Radiohead
Kid A


5.0
classic

Review

by Caesar Riley USER (25 Reviews)
June 7th, 2011 | 108 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I think you're craaaaazyyyyyyyy..... mayyyyyybeeeeeeee....

Ten years. One decade. It sounds like a long time when you think about it, but I remember popping Kid A on that cold November evening into my CD player, and being absolutely blown away. It was long, long before I had been introduced to the cataclysmic, bleak, yet utterly wonderful OK Computer, or the gorgeous, profoundly underrated Amnesiac, before I had time to appreciate all the lovely things after and before Kid A. And as a brisk, harshly orange sunrise emerged, my eyelids heavy from driving, the ending harp melodies faded in "Motion Picture Soundtrack", and I couldn't forget that long drive in the night, or that day I was introduced to Radiohead.

In the ten years that have past, I've learned that Radiohead was never this extraordinary from the start. They were a simple rock band on the rise in the United Kingdom. Before the endless weeks on the charts, before being called the biggest band of our decade, they were a band on the rise, on the originally "desiccate" Pablo Honey, then to substandard success with "Creep", the increased fame of "The Bends", and finally finding redemption and international success with "OK Computer" and "Kid A", called two of the greatest albums of all time. But to the folk, who once thought, in 1994, that Radiohead was a straightforward, dull rock band, Kid A will change your mind. To the folk that think Radiohead is an attention whore of a band, too far overrated for their own good, you're missing out on the haunting, bitter, yet so amazingly brilliant Kid A.

If it sounds like I'm leading this review to glorify Kid A as the holiest and greatest achievement on the alternative genre, and one of this decade, I'm not. Kid A, like every other Radiohead album, has a few problems that stalls it from near-perfection. But jot this down: this is not OK Computer: The Sequel. In fact, Radiohead completely started from scratch in this album, turned down the melodic sound that pumped OK Computer to success. Depression had filled the band at this point: Yorke suffered from a severe example of depression and writer's block combined, and it had become a strain to follow up on the phenomenon they made. So they started anew: and started for a more Pink-Floyd sound. This therefore makes it a highly ambitious album, to follow up on their third album. And Kid A meets almost every expectation it set.

The new sound to the album is melodramatic and menacing. Synthesized instruments are consistently used throughout the album: the sad acoustics, the digital traits, and the large number of instruments used completely remove any elemental traits from the music before it, and with good results. It's suspenseful and ironic, considering the group's message in their previous LP. The title track is almost completely done by computer and digital tools, with Yorke's voice a metallic sound in the background, the xylophone sequences and bass lines, most tracks completely focusing on texture ("The National Anthem", "Optimistic"), and sometimes using new sounds to experiment with ("Idioteque", "Treefingers"). Organs, synthesized bass, strings, even glockenspiels, Kid A is entirely different from their third album fans may identify them with.

And Kid A's lyrics are incredibly daunting. The title track alone is one of the most thought-provoking songs on the album, with wicked poetry and random lines. It could be anti-globalization, or plain spooky in terms of the subject manners of songs. (Motion Picture Soundtrack brilliantly states, "It's not like the movies") It's all very tricky in how it all works, and the hauntingly beautiful instruments in the back of Yorke's chilling falsetto pitch, Kid A has a strange ability to make some of the most stunning songs while still being an album that puts many on edge. The post-apocalyptic cover art, and back cover, alone are signs that this album is not one to take simply, to compare it to generic rock nowadays.

To be perfectly honest, this new sound and scary presence can alienate many Bends and Computer fans a good deal. Radiohead was approaching electronic music in a completely blind matter. The lyrical content described a world on the brink of downfall, or so we think. The instruments are cataclysmic and disturbing, yet beautiful. And yet, it's one of the most important albums in the last ten years to many, a phenomenal title that will never again be performed. Kid A is not perfect, but a 5 warrants an album that is classic, one for the ages. And no matter how much Kid makes you want to hate it, it's an album that is lovable in many aspects. So it's hard to give it anything less.

For Radiohead's standards: 5 / 5
For the ambitions and expectations: 4.5 / 5

(I do like Amnesiac better than The Bends)

Recommended Tracks

Kid A
Optimistic
Motion Picture Soundtrack
National Anthem

Further listening

Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon
Radiohead - Amnesiac



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user ratings (5174)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
RavenRock
June 7th 2011


688 Comments


I'll let this out right now, and state that I think Amnesiac is the most underrated of the band's history.

National Anthem is my favorite track on the album. And I do not qualify Radiohead as the greatest band of all time. I would submit a King of Limbs review stating this, but it's the most reviewed album on Sputnik anyways.

liveatthegods
June 7th 2011


62 Comments


Amnesiac is my favorite album from them.

This was a well thought out review, very good. And the title track is my favorite on the album.

RavenRock
June 7th 2011


688 Comments


I'm amazed that it took barely under twenty hours for my Black Sabbath review to be knocked off the front page. And thank you, gods.

No love for the Airbag EP? Amnesiac was just b-sides not included in Kid A, for the most part.

MarvellousG
June 7th 2011


368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This was, surprisingly, a Kid A review that offered something new and interesting. Pos'd.

RavenRock
June 7th 2011


688 Comments


Thanks Marv. I took a little inspiration from a review my friend had written for the RevelationZ magazine.

Apollo
June 7th 2011


10336 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I think this really needed another review

liveatthegods
June 7th 2011


62 Comments


Lol, Apollo.

liveatthegods
June 7th 2011


62 Comments


If I ever get around to it, I really should write a COM LAG (2plus2isfive) review.

RavenRock
June 7th 2011


688 Comments


I'm still not sure what everybody thinks of my review yet.

RavenRock
June 7th 2011


688 Comments


This was actually one of the Radiohead albums I consider to be a little overrated. I consider Amnesiac and Pablo to be underrated, but OK and Kid to be overrated. Weird, because I gave this a 5.

liveatthegods
June 7th 2011


62 Comments


This review will either be the most popular on the site or the most conversation-provoking. Considering that this has to be your first half-POS, half-NEG review, It'll be interesting to hear the responses.

ilikeforests
June 7th 2011


328 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

'bout time someone reviewed this

RavenRock
June 7th 2011


688 Comments


Bugger, I worked hard on this. Oh well

RavenRock
June 7th 2011


688 Comments


Tell me about it Forests. King of Limbs hasn't been reviewed enough yet.

RavenRock
June 7th 2011


688 Comments


Huh, lot of divided people on this review.

demigod!
June 7th 2011


44722 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

EDIT

BUTTON

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

pizzamachine
June 7th 2011


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The review mentions yourself a bit too much, which might of turned people off. Also, the sentences are ridiculously long. I still believe the review was fairly well written though, so have a pos. : )

porch
June 7th 2011


8459 Comments


didn't read the review but you're obnoxious as fuck

neg

Ire
June 7th 2011


41795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

neg [2]

Drsmith4
June 7th 2011


1715 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Dude, stop double/triple posting on your own reviews. You want positive feedback and attention, I get it, but perhaps reviewing one of the most written-about albums of the last decade isn't the best way to go about it. You're a fine writer, and I'll give this a pos, but honestly, you're bringing nothing new to the table here.



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