Kid A

BY Cam LindsayPublished Nov 1, 2000

Kid A is definitely the most anticipated album of the year and Radiohead are probably the most praised band in the world. Three years in the waiting, this record is even more futuristic than OK Computer. The album begins with "Everything In Its Right Place," a song that sounds like the haunting funeral parlour music right out of the Warp Records catalogue. Thom Yorke's vocals are cut up and scattered over an organ and a light drum machine. The title track has a music box intro and is quickly reminiscent of the mellow sounds of Plaid and Boards of Canada. Yorke's vocals are electronically manipulated and the beats are rapid and sometimes out of sync. "The National Anthem" is probably the standout track on the album because of its radical jazz-rock fusion. Like the My Bloody Valentine remix of Primal Scream's "If They Move Kill 'Em," Radiohead create a chaotic bass-driven rock song with plenty of layers, reducing Yorke's voice into an accompanying instrument. "How To Disappear Friendly" is a moody acoustic number, like "Exit Music" from OK Computer. The most radio compatible track on here, Yorke's vocals are untampered as he confesses, "I'm not here/This isn't happening." "Treefingers" is an instrumental that sounds like Aphex Twin remixing Brian Eno. "Optimistic" is a fast paced rock song with the first real use of the triple guitar sound they have been known for in the past. The lyrics actually reflect the title, saying, "Try the best you can/The best you can is good enough." Sounding very much like Jeff Buckley, "In Limbo" is Yorke at his murkiest, admitting, "I've lost my way/I'm lost at sea, don't bother me." "Idioteque" is the most surprising track because it sounds more like LFO or the more brutal music of Aphex Twin. Yorke seems to lose his mind yelling lines like, "Women and children first," "I'm laughing till my head comes off" and "We're not scared/This is really happening." "The Morning Bell" is like something off of the spooky Virgin Suicides soundtrack by Air. Again, the lyrics sound painful as he pleads, "Release me... please." The final track, "Motion Picture Soundtrack," brings the album back to the beginning as it uses a funereal organ. Quite heavenly sounding, harps enter the song 90 seconds in. Yorke assures us by singing, "I will see you in the next life" and the song fades into nothing, only to come back with a gospel, ambient ending. The influence of Warp Records, Björk and Brian Eno are quite obvious on Kid A. With this album, Radiohead have created the first 21st century-sounding record for the mainstream to gobble up. Whether the public will consume it is another question. Nonetheless, it's a brilliant record.

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