Sound — 10
In the year 2000, Radiohead ditched it's former "guitar-rock" sound for a more "Pink Floyd goes electronica" sound. The result is Kid A. While I liked their older albums (particularly OK Computer), I never really considered them a musical phenomenon until I listened to this album. Radiohead have created a sonic world. You can't listen to it while you're playing video games or doing homework. You can't listen to it while you're doing anything. All you can do is listen and think, think and listen. It will take you to a very cold, bleak world, but you want to keep listening no matter how cold or bleak it is. Also, do not put this album on shuffle on your iPod! It is meant to be listened to straight through, tracks 1-10! Do this, and you'll completely ruin the effect. Many people don't like this album because it sounds almost nothing like their older stuff. This isn't particularly true, as Radiohead has always had that same defining, undescribable feel to it. This is not lost in Kid A. I would give this album a song-by-song review, but I don't want to spoil anything, and it's not meant to be picked apart, but listened to as a whole.
Lyrics — 8
While the music is fantastic, the lyrics are somewhat more lacking. They just don't always make sense. This can be a good thing sometimes, because it leaves the song open to interpretation, but this is a little overdone in my opinion. Some examples of this are "Kid A", "The National Anthem", "In Limbo", and "Idioteque". For some songs, though, like "Everything in it's Right Place", the lyrics not making any sense is a little more fitting to the music. "Motion Picture Soundtrack", on the other hand, has some great lyrics (especially the last line of "I'll see you in the next life"). While the lyrics don't always make sense, Kid A seems to be a concept album, as it does seem to tell some kind of story. But the exact story may be a little hard to follow. Thom Yorke is still a great vocalist, however, and although his singing doesn't make much of an appearance here, the talent is still visible.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, Radiohead has come up with something completely unlike anything else on the market today. It is one of those albums where every time you listen to it, you notice something new. The thread of Kid A is a fragile one, and you can only truly understand it if you listen to it the way it was meant to be listened to. I firmly believe that this is Radiohead's best album to date. If it were stolen or lost, I'd definitely buy it again. So go out and buy it if you haven't already, wait until nighttime, put the CD in your highest-quality speaker system, hit play, get comfy on your bed or couch, pull out the liner booklet, and enjoy the ride.