Radiohead
Amnesiac


3.0
good

Review

by complexorigins USER (4 Reviews)
June 24th, 2013 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: They're B-sides for a reason

"Amnesiac" has always been one of those albums people love to rave about. A slew of fans even go so far as to claim it as "the best Radiohead album" which is as funny as it is untrue. The truth of the matter is "Amnesiac" is a compilation of two or three hits with eight or nine misses thrown in. What makes albums like "The Bends" and "In Rainbows" so powerful is their consistency in quality. "Amnesiac" however manages to start off the right note, only to mislead the listener into an album that seems uninspired and forced.

Experimentation is always good in some sense; despite if it ends up sounding good or not, it manages to keep the band interested in making music. The electronics were present on albums prior to "Amnesiac" in songs such as Sulk and Airbag but were more restrained and took back seat to the music, adding to the ambiance rather than disrupting it. The experimentation on "Amnesiac" however takes too much attention away from the music and instead makes the songs sound as if Thom and the gang were holding back while making them.

Packt Like Sardines in a Crushed Tin Can starts the album with some leftover electronic pieces from the Kid A sessions and unemotional singing, boasting a catchy yet incredibly boring chorus. Pyramid Song might be the redeeming factor of the whole album. It's a beautiful piano driven ballad complete with Thom's beautiful crooning and some truly stellar orchestration that climaxes around the 3 minute mark. A true diamond among the coal found elsewhere on "Amnesiac". Repetitiveness is shoved directly in your face during the four minute Like Spinning Plates which a minute in tempts your finger to hit the skip button. The lackluster guitar-driven instrumental Hunting Bears brings back memories of Kid A's low point Treefingers. Songs like Pulk/Pull and I Might Be Wrong try too hard to sound different and end up falling flat on their faces.

In the end, the beauty found in the chorus of Knives Out or the jazz-lounge Life In A Glass House simply isn't enough to redeem songs like the carbon-copy Morning Bell that sounds the same as it did on "Kid A" or the fake jaunting bass line of Dollars & Cents. If you really want to hear Radiohead doing what they do best, pop in "The Bends" or even "Hail to the Thief", which manages to better mix their art-rock and electronic ambition with quality songwriting. "Amnesiac" isn't close to the best Radiohead has to offer nor is it the worst, which is saved for either "Pablo Honey" or the "King of Limbs". If anything, let "Amnesiac" be a reminder to Thom and the gang what happens when they let their ambition trump quality.


user ratings (3298)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
climactic
June 24th 2013


19576 Comments


fuk u neg

BigPleb
June 24th 2013


37367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Neg hard.

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DirEnRefused
June 24th 2013


2201 Comments


while i don't agree with negging based on rating, your tone throughout the review is pretty condescending, sort of mars the reader's experience.

porch
June 24th 2013


8459 Comments


this is way better than the bends

wabbit
June 24th 2013


7012 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is way better

DirEnRefused
June 24th 2013


2201 Comments


everything they've done except their first and last is wonderful.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2013


1677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't really get the TKOL hate on this site. The album is gorgeous and Codex rivals Pyramid Song for one of Thom's best piano tracks.

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KILL
June 24th 2013


71981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

never got into this am i gay

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StallionMang
June 24th 2013


5867 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

These are far more than just b-sides.

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Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2013


50695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

idk

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Artuma
June 24th 2013


14670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

far more than just B-sides yeah but still not even close to be their best effort

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scissorlocked
June 24th 2013


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the review is well written though

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Artuma
June 24th 2013


14670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nope

JaySpiral
June 24th 2013


753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just as good, if not better than Kid A in my opinion.

CJandM
June 24th 2013


7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is just as frustrating as when people claim that Steal This Album! is a System b-sides album. Amnesiac is imo Radiohead's best effort, but if you got into Radiohead for different reasons I could see why Amnesiac might not appeal.

Artuma
June 24th 2013


14670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah for what i've seen most people who got into them by OK Computer (like me) or In Rainbows don't consider it one of their best

lz41
June 24th 2013


53 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Agreed. Album lacks cohesion and has lots of crap. Pos, ignore the haters.


Gwyn.
June 24th 2013


15161 Comments


""Amnesiac" has always been one of those albums people love to rave about."


wacknizzle
June 24th 2013


13517 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They're B-sides for no raisin

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complexorigins
June 25th 2013


13 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hahaha people always get mad when anyone writes a neg review of a critically acclaimed album so bring on the hate for my opinion



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