our score: 4.8 out of 5.0
It was 1997
when the world changed. The world, the music world at least, was
waiting in silent anticipation for a new rock record from a little
band called Radiohead.
On the heels of The Bends,
an album considered one of the greatest rock albums of recent
history, the world awaited another great rock album. What they
got would change the history of music. What they got was Ok
Computer. And Ok Computer was just the beginning.
It was an
album beyond what anyone expected. It was an album beyond what
anybody imagined. The world loved it, Radiohead became known as
possibly "the greatest rock band in the world." And
it was good.
and they recorded, and the world waited. The world waited for
more than three long years. They waited to hear another album
as mind expanding as OK Computer. The problem was that
the world had come to expect another Ok Computer. What
they got was another step in evolution. What the world got was
Radiohead's new brainchild. Their new creation. The birth of Kid
And the world
saw that it was good.
once again, it is time for evolution to take another leap forward.
It is time to welcome Amnesiac.
from recordings during the Kid A sessions, Amnesiac
is Radiohead's hope to regain their pop accessibility. Unlike
Kid A, which was never intended to be a "commercial"
album, Amnesiac is poised to make the world remember who
Radiohead is, and just what they are capable of. Early rumours
from the album described it as a more rock-roots album, taking
the band back to a The Bends era sound. Pop rock at its
It's a far
cry from the truth. But do not be dismayed my dear friends. Eclecticism
is a virtue. At least for Radiohead. Pop can be eclectic. And
dammit, Radiohead is set to prove it.
A's experiments with electronic beats and samples. It was
a difficult album for some to digest, let alone appreciate. Until
you listened closer. Look backwards through the generations
through Ok Computer - back to The Bends. And the
evolution is there, it is a logical progression that Radiohead
were only the bravest to undertake. Follow the evolution back
forward and see where they are likely to go. And combine them
And you have
It's an amalgamation.
It's everything the band has learned in time, combined together,
and evolved once again.
Opening the album is "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin
Box," a track straight from the vein of Kid A. Synth-pop
sequences, an Aphex Twin beat, and Thom's vocals of "I'm
a reasonable man get off my case" set the tone for the rest
of the album. This is followed by the first UK single, "Pyramid
Song." It's infusion of piano chord melodies with string
synths and Yorke's haunting vocals make for a song similar to
"Rabbit In Your Headlights" (off the UNKLE compiliation),
yet a thousand times more emotional and a thousand times more
beautiful. Quite possibly Radiohead's finest moment to date.
directly into "Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors," a track which
could have quite possibly been a throwaway attempt at a drum n
bass tune that somehow becomes a catchy example of experimentation
at it's finest. With little vocals other than a tweaked Yorke
speaking of "doors that lock and doors that don't."
But yet you
may ask, where are the guitars? Where is the rock band I had grown
to love and adore on The Bends and Ok Computer?
The band is here. The first U.S. single, "I Might Be Wrong"
follows along the path of Kid A's "The National Anthem"
with a repeated guitar lick over Yorke's nearly intelligible vocals.
And it's catchy as hell. Still, if this is not your cup of tea
they have included rock tracks including "Knives Out"
and "Dollars and Cents." Both of which bleed of the
complicated musicality of Radiohead, but are examples of pop rock
at it's finest.
one throwaway track is a simple segue entitled "Hunting Bears."
A short track, it sounds of nothing more than a guitar warmup.
Still it's much more interesting than "Treefingers"
and for those who simply hate it - it's over before you have time
to press skip.
album is "Life in a Glass House," a track commonly performed
at soundchecks, which has finally received a studio treatment
- and perhaps a glimpse at where the band may be going. Featuring
a New Orleans Jazz style horn section, this is not "The National
Radiohead done it? Have they released a great album? Thom Yorke
has described Amnesiac as the band's "little secret."
It's the album they are most proud of. It follows the natural
progression from Kid A and it makes sense. And it won't
turn listeners away.
a simply beautiful album, yet it leaves you with that itch in
that itch you can't scratch,
but you aren't sure even sure you want to.
It feels right
somehow. At first it catches you off guard. It's something you
it's something you aren't used to. But somehow
it feels like it's at home. And when it goes away - you want it
back. You want it back in your head.
Oh yes. It's
a splendid itch.