Amnesiac review by Radiohead

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  • Released: Jun 5, 2001
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9 (95 votes)
Radiohead: Amnesiac
1

Sound — 10
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.

Lyrics — 10
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.

Overall Impression — 10
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.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Root Beer
    The_Teleblaster wrote: biscuitiis.k wrote: AAAAAHHHHH RADIOHEAD SUCKS You sir, are an idiot.
    +10
    mexican meese
    This is a great album, but unfortunately Knives Out and You and Whose Army seem to get all the credit. After listening to the album many times, I realized the awesomeness of all the songs on the album. Even less popular and "experimental" songs like Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors and Pakt Like Sardines in a Crushed Tin Box are amazing songs. It ranks in the top albums that should be in anyone's collection.
    benjidude945
    this album has some great tunes on it namely You and Whose Army? I Might Be Wrong Life in a Glass House (sweet jazz song!) and Like Spinning Plates but the others range from decent to filler Pyramid Song is a little dry and Dollars & Cents isn't very interesting. Probably their weakest next to Pablo Honey.