There is redefining your band's style and then there is Radiohead's "Kid A". "Ok Computer's" massive success not only gave the band's controversial front man Thom Yorke headaches, it also made him want to try something new and timeless. This is the electronic music the band makes on "Kid A".
The lyrical and instrumental work is in full effect on the first track "Everything In It's Right Place". The distorted and muttered background vocals are awaken by Thom's singing of "Everything", which is repeated a few times and then the song goes forward. It seems to have a constant and weird pace, something only Radiohead on "Kid A" would do, the beat seems to move forward after the first chorus as Thom repeats "Yesterday I woke up sucking a Lemon", "Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon". The breakdown at the end of the song contains the paranoid lyrics and instrument work that have made this a remarkable album. Overall the first track of this album tells us that something new and timeless is coming after us in the next nine tracks, and it is a great preview of those tracks, while it sets the tone perfectly for the album. 5/5
"Kid A", has been considered by many fans of the band kind of a interlude after the first track "Everything In It's Right Place", but those fans didn't give this song enough time to grow on them. The beat is very nice and well done, and even though Thom's vocals are distorted and you can't really understand what he is saying, they still fit in with the style of the song and the style of the album. The lyrics you can hear of Thom are repeated during the chorus of the song, this song is a complex song that takes a few listens to get used to, but once you get used to it, it will slowly stand out to you as a great song. 4.75/5
"The National Anthem", is the exact song no country would have their citizens singing. The song is way to unique and complex in a way that it takes a few listens to comprehend perfectly. Rather it is the marching band brought in or the Trumpet solo, or the catchy and steady bass riff presented during this song, the song keeps it form. Radiohead did a great job of throwing tons of ideas together and making it into a song, you really have to appreciate the hard work and time this song most have taken to make. Even though Thom's vocals take a back seat in this song, as they often do to make way for the instruments on the album, they still somehow fit in well with the jazz-electric-techno song that this is. This is just a brilliant job by the band of putting different styles together and throwing them into one song. 5/5
"How To Disappear Completely", stands out in lyrical content for me. The song lyrics written by Thom, come from an out of body experience he had on tour before the album was released. The lyrics and the acoustic beat combine to make a perfect storybook tale and a great song. It keeps up the track 4 acoustic trend Radiohead tends to have on there albums [The Bends "Fake Plastic Trees", OK Computer "Exit Music [For A Film"], and even though it is as repetitive as "Fake Plastic Trees" with the line: "I'm not here and this isn't happening", which tends to be a chorus of the song for me. And not nearly as spooky as the acoustic track on Ok Computer "Exit Music [For A Film]", it still is a great track. It is one of my favorites on the album since it is acoustic, and the lyrical content can still be dark even though the beat isn't that dark. 5/5
"Treefingers" is a song that I tend to go to sleep to. It has a nice and relaxing beat and a few guitar strings are even pulled to go along with it. A lot of people judge this song just because it doesn't even have lyrics to it, but I'll make this point "Treefingers" is twice as better of an interlude as "Ok Computer's", "Fitter Happier", which would have been better off without vocals all together. Whatever you think of this song, you have to give Radiohead some credit for going out on a limb and putting an instrumental song on a 10-track album, which really never happens. It's smooth and relaxing beat and creative atmosphere earn it a respectable rating, 4.2/5
Probably the most simple and the song with the least meaning to Thom's personal life is the next life, "Optimistic". The song has been jokingly been referred to as "Poptimistic" by the band members. The track is really one of the few tracks on the album that is guitar driven, and you can clearly understand all of Thom's vocals. Anyone could pick up this track by it self and listen to it. The lyric "You can try the best you can" is repeated throughout the song and kind of gives the song structure, which the other songs didn't really have. A good and listen able track. 4.5/5
"In Limbo", IS the most underrated track Radiohead has ever recorded. People take out of context the simple lyrics of Thom Yorke and the simple beat, but don't give Radiohead credit for making a great song. The chorus in this song is another one of Thom Yorke's one line choruses "You're living in a fantasy", is the distinguished chorus, and it is a pretty good chorus for the song. The end of the song Thom blurts out high-notes and it really makes the song complete. 5/5
The next track entitled "Idioteque” is the first time the band has completely changed their style in the middle of the album. The song is a dance-techno song, containing lyrics about the Gulf War and about the bands state of mind, which was previously described in "In Limbo". The song contains emotionally charged lyrics such as "Who's in a bunker"", "Women and Children first", which are lyrics obviously aimed towards the Gulf War. The beat progresses into a techno dance solo towards the end of the song, which makes the song one of the first songs ever to have one of those. The beat picks up and we hear Thom speaking again even though he is not singing the chorus. This is a song that you have to have an opinion on, even you love it as one of your favorite Radiohead song's as I do, or you hate it because it is so innovative and weird. But I respect Radiohead's ability to go out on a limb, as they have done this whole album and make another great track. 5/5
As "Lucky" said on the previous album, "I'm on a roll, I'm on a roll". But this time Radiohead is truly on a roll. The beat from the previous track leads directly into this track perfectly, and the lyrics speak of Thom receiving a fan letter saying that he should die. And you can hear his anger towards that person in the lyrics, "Cut the kids in half, cut the kids in half". The tracks originality and aggressiveness in Thom's vocals stand out even in the remixed version of this song. The beat isn't as "Techno" as the other songs, but it still goes well with the song. Another terrific song. 5/5
"Motion Picture Soundtrack", is one of the only songs that I've heard that can be a very sad song but still be a 7-minute epic. The lyrics speak of Thom Yorke about to Kill Himself, and the pain he has been going through. You may ask: But doesn't Thom Yorke always sing about this" Well, no he doesn't always sing about his pain as directly as he does on this track. The tracks beat sort of sound similar to the beat on the fourth track of this album, but it still works. The beautiful instrument work, and background vocals during the chorus of this song make it an entirely different experience. Thom end's the album with the lyrics: "I will see you in the next life". And the album ends with an instrumental solo.
Kid A, may be the most original album that was ever created. The techno-dance beats, the keyboard work, the trumpet work even in "The National Anthem". The lyrics range from anti-war lyrics to Suicidal lyrics. You have to love the albums originality. And for that I give this album a perfect score