Amnesiac review by Radiohead

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  • Released: Jun 5, 2001
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (96 votes)
Radiohead: Amnesiac

Sound — 8
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.

Lyrics — 8
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...

Overall Impression — 8
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...

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