worked up the enthusiasm to hear Kid A after the very unimpressive encounter with In Rainbows which left me completely scratching my head about that album's highly praised reception. It turned out that Kid A was very different from what I initially expected it to be and it soon became one of my biggest discoveries of 2008!

In retrospect, Kid A really feels like the next logical step in a creative direction that Radiohead were pursuing on OK Computer by pushing the possibilities of electronica genre way beyond its initial use. Just like its predecessor, Kid A is much more about the overall experience and not so much about the individual compositions. It's a well executed performance that takes us on another bizarre ride through the minds of these highly imaginative collective and I'll live my description at that.

Kid A is probably the next best thing after the band's two alternative rock era albums and unlike the obvious influence of OK Computer, I believe that it might take another decade of reflection before everyone, including myself, will truly appreciate how influential this album really has been on the music that is being created today.

***** star songs: Everything In Its Right Place (4:11) The National Anthem (5:51)

**** star songs: Kid A (4:44) How to Disappear Completely (5:56) Treefingers (3:42) Optimistic (5:15) In Limbo (3:31) Idioteque (5:09) Morning Bell (4:35) Motion Picture Soundtrack (6:59)

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Radiohead caught everyone by surprise when they released Kid A. Nobody was quite sure what to make of it. Billboard magazine gave it half a star. Rolling Stone had a headline that read "in order to save rock music, Radiohead had to destroy it". Thom Yorke at this point was being influenced by experimental electronic artists from the Warp label. The main instrument on the album is the Ondes Martenot, a French synthesizer from the 1920s. The production of Nigel Godrich is great on this album.

There is lots of spacey effects and manipulated vocals on Kid A. The follow up Amnesiac (recorded at the same time) is even more experimental but not as consistent. "Everything In It's Right Place" has odd backwards vocal effects throughout the song. There is a steady electronic bass drum sound. The Ondes Martenot here sounds like an electric piano. The title track starts with a glockenspiel(?). It has programmed beats that you would find in IDM ("Intelligent Dance Music"). The vocals sound like a computer voice. Some nice atmospheric synth sounds after 3 minutes. Great bass after 4 minutes. "The National Anthem" has a post- punk style bassline which Thom Yorke wrote when he was a teenager. A great steady beat. After 2 1/2 minutes all sorts of horns come in. They create a free-jazz style cacophony. It sounds like a real national anthem is played at the end.

"How To Disappear Completely" is the first song on the album to feature guitar. It could have been on OK Computer. Lots of strings. U2-like guitar effects. Some lovely singing from Yorke in this song. "Treefingers" sounds like ambient Eno, while "Idioteque" sounds like Aphex Twin. "Optimistic" sounds the most like OK Computer. I love the fast guitar after a minute and a half. The song ends with a jazzy/funky beat. This version of "Morning Bell" is better than the one on Amnesiac. Features a great drumbeat. More electric piano sound from the Ondes Martenot.

Some of the lyrics for the album were made by cutting random lines out of newspapers and pulling them out of a hat. On "Morning Bell" the line "cut the kids in half" is taken from an article about divorce, for example. The last song "Motion Picture Soundtrack" is based on harmonium. Parts of it remind me of Sigur Ros. A bass sound comes from cello I think. Later on there is glockenspiel(?) or celesta(?). Very nice. A very experimental mainstream album for the year 2000. Radiohead directly influenced many rock groups of the past decade to add electronic elements to their music. Not a masterpiece but great modern 'prog'. 4 stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Radiohead? Progressive rock? This is a contentious topic to which I have only to add that Radiohead has certainly been a leader in music evolution, whether that be pop orientation, creative song and album formats, or technological advances and achievements--and none moreso than on this album, Kid A. Therefore, my inclusion of Kid A is more intended to give special recognition to a band that has forged new innovative songwriting, performance, and marketing techniques, and this, their finest album (their only one that I fined myself listening through, start to finish.)

Favorite songs: "Optimistic" (5:16) (10/10); "Everything in Its Right Place" (4:11) (9/10); "Treefingers" (3:43) (9/10); "Kid A" (4:44) (8/10); "In Limbo" (3:31) (8/10); "The National Anthem" (5:51) (8/10); "Morning Bell" (4:34) (8/10), and; "Motion Picture Soundtrack/untitled" (6:57) (8/10).

Four stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Challenging and brooding, with beserk experimentation

Radiohead's "Kid A" is the followup to the master work "OK Computer" and really that is a hard act to follow by any standards. Yorke's incongruous vocals are a trademark for the group as are the spacey ambient waves of sound and the bleak despairing feelings conveyed. The songs are sluggish, slow, brooding, pensive with a laconic delivery. One may call Yorke's style almost lethargic and aloof, considering the relaxed loose technique and soaring high falsetto. Radiohead are always going to be in the hard-to-define basket, with the beauty of keyboard strings merged with dark ominous tones, and reflective melancholy ambience merging with a pop oriented style. The layers of sound are immersed in gentle serenity and it threatens to break out into violent distortion. Like an angry wasp that searches for that elusive flower and gives up so that it can embark on a stinging spree, the music is jarring and ubiquitous, moving from eloquent passages of beauty that massage the ears to bellicose flashes of rage. The rage is downplayed though and it becomes dreary waiting for something to happen outside of the droll slow meandering.

The album was recorded in Paris, Copenhagen, Gloucestershire and Oxford and given the magic touch by producer Nigel Godrich. This is perhaps the more experimental side of the band that really focusses on electronica and subtle rhythms. You can hear Krautrock oozing from the pores of the material along with classical music. The musicianship is completely out of the box utilising such weapons as the Ondes martenot, symphonic strings and brass.

The lyrical content is abstract and hard to pin down, open to interpretation as was "OK Computer", but is nowhere near as depressing as some of their more recent material. Thom Yorke has been quoted as saying the album was never intended to be "art", but instead reflects the music they listen to at the time of recording. Listen to the dark 'Idioteque' and sounds nothing like other Radiohead songs, and that is perhaps the best and worst of what the group can achieve. The ghost track is an unwelcome component too.

The album is incredibly bleak and stark with unsettling variances in cadence. It begins with icy soundscapes that chill you to the marrow and it is a ferocious diversion from the material on other albums. It is not until we get to 'The National Anthem' that we have something that may resemble a song, and even then the vibe is off kilter. Some of the highlights include 'Optimistic' with its infectious hook, and 'Morning Bell' with some insane drumming and chiming keyboards.

The experimentation is perhaps too heavy handed for the average music listener but it still is hailed as one of Radiohead's greatest triumphs. I cannot agree with this view as it is not my style of music and its hard to sit through. I can still applaud its originality and sheer atmospherics nonetheless as one of the bleakest albums in existence.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Having been hailed as the saviours of indie rock on the strength of the prog-leaning OK Computer, Radiohead decided that they really didn't need to cultivate any more commercial ambitions and chose to focus on creating more experimental music. The end result is the sprawling mass of material which was eventually sorted into two albums - Kid A and Amnesiac.

Guitar rock isn't gone from the band's sonic pallette - it bobs up again on Optimistic, for instance, but this is a mild intermission in the midst of a morass of electronic strangeness. Beginning with Everything In Its Right Place, which combines sombre piano tones, progressive electronic distortions and dark ambient soundscapes into a finely honed statement of intent, the album sees a side of Radiohead which, thanks to the unstoppable commercial power OK Computer gave them, the record companies could no longer hold back. It's also, despite the cold aesthetic, hauntingly beautiful and at points even comforting.

Review by lazland
4 stars In common with many other old style prog fans, I dare say, I lapped up the incredible passion and sheer progressive rock beauty of OK Computer, this on the back of The Bends, itself a loud shout to the world announcing the arrival of an intelligent rock band for the post- rock generation. I thought that Pink Floyd themselves had been reincarnated, and that the future of expansive, conceptual, spacey, progressive rock was utterly assured.

So, with the arrival of the new millennium, this came as a bit of a shock, to say the least. The dancy, trippy, Yorke wailing experimentation of the opening track, Everything In Its Right Place, the title track itself, sounding for all the world like Marvin The Paranoid Android on mogadon, came as a huge, well, it was difficult to describe.

Of course, all of this was done perfectly deliberately. I don't subscribe to the view that the band were frightened of being labelled the new prog alumini. I think it was all a little bit more subtle than that. Yorke, especially, wanted a change, and wanted the band to break the limits, and he found an especially willing accomplice in Jonny Greenwood.

This is an album which splits opinion more than most on this site. Ranging from genius to diabolical, I actually find it somewhere nearer the former. As with its predecessor, there are moments of utter, lovely, beauty on this album. The musicianship is awesome, and Colin Greenwood, especially, absolutely shines on bass, heavy and pounding virtually throughout, and on no track more than the entrancing Morning Bell, which has a bass led melody at the heart of more experimental goings-on elsewhere.

Of course, though, the main focus was on those strange vocals, and the almost complete absence of the younger Greenwood guitar that had so impressed us on the previous two works. I found Yorke's vocals, for perhaps the final time, to be fascinating here, before the new style started to grate on later works. I began, eventually, to really appreciate the almost psychotic experimentation and effects on tracks such as The National Anthem, which does, of course, bare more than a passing resemblance to early Floyd works such as Atom Heart Mother.

Because, at its heart, this is a band right at the top of its game pushing themselves, and refusing to be pigeon holed or stereotyped. Given that this could almost be a definition of classic prog artists such as Hamill/VDGG (and there is more than a little bit of that going on here), Crimson, and Floyd themselves, this is deservedly, I believe, a classic modern progressive rock album.

Of the more experimental tracks, my favourite is Idioteque, at first glance an electronic dance beat led track for the masses, but, again, repeated listens reveal it to be far more interesting and subtle than just that. The beat is hypnotic, and I swear that this is by far the finest vocal performance by Yorke ever. Yep, that's right, even more so than any of the more prog songs on other albums, because the sheer emotion of these vocals, and the exceptionally dark and cold portrayal of a relationship breakdown are utterly incredible. Not all dance influenced electronica is bad. On its own, I regard this track as a masterpiece.

It does settle down in places to something approaching recognisable. The incredibly mournful, and sadly stunning, How To Disappear Completely, is perhaps the best example. That it sounds most like tracks from the predecessor album is, I would venture to suggest, a good illustration of this reviewer's personal tastes, but those guitar bursts, combined with a delicate rhythm section, symphonic strings, and depressed vocals and wails are a joy to listen to. It is one of the finest tracks they have ever recorded, and is starkly magical. Optimistic is one of those relatively straightforward guitar led tracks that all would later hail as a "return to classic Radiohead" in later years, but, even here, the sonic effects, at times, take over and take the track to something altogether different.

This will not be an album to everyone's tastes, that is for sure. I do, however, regard it as the last great Radiohead album. It took an age for me to really appreciate it, but once I did, the time taken was worth it. In my opinion, it is the last album by the band to feature a collection of great songs, rather than just one or two gems amongst a pile of caterwauling dross.

If we had such a rating, 4.5 stars, rounded down to four, because, as excellent as it is, I do not think it is as strong as the previous two, which were both masterpieces.

It is, though, excellent, and highly recommended. Don't be afraid of the experimentation. It works here, and if you are a sucker for the harp, then Motion Picture Soundtrack makes it worth the purchase alone!

Review by Tom Ozric
4 stars You know, judging by the massive hit 'Creep', RADIOHEAD were never going to raise any eyebrows within the Prog world. At least, that's what I always thought. Fast forward a few years and the band churns out an eclectic run of songs on an album which did raise eyebrows of music lovers the world over, regardless of genre preference, O.K. Computer. To me, it went down O.K., but that was it. Finally, having acquired the lovely double 10" vinyl package, courtesy of 'Skully'z Records', Bourbon St. New Orleans, and a fine little shop it was, I had to wait for my return to the ole homestead to give it a whirl. What a surprise this album was from the get-go. Surely it sports an 'Indie' vibe, but the clever song-craft and thirst for new sounds saw the band stretching even further out of their comfort zone and trying different things. One can most certainly discern the influence of such Kraut bands as CAN and KRAFTWERK ; it's there in the grooves, the rhythmic patterns and the other-worldly quality of the emotional out- pour of atmospheric sounds. Vocalist Thom Yorke has a soft, uber-cool falsetto voice which serves the songs well, keyboards play a large part in creating their unique blend of accessible stylings with a more personal approach. Had it not been for the lightly techno flavoured 'Idioteque', this would have been a masterpiece, as all other tracks have interesting elements on offer. Of the highest-of-highs, opener 'Everything In It's Right Place' hits the spot instantly, the eerie 'How To Disappear Completely' is out of this world, the instrumental piece 'Treefingers' is reputed to be made up entirely of guitars but sounds like anything but, and there's a superb tune with 'In Limbo'. Absolutely mesmerising. I was surprised that Yorke utilised an old Harmonium (or Pedal Organ) for the final song, 'Motion Picture Soundtrack', which rounds off the precedings with a timeless antiquity. A most excellent album of 4 stars. This is a fine example of what defines the 'Crossover Prog' sub-genre.
Review by rogerthat
5 stars I love the time I spend listening to music and think of it as a pleasurable experience. But if what the music began to resemble a monstrous creature that, having somehow leapt out of the stereo, started creeping towards me slowly but surely? And if it was yet so enchanting that it paralyzed me to watch, frozen with fright, as it did so?

That weird description would aptly sum up my reaction to the first time I 'properly' heard Everything In Its Right Place. The first time I actually heard it, it sounded too unlike what Radiohead I knew and I couldn't penetrate it. When I did, I was, needless to say, mesmerized.

The repeating electronic loops of Everything in Its Right Place more or less sum up what Radiohead achieve with Kid A. It's electronic, but it's still alive, so much so that it's scary. It is just a repeating loop but it's not static; it feels like it's moving, all the time, closer to you. And powerless as you are to resist, you shall be sucked into another world, one of a cloning experiment gone horribly wrong.

What's interesting, though, is you don't really need to know much about the concept to enjoy this album. In fact, you may not need to try too hard to understand what on earth is Thom Yorke saying (or singing). I don't. It hardly matters, at least to me. Kid A portrays a powerful and hypnotic mood of the kind that's rarely heard in contemporary music. The kind that has labyrinths of seemingly infinite depth from which emanate strange sounds that you notice for the first time after having listened to the album several times..."oh, did I really miss this before!" hardly the only track that manages to achieve such a mesmerizing effect. How to Disappear Completely is not too far off on the creepiness quotient. I don't know whether I should feel sad for and empathize with Yorke as he sings, "I am not here, this isn't happening" or listen to the ominous sounds in the background and feel afraid. Once again, not a track that exhibits a lot of development in the conventional sense understood and favoured by progheads but its impact is profound.

Morning Bell is a little more conventionally proggy. It changes direction quite a bit and comes the closest to sounding like Pink Floyd of all tracks on this album....and it's still not a whole lot. It's decidedly a far cry from the Radiohead of OK Computer and is often even more effective than the best moments of that album...quite comfortably so.

Which brings me to the most amazing aspect of Kid A. It is one of the most incredible attempts by a rock band to reinvent itself. Very few rock bands have changed their style so drastically with their follow up to a (proclaimed) masterpiece and still retained an intangible something that's recognizable as their trademark. Robert Fripp achieved it by overhauling the line up of musicians. Radiohead did nothing of the sort for Kid A. Every band member found a role for himself in this new style and contributed to creating a radically different experience for the audience. While their execution is still convincing enough to make this drastic change of face work.

There's not a whole lot more to say about what is easily my favourite 21st century rock album. I don't think attempting to describe the tracks any further would make much sense when it comes to this album. Especially because the surprise at discovering that this is indeed Radiohead, the same band that made Bends and OK Computer, is a huge part of the experience. Magnificent masterpiece of modern rock, gets all 5 stars without hesitation.

Review by Chicapah
4 stars To say I got off on the wrong foot with Radiohead is an understatement. When I discovered this web site back in 2006 I noticed that the band was considered to be in the progressive camp so I figured it was high time I gave them a listen. I'd heard of them, of course, but I'd never gone out of my way to lend an ear to their music because for all I knew they were a bunch of grunge-inspired punks trying to emulate Kurt Cobain like hundreds of others did in the 90s. Some of the prog reviewers I respected had good things to say about them, though, so I ordered the heralded "OK Computer" CD and popped it into the player. I couldn't stand it and still can't. Way too loose and un-cohesive. That experience put me off them for years until I unintentionally came into possession of their other offerings and I decided to give them another chance to impress me. I was delighted to find that both "Pablo Honey" and "The Bends" were not only listenable but quite enjoyable. What intrigued me most was the fact that Radiohead sounded different on every album, a rarity in today's music scene. But the best of their recordings I've come across so far is their fourth release, "Kid A." It's so unlike their other discs it could be another band's work altogether and I'm all about variety and risk taking in my prog preferences.

They open with the brilliant "Everything in its Right Place" that sports an unexpectedly mellow atmosphere that caught me off guard. The song feels like it's building up to some kind of explosive peak but it never climaxes and, in a strange way, I find that wickedly cool. "Kid A" is next and by now I realized that this album was turning out to be much more electronic oriented than what I'd heard coming from the group before. They were definitely burning some popular bridges this time around and exploring fresh avenues of expression. What Thom Yorke does with his voice on this cut is inventive and cutting edge. "The National Anthem" follows and it has a stronger bass and drum presence that raises the energy quotient substantially. It's very psychedelic in an early Pink Floyd motif but it's the horn melee that's the biggest and most pleasant surprise in the piece. Reminds me of what made King Crimson's underrated "Lizard" LP such a fun trip. A highlight track is "How to Disappear Completely." A lightly-strummed acoustic guitar and a wandering bass line set up the tune's melancholy mood but it's no downer. The band erects a beautiful aura around Thom's emotional vocal delivery without allowing the whole thing to become sappy. Kudos to Jonny Greenwood for his excellent orchestral score. It's delicious. I also savored the instrumental, "Treefingers." Its deep, encompassing soundscape is liquid and mesmerizing.

On "Optimistic" they really go off the reservation, especially in their approach to establishing the unusual rhythmic foundation and the subtle guitar tones they incorporate. Overall the compositional structure of the song is downright fascinating. "In Limbo" projects a stringy, fibrous texture that swirls around Yorke's unconventional melody. What I like most is how the tune dissolves into a thick soup of chaos in the end. To hell with finesse. "Idioteque" is the runt of the litter. All along I suspected they'd venture into Techno territory as they do here but I can't say I'm all that inspired with what their excursion yielded. For once they were too predictable. "Morning Bell" is a step up. Its proggier 5/4 time signature grabbed my attention immediately and I appreciate their taking a jazzier path at this juncture. Glad to hear they ain't skeered to bring foreign elements into the proceedings, too. They end on a very classy note with "Motion Picture Soundtrack." Pump organs are the nazz so I was drawn into this song's intro without hesitation. The track eventually evolves into a lush, purposely-overproduced extravaganza that I consider an extraordinarily courageous experiment that succeeded on every level. "Genchildren" is a short but not out of place aural epilogue that fits in perfectly.

I now understand why Radiohead is so revered in the music world. It's not often that one comes across a well-known group this bold and willing to depart from what their fans are anticipating they will produce next. I'd say they're not comfortable to stay in their comfort zone but, after hearing four of their CDs, I don't think they ever had one to begin with. "Kid A" debuted at the number one spot on both the US and UK album charts when it was released on October 2, 2000 and to date it has sold over four million units. It's nice to know that an entity so brave can be so widely accepted by the public. 4.1 stars.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars At the end of the "OK Computer" tour, Radiohead was feeling very burned out. They all felt that they needed to take the band in another direction, but the direction they wanted to go was a matter of argument among the members. Of course, Yorke had the most say about where the band would go, but was willing to disband if everyone didn't reach an agreement where to take the band. Yorke had started listening to more electronic based bands and wanted to rely less on melody, and to use textures and treat his voice as an instrument and not necessarily the focal point with traditional melody after traditional melody playing one after another. He was really impressed with the range of emotions that were evident in different types of music, particularly electronic, and started to be influenced by Krautrock, 20th Century Classical Music and Jazz. He was also tired of the imitators that were out there, and after the success of "Ok Computer" thought it was time for the band to move on.

It is interesting that the success of the band just about brought on their demise. The members of the band had a hard time accepting that not every member would be playing on each track, and that caused a lot of arguments among the members. They tried splitting up the band so that at one time a few of them would work on song basics while the others fleshed out and finished the songs and then they would switch roles, that was everyone was involved with the music all of the time. After doing this for a while, using electronics to carry it out for the most part, the band all became convinced that this was the way to go, and "Kid A" started to come into being. In fact, there were so many songs completed, that they were going to release it as a double album, but then they decided to split it and save some of the songs for the next album "Amnesiac" which is what they did.

To me, this album is a masterpiece. Radiohead had progressed to another style of music, away from alternative based guitar rock to more of an experimental/electronic sound, and they nailed the sound on this album. This is quite a collection of emotive songs, with a lot of depth and texture, which is what Yorke was aiming for. The beautiful thing about the album is it doesn't sound like the band was stepping into unknown territory, the songs on this album are beautiful and full of emotion. Getting a lot of inspiration from Aphex Twin and a few others, Radiohead developed a new signature sound. They got away from the traditional pop format of verse-chorus formula to a more untraditional and unique way of songwriting. Yorke's vocals were sometimes processed and other times not. I feel his voice did become an instrument here, that he was able to develop different sounds to help add texture to the overall song instead of distracting from it.

There is quite a range of sounds here, including a brass section in "The National Anthem" that creates more and more dissonance as the song continues until chaos ensues. The instrumental "Treefingers" sounds like a synthesized song, but it is actually Greenwood's guitar processed by Yorke to sound ambient and electronic. "Everything in it's Right Place" and "How to Disappear Completely" processed Yorke's voice into a surprisingly beautiful texture, even taking a monotone recording of his voice and digitally altering it to create the melody. And "Idioteque" is such a unique song that uses short samples of two different electronic tracks from the 70s, that one of those creators of on of those samples (which was taken from a much longer work) actually wrote a book about "Idioteque" and the theory behind it.

This album is definitely progressive in every sense. Just because it doesn't sound like it's from the 70s doesn't mean that it is not progressive. Being progressive means not sticking with a formula, like sounding like something from the past, but it is building and developing sounds into new and exciting territories and not remaining stagnant. This is how we can consider Radiohead a progressive band. This is a masterpiece of an album and deserves all 5 stars.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars I've always kind of dreaded reviewing Radiohead albums, mostly because I hear and acknowledge the artistry that the group puts into each of their releases, but it never really registers for me. Most people in my demographic enjoy Radiohead because their first encounter with the band was some sort of revelation that opened their ears to what artistic music could be. I was already deep into Yes, King Crimson, and other prog groups, so when I heard people say, "oh man you've GOT to listen to Radiohead! They're so inventive..." I immediately thought "screw you, I'm listening to a 20 minute song about transcendentalism and the flourishing of the human spirit." At any rate, its seems that one cannot be a fan of art rock without exposing oneself to Radiohead, so here we go.

I feel that Kid A is basically ambient/trance music with the occasional guitar noise and drums thrown in. Radiohead has composed a series of languid, synth-heavy songs that ebb and flow through rhythm and melancholy. The musicianship is one of subtlety and craftsmanship, creating generally moody emotions in abstract structures. There isn't a single chorus, hook, or melody that is likely to stick with the listener, but the general feeling while listening is generally quite pleasant, even if you can't really pick out what you like about it. The album feels very lazy and at times is even trance-inducing, but if you listen closer you'll actually hear quite a bit going on. I suppose for me I enjoy Kid A as sort of "avant garde light". It's crazy enough to be a weird and artistic experience, but not TOO weird and artistic as to be inaccessible. This is probably why Radiohead was so successful; they invented and created something that was just weird enough to still be popular.

As a rock album I think that Radiohead's performance on Kid A is underwhelming and forgettable. As a piece of experimental art, I think it's pretty good; however, it will definitely appeal to some much more than others, and probably for different reasons.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Latest members reviews

4 stars This was actually the first album by Radiohead that I heard, and I came to it by a rather circuitous route--the only reason I heard it in the first place was because of the Punch Brothers' cover of the title track. But it turned out to be a worthwhile experience. This album is a peculiar and over ... (read more)

Report this review (#865951) | Posted by Zargasheth | Saturday, November 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Following the success of OK Computer, Radiohead pretty much could have milked the sound they had mastered on that record for years, but instead, they did the complete opposite: they almost completely changed their sound on their next record; the rocking guitar leads were almost nowhere to be found, ... (read more)

Report this review (#450510) | Posted by Biff Tannen | Friday, May 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Let me say categorically that I am a Radiohead fan. I regard the band as the most important of recent years, but their commendable obsession with change and experimentation often goes too far, and in fact, leads them away from moments of sheer grandeur and exquisite beauty. There is no beauty at ... (read more)

Report this review (#447440) | Posted by JeanFrame | Friday, May 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Wow, when I thought I had seen it all... I don't know what happened to this band after OK Computer, but something did. Just like Talk Talk before they thought they could succeed in trying something new. The problem is, new isn't always good, and with this album the results were catastrophic. T ... (read more)

Report this review (#329657) | Posted by overmatik | Monday, November 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 plan ... (read more)

Report this review (#299382) | Posted by thesameoldfears | Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "How can Thom Yorke understand teenage angst when he doesn't even understand how to sing" was my first reaction to listening to the copy of "Kid A" I had taken out from the library. "At least I don't have to pay for it", was my second. Just like the thousands before me who got frustrated by th ... (read more)

Report this review (#292868) | Posted by LionRocker | Saturday, July 31, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After The Bends, they were this generation's U2. After OK Computer, they were this generation's Pink Floyd. And after Kid A, they were this generation's.... um... gosh... well I guess we'll just have to call them Radiohead and speak of them in their own terms. And that my friends, is exactly t ... (read more)

Report this review (#280570) | Posted by Textbook | Wednesday, May 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Kid A, despite being completely different from previous Radiohead efforts, offers a lot of variety. It is notable for being called "commerical suicide" ... ermmm.. "prog.". A lot of people say that the album is depressing. I can see how one would call How To Disappear Completely melancholy, but the ... (read more)

Report this review (#275726) | Posted by Tengent | Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well to be honest i cant listen to this album as often as it deserves to be listened to for the simple reason that it is so beautiful that if i were to listen to more than once every other month i would ruin it for myself. How to disappear completely is a masterpiece in it self but everything ... (read more)

Report this review (#248121) | Posted by native bandit | Wednesday, November 4, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Radiohead is, in my opinion, one of the best bands ever- if I had to come up with a list, they'd probably be second, right after Pink Floyd. This is because they often manage to create a feeling in their work that cannot be described by words- it manages to be very unique and different, yet catchy a ... (read more)

Report this review (#247708) | Posted by Neurotarkus | Sunday, November 1, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Be warned: people who discover KID A-AMNESIAC find it very hard to listen to relatively contemporary guitar-based rock again. KID A is, in other words, the future of music. Bands who ignore it and refuse to come to terms with it are simply making irrelevant and nostalgic music that can never h ... (read more)

Report this review (#247406) | Posted by jude111 | Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars OK Computer proved that Radiohead was closer to the edge than anyone thought possible. The next logical step for them was to dive off head first. And then there was Kid A. Never were such dark emotions and ideas explored in such a compelling (and strangely accessible) way in this the band's ina ... (read more)

Report this review (#238030) | Posted by fighting sleep | Monday, September 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Yes, this is a progressive album. Ok, this is not like 70s, but is a kind of a new era of progressive rock, like Muse maybe. A very dark album, my god, they did the great computer and then this album appeared. This change is what make Radiohead a proggy band, and I really don't care what the peop ... (read more)

Report this review (#228675) | Posted by alanight | Monday, July 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Quite simply an intelligent album. Radiohead has proven several times to be one of the best bands to emerge on the pop scene in the last 20 years or so.Inside their incredible discography,Kid A stands as a precious highlight,light years away from what was heard in The Bends or Ok Computer,a ... (read more)

Report this review (#228672) | Posted by Gustavo Froes | Monday, July 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Children and rats... This album shocked me a bit. Almost nothing like OK Computer, and unexpectedly ambient. But it is terrific dark ambient. Everything is in it's right place is dark and creepy, with the clipped vocal pieces, and almost avantgarde sound. With synths spread throughout. And ... (read more)

Report this review (#211782) | Posted by Alitare | Sunday, April 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It actually took me quite a while to get into Radiohead. I thought it was just weird stoner music, but after borrowing In Rainbows from a friend, I decided to check out their entire catalog. Kid A is possibly the strangest disc in their discography, but it is definitely my favorite with In Rain ... (read more)

Report this review (#192113) | Posted by evantate09 | Saturday, December 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I must tell you something about my music taste before start the review. I like more experimental songs than symphonic or electronic ones. What really is 'Kid A'? This album carries Radiohead to another level of experimentations closed to those praticed by some R.I.O bands in the past. 'Kid A' ... (read more)

Report this review (#191814) | Posted by Grobsch | Thursday, December 4, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Radiohead - Kid A I will have to say, and quite defensively, that this is definitely a progressive masterpiece, or at least something quite close to a masterpiece. You heard me: progressive. Everything about this album is pristine, and it qualifies--without a doubt--as Radiohead's best to da ... (read more)

Report this review (#170851) | Posted by Figglesnout | Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Radiohead is one of the few bands still making music today who are, progressing, music, in my opinion. With OK Computer, they completely took everyone by surprise with their talent and beauty. Then they tried to make another album afterwards. This was difficult.Thom Yorke especially had difficulty ... (read more)

Report this review (#157666) | Posted by The Ace Face | Friday, January 4, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Kid A is a very interesting album, and a very unique one as well. Add another halvstar, really. But most of all, it is uneven. Both stylisitally and quality-wise. The variation is incredible, we have electronic and up-tempo songs such as "Kid A" and "Everything in its right place", the ambient a ... (read more)

Report this review (#132755) | Posted by Evans | Saturday, August 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of RADIOHEAD "Kid A"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.