Amnesiac Review

artist: radiohead date: 09/13/2010 category: compact discs
radiohead: Amnesiac
Released: Jun 5, 2001
Genre: Rock
Tones: Brooding, Eerie, Melancholy, Cerebral, Provocative, Gloomy, Complex, Insular
Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock, Experimental Rock
Number Of Tracks: 11
 Sound: 8.9
 Lyrics: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 8.9
 Overall rating:
 8.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.7 
 Users rating:
 9 
 Votes:
 91 
reviews (10) 10 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8
Amnesiac Reviewed by: Ababil_Albarn, on march 15, 2004
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: If you thought Radiohead were crazy on Kid A then this can declare them as complete psycho's (in a good way mind you). Amnesiac is definitely not easy listening but it's like "art-rock for the people" (Blender Magazine). It experimental all the way, even the most "commecial songs" like Knives Out or Pyramid Song ("This song has no time signature!" -Phillip Selway-") are like they were recorded in an asylum. This record caps a 1-2 punch of experimental rock and has left a dent in all afficianado's and common people across the world! // 8

Lyrics: Thom's lyrics are at times bizarre (a song about doors?!, Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors) to completly sound ("I Might Be Wrong/I Might Be Wrong", I Might Be Wrong; "I'm a reasonable man/ Get off my case", Packt Like Sardines In A Crushed Tin Box) but he sings it in such a sincere (or intoxicated???) voice that we just indulge in what he has to say and he one of those guys that go totally gonzo and his friends just they, "That's Thom...^.^!" // 8

Overall Impression: Highlights... Pyramid Song, Knives Out, I Might Be Wrong, Amnesiac/Morning Bell, You And Whose Army, Life In A Glass House. Too Experimental For Its Own Good (but catchs on after a few listens)... Hunting Bears and Like Spinning Plates Just Weird..(for fans only) Packt Like Sardines In A Crushed Tin Box and Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors Just looking at that list up there shows in how powerful the material is and its a definate must-buy! A recommended buy after this would be either "Kid A" (to experiance more weirdness by Radiohead but a true fan would've bought it already) or "Pablo Honey" (just so you know how "staight" they were before this insanity). SO BUY IT NOW!!! // 8

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overall: 9.3
Amnesiac Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 27, 2004
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: I'm writing a review for this because the comments I've heard about it are very unfair (including the reviews for it on this site). This is an incredible album. It should not be dismissed like it has been. This is an album I love and I much perfer it to the hugely overrated "OK computer". This album has wonderful sound, the production is impecible. The sound of the bass beat on pulk/pull revolving doors is amazing. Very very trippy. // 10

Lyrics: There's nothing "mad" about these lyrics. Anybody who takes them literally is obviously a complete idtiot. Metaphores play a big part Radiohead lyrics and alot of though in required to fully understand what message they are putting across. The pyramid song certainly has wonderful lyrics, depicting the end of the world. Thom has a very unique, emotive voice that compliments the music perfectly. // 8

Overall Impression: This is a fantastic album, it overflows with musical genius. Bass heavy electronica songs, experimental songs, acoustic songs, piano epics, guitar songs. Even a classy jazz/slow swing song makes it on as a wonderful closer. This album needs the appretiation it deserves. It's an album of great music to suit almost any mood. Not the throw-away accident it is seen as. As a Radiohead album it is second only to the amazing Kid A. Buy this album and listen to it with an open mind, you certainly won't be dissapointed. // 10

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overall: 10
Amnesiac Reviewed by: the_maestro, on july 31, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: What happens if you're double albums because they're too long, yet you've got 28 class songs? Well you make two separate releases. This is exactly what Radiohead decided on back in 2000 after wrapping up recording sessions for the follow up to the one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the 90s, OK Computer. But Radiohead is one of those bands that would never release two albums that sound the same. Thankfully although it was recorded at the same time, Amnesiac is very different from it's counterpart Kid A. Both records are dark, but Amnesiac is darker. Both records are "experimental," but Amnesiac is more so. From the second you here the intro to Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box to the final notes in Life In A Glass House you are taken away to a strange place, one you may never want to return to. However like most scary things it's exciting to feel those fearful feelings again. And again. And again. I think you get the picture. The instrumentation on Amnesiac is brilliant, from the eerie keys that open I Might Be Wrong to the backwards sounds in Like Spinning Plates. Some times you have to scratch you're head and really have to question what you just heard. Was it vocals, drums, synth? You don't know. Even though Amnesiac sounds like something you've probably never heard before, the genius is the fact the 11 songs on this album are really pop songs. Most are around four minutes and follow the verse-chorus-verse-etc. formula. // 10

Lyrics: Thom Yorke has never been one of those that put little thought into lyrics. Amnesiac is no exception to this. Everything from haunting to odd to simply beautiful lyrics appear all over this album. Pyramid Song has some of the best Radiohead lyrics, never mind Amnesiac. Every song (yes even Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors) has great lyrics. Even better than the lyrics is the actaully vocals. The harmonies in the climax You And Whose Army? are simply dazzling and the effects on I Might Be Wrong are great, and for someone who doesn't like much vocals effects, that is a huge compliment. However the song that tops it all, especially vocally, is the atmospheric Dollars And Cents. Thom's vocals on this song sound very "smugged" or incoherent but it adds to the atmosphere. What adds to it even more is the string arrangements courtesy of Jonny Greenwood and preformed by the Orchestra of St. John's. // 10

Overall Impression: The only thing that I can think that this album sounds like somewhat is Kid A, obviously. Although there aren't many of "big" Radiohead song, the fact that the album though cut up and thought by many to be "Kid B", sounds very cohesive. The best song on the album (as mentioned above is Dollars And Cents) though Pyramid Song and You And Whose Army? are incredible. Knives Out it a great acoustic guitar driven song (its even better on the Vinyl version) and Life In A Glass House is regarded as Amnesiac's best kept secret. I love almost everything about this album, the only thing I don't is the fact that Cuttooth was replaced by Hunting Bears last minute which is a shame because Cuttooth would have helped pick up the album towards the end plus it's three minutes longer making this album even longer, which is a good thing. If I were to lose Amnesiac, I would go insane since I listen to it more than any other album, in fact I've even considered buying a second copy in case something happens to my original copy. In all, Amnesiac is a great listen although for most it is a grower so if you don't like give it another couple listens, but please don't give up on it, you will not be disappointed. // 10

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overall: 8
Amnesiac Reviewed by: ad_lib_oz, on march 16, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Apparently many fans were... disappointed by this release, after the promise that Radiohead were going to release a more "listenable" record then their previous LP, Kid A. The album is fairly short (11 songs, at about 40 minutes all up) but packs so many genres into the CD. Ambient, Dance, Trance, "Rock", Acoustic, Electronica, in fact about everything except metal is found on this record... The track "Knives Out" continues on the theme "Paranoid Android" set, and continued by tracks such as "There There" found on Hail to the Thief". "Morning Bell" has been reappropriated by the band (the track is also found on Kid A), and features droning guitar and organ, backed by the sound of a tamborine shaking mysteriously, and even more morbid lyrics. "Cut the kids in half/Release me, Release me" set to an almost triumphant backing. // 8

Lyrics: Interesting, though at times very obscure. Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors is a strange track, filled with bleeps and a seemingly all over the place synth drum beat. A highly processed voice speaks an almost childish subject, about different types of doors. An infinite loop of reverb extends the already unnatural voice to even higher levels or weirdness. Expect chills here... "There are doors that open by themselves/There are sliding doors, there are secret doors/There are doors that lock, and doors that don't/There are doors that let you in and out, but never open" Weeeird... // 8

Overall Impression: Overall another fairly experimental album, continuing where Kid A left off, with apparently more "natural" sounds than previously found. It is difficult not to compare this album with Kid A, as it consists basically of outtakes from it. Tracks such as Pulk/Pull Revolving doors track unfamiliar territory, though are pulled off with the appropriate effect. Same here with Like Spinning Plates, set to the backing tape of I Will (off Hail to the Thief) played backwards! Hunting Bears is another strange piece, featuring a distorted guitar playing a melody over an organ. Interesting use of the natural movement between chords (the sliding of fingers over strings) as well as a very free time signature, and different chordal movements. Minimalist... Dollars and Cents is a jazzy piece, the theme bolstered by the upright bass line, but also consists of a fairly minimalist guitar line, and strange background beeps and bleeps. Outstanding tracks are Pyramid Song, a slow march set in an very unfamiliar time signature (switches between something like 7/8 and 9/8 time, with a very quick tempo). Features a eerie string backing section, playing legato slides for the melody. Also found is I Might Be Wrong, probably the most popular song found here, as well as Knives Out. The album closer is not too exciting, also a jazzy piece with a tired piano playing chords along with a brass and woodwind section. Interesting, but not anything too ground breaking musically, but for the band definitely... A great album from a great band, not one of my favourites, but features some of my favourite tracks from the band... // 8

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overall: 7.3
Amnesiac Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 28, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Next to Incubus, Radiohead is my favorite band, I love them a lot because they are one of the few people nowadays who actually put thought into their music. When Kid A came out, I had pretty lofty expectations after the odessy that was OK Computer. Kid A was alright, but Amnesiac I am a little disappaointed in. Radiohead has a reputation of creating albums that are different than the previous one. But this one sounded exactly like Kid A. Which isn't bad, but it got a little boring. Amnesiac has an odd electra sound to it. Some of it's ok, but most of its kinda odd. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics I am very impressed with, as usual, it seems as if a lot of thought and care was put into them. Amnesiac has a kinda sad, yet enlightened mood to it, and the lyrics followed this mood most of the time. Thom Yorke has an absolutly amazing voice, but a lot of the songs on the record had distorted vocals, which took away from the lyrical enjoyment for me. // 6

Overall Impression: Don't get me wrong, this is a very good album that encourage anyone to buy and has one the most beutiful songs ever written on it (Pyramid Song). Another favorite was Knives Out, mainly because it resembled a lot of their older material as far as sound. Morning Bell is another good one. I know the they are experimenting with their musical boundries, which I deeply respect. But I do prefer their old, telecaster fest, in your face style of rock. // 8

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overall: 8
Amnesiac Reviewed by: SethMegadefan, on april 25, 2005
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Alright, let's take a look at this from a musical point of view. And I'm not just one of those OK Computer worshippers, either. When Kid A came out I was still pumped. But Amnesiac is lacking a little bit in many areas. Kid A was brilliant, but Amnesiac just sounds like they got a little carried away with the techno stuff. Sure, there were still good songs in there, and it was still pure genius, but the genius was pretty much hiding in the shadow of all the weirdness. I'm still behind Radiohead 100% though. // 8

Lyrics: I can't really say anything bad about the lyrics. Thom Yorke is just amazing, and Radiohead has been known to consistently write awesome lyrics. The songcraft itself is pretty brilliant, but I didn't like all of the weird voice effects Yorke used. They did add a new dimension to the songs, but he completely overdid the distorted voice stuff. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall this album is still well worth the money. A hell of a lot better than anything else that came out in '99. I just thought that they could have had a little more song, a little less robotic monotonous drone. I still have to hand it to them; no other band could have taken these songs and made them sound as good as Radiohead did. I really respect them for how they broadened themselves musically, and that's what has kept me a fan for all these years. // 8

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overall: 10
Amnesiac Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 19, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Completely off the wall, absolute madness, just two definitions I have heard of radiohead's most underrated album. Amnesiac does not contain one masterpiece, and to call it a masterpiece is a stretch of the word. Also, anyone who expects anything like OK computer will be disappointed (with the exception of Knives out, more on that later). However, listen to this album with fresh ears and you will appreciate its individuality, complexity, and sheer brilliance in places. It starts with the (bizzarely named) Packd like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box. That is not a typo, it is spelt that way. Opening with techno drums and Yorke crooning "after years of waiting, nothing came", it is even more of a required taste than Kid a (and thats saying a lot). however, listen to it a few times and you can truly appreciate the song. There are several flaws in this album. There are some songs (Pull/Pulk Revolving doors) that are just too weird for their own good and will only attract the most hardcore radiohead fan. However, every song surprises, from the piano-led Pyramid song to their new (slightly inferior) version of their classic Morning Bell. Arguably the best song on the album Knives out is different again, but being played by the entire band makes it sound like something from Hail to the Thief. It sounds a bit like the interlude of Paranoid Android. Despite its flaws, radiohead managed to reinvent themselves again for this album, and it is worthy of a 10, full stop. // 10

Lyrics: Thom Yorke, the best singer/vocalist alive, has changed again. Yes, he has added more vocals since the sparse kid a. Yes, they are bizzare, and of course, are worthy of a 10. His words arent to be taken literally (of course, you'd have to be nieve to say that), but his lyrical genius shines through like a beacon of light. His vocals carry much more melody than kid a's lyrics (sorry to keep going back to that album, its the only radiohead album I can compare amnesiac with). Full marks. // 10

Overall Impression: Do not buy this album if you want guitar riffs, solos, and acoustic guitars. similarly, this album shouldnt really be in the rock section in CD shops. However, if you like broad styles of music, innovation, and have an open mind, run and get this now. If you thought kid a was "too weird", stay away from amnesiac, because it just keeps on getting weirder and weirder. well done radiohead! // 10

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overall: 9.3
Amnesiac Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 31, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Let me begin with the fact that I am presently 14 years old. Radiohead is in my top 5 bands along with Floyd, Zeppelin, and the Who. This was the last Radiohead piece I had left untouched. I had heard all the "Kid B" jokes and thought ehh what the heck I'll buy it, I love Radiohead... I love it. I love being challenged by music, and this album is certainly a final exam. The soundscapes range from Knives Out, a pretty straight forward rock song, to Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors, which I have no idea what to say to describe it. Here's my review. 01. Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box: begins with electronica, but eventually Thom's voice kicks in, making it a decent album opener. 4/5 02. Pyramid Song: this song is like no other. I love the F# G piano chord change and there is absolutely no time signature present until the drums come in. I love all the aspects of this song and It is certainly one of the best on this album, if not of Radiohead's whole discography. 5/5 03. Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors: this one I never got into. Its a bad combination of Idioteque with darker techno and Kid A. It has a few seconds of glory but overall, I skip it most of the time. 1.5/5 04. You And Whose Army?: now this song rocks. Beginning with Thom's voice overdubbed over soft guitar strums, It bursts into a full-band anthem at the end, with piano spearing the attack. My favorite song on the album, in my top 10 favorites by Radiohead. 10/5 05. I Might Be Wrong: the US single, based on a bass (yes, bass, guitar!) riff Thom wrote when he was 16. I like the melody, pretty cool. 5/5 06. Knives Out: the more famous single, covered by many groups. Has layering of guitars, similar to Paranoid Android with a different beat. Nice, 5/5 07. Morning Bell/Amnesiac: another of my favorites from the album, this reprise is better than the Kid A version. "Where'd you park the car?" 5/5 08. Dollars and Cents: an obviously economic song, bass and drums stand out. Nice again, 4/5 09. Hunting Bears: an instrumental, nothing special 2/5 10. Like Spinning Plates: this song is billions, I mean BILLIONS times better live (check out the version on the I Might Be Wrong - Live Recordings EP) However, with the weird blips in the background, I'm not digging it as much in the studio. 2/5 11. Life In A Glasshouse: nice closer. I love the jazz influence, less concaphonous than The National Anthem from Kid A. Someone is indeed listening in. 5/5 // 9

Lyrics: Nice lyrics in most spots, not as complex as in OK Computer or other albums. The lyrics do fit in most places, I can't say it would be enjoyable for the everyday listener, but I really like being challenged. Thom Yorke is as good as ever with his amazing vocals. // 9

Overall Impression: If you replace the version of Like Spinning Plates with the Live version, and Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors with any one of the number of B-sides from the album, It would be much better than Kid A. Even as it stands I think I like it better. Best songs are - You and Whose Army?, Pyramid Song, Morning Bell/Amnesiac, I Might Be Wrong, Knives Out, Life In A Glasshouse. I love the difficulty of listen, but I really don't like the way they inserted the above songs among the rest of the album. I would definatly buy it again, maybe even upgrade to the deluxe edition. C'mon, If you think you can take us all. - You and Whose Army? Radiohead certainly took me. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Amnesiac Reviewed by: Amnesiac1234, on april 07, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Amnesiac is a album thats not quite easylistening, the sound expend from the haunting sound in "Pyramid Song" to a improvised synth bass over a distorted guitar track in "Hunting Bears". This is actually the leftovers from Radioheads last album "Kid A", but both album was under made under a time of unproductivity in the band. The music styles varies in this album, from electronica to jazz. The sound of this album is fantastic, but i would recommend to listen through OK Computer and Kid A before going in the deep trance of the "Amnesiac" album. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics in this album is hard to digest, from simple words to long sentances. The music and the lyrics perfectly fits and the lyrics are the feelings coming out of the melody. Thom Yorke has always been a incredible singer, in this album he is also learned many ways to experiment with distortion effects and other singing techniques. // 9

Overall Impression: I wouldn't call it the best of the 7 albums Radiohead have released, but its struggling with "Kid A" and "In Rainbows". The best songs on this album is: Pyramid Song, You And Whose Army, I Might Be Wrong, Dollars & Cents, Like spinning plates and Life in a glasshouse. I love how Radiohead managed to do so great in this "unproductive" period and how they manage to mix Electronica with Rock. I would buy this again if I lost it. Would also recommend to buy the deluxe version of "Amnesiac". // 10

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overall: 7.3
Amnesiac Reviewed by: Sandhi, on september 13, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Amnesiac, Kid A's ugly twin, gives glimpses of Radiohead's glorious talents, but is somewhat tainted by over-experimentation. The better tracks on the album are those with a more traditional sound, like Pyramid Song, but other potential gems are shrouded in instrumentals that sound like Thom's baby was let loose with daddy's toys (look no further than the beautiful version of Like Spinning Plates on I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings compared to the only just decent album version). I'm not criticising the band's affinity for wackiness - it worked on Kid A and OK Computer - but there are several tracks on this which are rather unconvincing in comparison. Ed O'Brien's moment in the spotlight, Hunting Bears, is a nice instrumental that works well in context. All in all, Amnesiac sounds good, but is poor when you have heard the band's other albums. // 8

Lyrics: Words go perfectly hand in hand with the sound, which is a result that few can achieve as well as that seen in Radiohead's work. The lyrics here are not Thom's best, but due to the hypnotic quality of the album, the weaker ones do not take much away from the overall Amnesiac experience. Needless to say, his vocals are exceptional. These are the standout lyrics: All my lovers were there with me All my past and futures And we all went to heaven in a little row boat There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt (Pyramid Song) If you'd been a dog They would've drowned you at birth (Knives Out) // 7

Overall Impression: Top 3 Album Highlights: 01. Pyramid Song - Ranks among Radiohead's finest songs 02. I Might Be Wrong - Great bassline from Yorke 03. Knives Out - Desperation over haunting guitar line, a great song Following up arguably the greatest ever 1-2-3 album punch of The Bends (1995), OK Computer (1997) and Kid A (2000) would be no easy task, and on Amnesiac, Radiohead unfortunately did not maintain their high standards. There are some great moments - Pyramid Song was Thom's favourite Radiohead track for a while, and both 'Knives Out' and 'I Might Be Wrong' are also very impressive, but on the whole Amnesiac sounds like a hangover from the Kid A days, or an embryonic Yorke solo album. // 7

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+ The Bends 9.7 05/02/2011
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