Radiohead
Kid A


2.5
average

Review

by pizzamachine USER (211 Reviews)
December 3rd, 2011 | 200 replies | 10,498 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: everything in its wrong place.

23 of 39 thought this review was well written

The first time I laid my ears upon Kid A, I was confused and disappointed. This was supposed to be something so groundbreaking that it still garnered praise today for its originality, yet no originality was to be found! From the delicate usage of electronics, to the ambient appeal, to the sci-fi sounds, to the general creepiness, to the Bjork-esque vocal style that Thom Yorke boringly copies, Kid A is a Bjork album wannabe. Radiohead certainly tried to sell the album as something completely original, and I give them props for successfully brainwashing the entire world (seriously, that’s quite the feat). However, this would make the the album a plagiarizer at best, and a scam at worst. The point of this being that the album is nothing unique, and while I don’t expect the general populace to ever understand that, I do expect them to realize that people may have varied opinions about this album (and for good reason). For an album considered to be so outright bizarre, there ought to be a whole spectrum of opinions about the album, shouldn’t there?

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the album is Thom Yorke’s voice. Let’s face it, ol’ Thom isn’t much of a singer, and with the forgettable/aimless melody parts in this album, Thom wanders through the electronic forest, sounding completely lost. Even when he’s given a decent melody to sing, ‘Everything In Its Right Place’, he ruins it with his horribly nasally, whiny, opposite-of-pitch-perfect vocal performance. This is quite a shame because the song was fairly interesting with its endless vocal effects building up, creating a tense atmosphere. Thom just can’t help himself. He can’t help it when he screws up potentially good songs like ‘Morning Bell’, where he does his atypical muttering, making the lyrics indecipherable. He even irritates in ‘Optimistic’, which should have been difficult to ruin considering the song’s general goodness, but he successfully sounds awful throughout the entire song. If only Thom had put any effort at all into his singing, he could have made the music slightly less difficult to listen to.

Now hold on a second, there are actually a few good tracks, and some good ideas that appear in this album. For instance, ‘How To Disappear Completely’ is a breathtaking song where Radiohead’s random experimentation finally works in their favour, creating an expansive atmosphere that is both strange and beautiful. Followed by the lovely ambient piece, ‘Treefingers’, these tracks give hope for the goodness of the rest of the album, which is when ‘Optimistic’ hits, another fairly decent song. The highlight of the album, however, is easily ‘Idioteque’, with its dark, depressive beats, and slightly abrasive sounds. Clearly, Radiohead’s experiments don't completely fail at all times.

Kid A is not entirely awful, Radiohead just seem to lack the ability to know when they’ve created something bad, or sub-par, or filler. Therefore we hear songs like ‘In Limbo’, ‘Morning Bell’, and ‘Motion Picture Soundtrack’, which are aimless, boring, forgettable filler tracks. But Radiohead didn’t simply leave the album with only sub-par songs, oh no. They crapped out confusingly atrocious songs like ‘Kid A’ and ‘The National Anthem’ that are experiments gone wrong, ending up more irritating then interesting. ‘The National Anthem’ being the worst offender with its constant blaring of horn noises seemingly put there for shock value alone. The problem with such songs is that with their blatant weirdness, and cacophonous noise, Radiohead forgot to make them enjoyable. In fact, this is a constant problem in the album – it has interesting ideas, but it isn’t enjoyable. Perhaps it would take someone to enter a drug-induced stupor to fully understand the music’s impact, but if one has to do that to make the album something that it is not, then Kid A must be fairly unenjoyable album. The album drones along sounding bored with life and wallowing in depression, with only brief glimmers of fragile beauty, the best parts in the album. These brilliant moments are few and far between, certainly not enough to crown Kid A an entirely genius album. In the end, Kid A has its moments, but is a forgettable, lackluster body of hit-or-miss material.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
December 3rd 2011



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

And with that I have finally explained why I 2.5'd this album. Rejoice!

I want this to be a thread of class folks.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 3rd 2011



49971 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thom isn’t much of a singer

die

Digging: Armchairpolitician - Seven Segment Decoder

pizzamachine
December 3rd 2011



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

My spider sense detects hate.

Tyrael
December 3rd 2011



20798 Comments


confusingly atrocious songs like ‘The National Anthem’

Arghl

aok
December 3rd 2011



4387 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

hook, line and sinker? hehe -- i'm intrigued to read this though ;]

Digging: Aphex Twin - Syro

chesse13
December 3rd 2011



2326 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i disagree with almost of all of it but its your opinoin. The national anthem is one of my favorite songs ever

pizzamachine
December 3rd 2011



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm guessing you agree with the first sentence? ;)

Tyrael
December 3rd 2011



20798 Comments


Btw pizz I pos'd cause this is not in any way a bad review but I fear you'll be getting a lot of flac for this anyway

aok
December 3rd 2011



4387 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

i get a little confused as you keep going back and forth between stating your opinion and being
'factual', but not bad. reminds me a lot of ferociouslettuce's review ;}

psykonaut
December 3rd 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

intro paragraph is really dumb

Bjork-esque vocal style that Thom Yorke boringly copies, Kid A is a Bjork album wannabe

um, could you elaborate? that doesn't make any sense whatsoever. i'll give you that kid a and some bjork albums (most of all Vespertine, although that album came a year after this one) have some similar qualities but asserting that this album is a bjork rip-off is an utterly absurd claim with almost no conceivable backing (and you provided no backing other than your claim that thom is copying bjork's voice which is lol)
Thom wanders through the electronic forest, sounding completely lost.

i would argue that this contributes positively to the album but whatever floats your boat i guess
he ruins it with his horribly nasally, whiny, opposite-of-pitch-perfect vocal performance.

you're an obsessive bjork fan but you're complaining about nasally vocals here? i don't understand you. and the vocals in that song are never once off-key, might wanna get your ears checked boy
where he does his atypical muttering, making the lyrics indecipherable

except the lyrics are quite decipherable
If only Thom had put any effort at all into his singing, he could have made the music slightly less difficult to listen to.

i laughed hard
Therefore we hear songs like ‘In Limbo’, ‘Morning Bell’, and ‘Motion Picture Soundtrack’, which are aimless, boring, forgettable filler tracks.

if you're seriously gonna call motion picture soundtrack aimless filler then fuck it i'm done here

psykonaut
December 3rd 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the only part of this review that really bothered me though was

Radiohead certainly tried to sell the album as something completely original

which is an outright false statement. maybe radiohead fans yes but the band themselves insists that this is just a rock album

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
December 3rd 2011



7022 Comments


This is better than the other negative review but still subpar.

Digging: FKA twigs - LP1

pizzamachine
December 3rd 2011



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@ psykonaut"

My entire sentence regarding Bjork said: "From the delicate usage of electronics, to the ambient appeal, to the sci-fi sounds, to the general creepiness, to the Bjork-esque vocal style that Thom Yorke boringly copies, Kid A is a Bjork album wannabe." So yes, I did elaborate.

I won't answer the rest of your comments, as they are all hate. :/

edit: "which is an outright false statement. maybe radiohead fans yes but the band themselves insists that this is just a rock album"

Alright, perhaps I should change that.

psykonaut
December 3rd 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is better than the other negative review but still subpar.

i agree, sorry andy it was still an interesting experiment

aok
December 3rd 2011



4387 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

don't worry about it. there's a reason i put out that thing under an alt. plus he has the added benefit of actually feeling the way he does about the album

Asiatic667
December 3rd 2011



4648 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

crap band, rubbish album

pizzamachine
December 3rd 2011



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm glad I didn't post this on Christmas day hehheh.

psykonaut
December 3rd 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@pizza
oh, you did elaborate, my b. however i'm not sure where you're finding sci-fi sounds or creepiness in 90s bjork albums (especially not to the degree present in kid a). so your statement that kid a is a bjork plagiarism at best is still very silly

Tyrael
December 3rd 2011



20798 Comments


This reminds me so much of my Jane Doe review

except for the part where I didn't get negged into oblivion

psykonaut
December 3rd 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i just pos'd out of respect and pity



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