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Kid A

Release Date: 10.03.00
Record label: capitol
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.


Everything In Its Right Place
by: bill aicher

Three years. Three agonizing years. Three. That's how long the world waited - no not waited... hungered... to see just what Radiohead could do after Ok Computer. Was it possible to top what many believed to be the perfect rock album?

It didn't matter. Radiohead moved on as they would... without regard to what they had done before. Kid A isn't about outdoing Ok Computer. Instead making Kid A was is about making fantastic music. Try to outdo the perfect rock album? Why would they even bother? Kid A marks the creation of an entire new genre. It had been building, the genre, for years. Listening to Ok Computer could give one a glimpse of this distant star. Kid A was where the spaceship landed.

Electronics and loops and samples rule this, the fourth studio album from (former) Brit-pop band Radiohead. If you were expecting Ok Computer II, you best take a seat.

The guitars take a back seat until the third track - instead the listener is greeted with the oddly intriguing, strung out Yorke-voice-sampled opening track of "Everything in It's Right Place." Unlike anything ever done before, you soon forget about what came before Kid A and are drawn in to the electronic tones and thoughts of "sucking on a lemon." A hard, driving bassline and a cacophony of horns bring about the rapturous "The National Anthem" while layers of "ooh-ooh-oohs" visions of dinosaurs and the clang of (can it be?) guitars harbor the radio-friendly(?) "Optimistic." The few misfires, most notably a boring instrumental segue entitled "Treefingers" are quickly forgiven with their counterparts such as the techno-dance-styled "Idioteque." (Leave it to Radiohead to create a danceable track that can f*ck with your head as much as this).

Kid A was never meant to be a "commercial" album, it was more of an experiment of self-indulgence that just happens to be musically ingenious at the same time. The band had always planned on releasing a follow-up album later - in the spring of 2001 (now due in June and titled Amnesiac) to be more accessible to audiences. No singles or videos were made for Kid A, yet it managed to debut at #1 and was up for British album of the year and a Grammy for Alternative Rock Performance of the year.

It just goes to show that there is still hope for the music world when an album that requires listening and thought to appreciate can free minds.

And for those of you who didn't like it because it wasn't Ok Computer II - take another listen. This time forget about everything you heard before and come in with no expectations. Chances are it will exceed any expectations you could have ever imagined - barring any preconceptions.