Radiohead
Kid A


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kiet Truong USER (18 Reviews)
February 10th, 2012 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Radiohead gives the middle finger to commercialism, producing a mostly brilliant, albeit challenging, album.

What to do? If Radiohead had to ask themselves this question after The Bends, then they had to ask it on a much larger scale after their masterpiece OK Computer. After OK Computer, some of the members of the band wanted to go in different directions. Guitarist Ed O’Brien wanted to make 3 minute pop songs, while Thom Yorke desperately wanted his voice to no longer be the focal point of the music. The band almost split up, and Thom Yorke developed a case of severe depression. Instead of breaking up, they stayed together, and produced what is possibly the most polarizing album of all time.

1. Everything In Its Right Place- Thom Yorke fought very hard to have this song placed first. He felt that it signaled the band’s change in style, and he was right. After hearing this song, which is based around keyboard and distorted vocals, the band’s change in sound is obvious. It is quite clear that this album will sound nothing like anything Radiohead had ever produced. The song itself is quite good, although it is a little repetitive. 4/5

2. Kid A- One of the most experimental tracks on the album. This song is structured around Selway’s drum loops, and some chords on a keyboard. While the vocals were distorted on the first track, they are completely incomprehensible in this track. The song does not have a lot going on, and relies mostly on the atmosphere that it create. It is somewhat successful. 3.5/5

3. The National Anthem- Kid A sets this song up beautifully. It opens up with a driving bass line by Colin Greenwood, the only time on the album that bass is prominently featured. The bass line can be heard throughout the song. A moderate return to typical rock. The thing that makes this song perfect is the jazz band that comes in and out of the song seemingly randomly. 5/5

4. How to Disappear Completely- An acoustic ballad. After the first three experimental tracks, nothing was more unexpected, which is what makes this album so great. The lyrics are about an out-of-body experience, which Thom Yorke experienced while touring. Jonny Greenwood composed a brilliant strings section for this song that perfects it. Hauntingly beautiful. 5/5

5. Treefingers- I don’t know what this song is. Supposedly it’s supposed to be an interlude, but then why is it almost four minutes long? The entire song is just distorted guitar. Granted, the way it is arranged makes it as easy of a listen as possible, but it’s still easily the worst piece of music on the album. However, by lulling you a bit, it sets up the next track perfectly. 1.5/5

6. Optimistic- This song is, out of every song on this album, the one that would’ve fit best on OK Computer. We finally get to enjoy a conventional rock song. Radiohead reminds us that, even with all of the experimenting, they can still make a rock song. At the end, they include a jazz coda to set up the next track, but it also adds to the brilliance of this track. 5/5

7. In Limbo- If Treefingers is actually an interlude, then this is the worst actual song on the album. It is incredibly repetitive and boring; it doesn’t have a lot going on in it. The lyrics barely make sense and the vocals are mumbled, in a bad way. However, it does kind of make you feel in limbo. Overall, a subpar track. 2.5/5

8. Idioteque- This is the most surprising song on the album, and also one of the best. Essentially, this is a dance track. Philip Selway really drives this song along with his drums, which are double tracked. The lyrics for this song were made by putting phrases on a sheet of paper, cutting them up, and drawing them out of a hat. This method was used for a lot of the songs on the album. The lyrics kind of sound like a war situation when you put them all together. With this song, Radiohead shows us their ability to play almost any type of music. 5/5

9. Morning Bell- Another track driven along by Selway. Idioteque segues right into this song with wind noises, then Selway starts playing a fast beat with triplets. The vocals are mumbled and distorted, and the lyrics are very violent, saying things like, “Cut the kids in half,” Wind noises can be heard in the background, which helps the dark mood of this song. 4/5

10. Motion Picture Soundtrack- Another incredibly beautiful piece. It starts off with some haunting organ, then Thom Yorke starts mumbling some incredibly mournful lyrics, like, “Cheap sex and sad films, help me get where I belong” The finishing touch that makes this track so beautiful is the harp that comes in with the second verse. It works brilliantly as an album closer. 5/5

This entire album has an overall dark, sinister mood, which is the basic concept of this album. That is one of the things that makes this album a very difficult listen. At first, I dismissed it completely, thinking it was too experimental. However, I kept listening, and it grew on me. It is one of the most challenging records to have lots of commercial success, which is ironic, because many reviews were saying that this album was, “commercial suicide” The weak tracks keep this from being a classic, but the fact that half of this album gets full marks is incredible and is a tribute to how great Radiohead truly is.


Overall rating- 4.2/5



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user ratings (5177)
Chart.
4.4
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2012


6487 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's a pretty well-written but totally unnecessary review, sorry man.
Next time, try reviewing an album on which everything hasn't been said already and stay away from track-by-track reviews.

Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

DeadBeat
February 10th 2012


529 Comments


At least this review has an acceptable rating for this highly overrated album

Pos

Island
February 10th 2012


577 Comments


next time review whatever you want however you want because honestly who fuckin cares

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2012


6487 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah ok, but I'd rather see a review of something that doesn't have one already...

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2012


31374 Comments


You don't have to see it though

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Island
February 10th 2012


577 Comments


theres 20+ reviews on the front page, not to mention genre pages so chances are youre gonna find somethin new

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2012


6487 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Point taken.

On the other hand, if I write a review, I would want it to be noticed (not necessarily today, but also later on) which is a bit easier when there's not an overload on reviews for a particular album.

Anyways, you're right in that he can do what he wants, but these are just my two cents.

Island
February 10th 2012


577 Comments


but youre not this reviewer

not everyone reviews to get attention to boost their egos



ILJ
February 10th 2012


6712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He was just giving some constructive criticism. Cool your jets.

Island
February 10th 2012


577 Comments


no now im ragin

hes gonna pay

stabbler
February 10th 2012


1415 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

pretty balanced review; album still way over-rated

Pentagon
February 10th 2012


1998 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

pretty solid review. pos

EyeForAnEye
February 10th 2012


1699 Comments


Unnecessary track by track review. But not bad.

Pentagon
February 10th 2012


1998 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

original username btw

DarthMann
February 10th 2012


13816 Comments


ugh

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2012


16455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I normally hate track by tracks but this was well done. Keep up the good work.

Digging: Zella Day - Zella Day

Killerhit
February 10th 2012


5254 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Though if you do a track by track, try and do it in the style of users who will turn it into like a normal review, such as Med57's reviews.

johnnydeking29
February 10th 2012


9236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There are more Kid A reviews here than there are pages in a Dickens novel, but at least yours was well written. Have a pos

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

wacknizzle
February 10th 2012


13501 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Way too many reviews for this album and I usually hate track by track's but this one was pretty good.

Digging: This Gift Is A Curse - I, Gvilt Bearer

Pheromone
November 7th 2013


3633 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Reads hard like a 4.5

Digging: Squirrel Bait - Skag Heaven



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