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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious ... but what's everyone moaning about?
Reviewers should probably start by admitting their bias, and mine is that I loved Kid A. Having I enjoyed Radiohead since Creep and The Bends, I realised with OK Computer that this was not a band content to musically stand still. All of the major artists like The Beatles,Dylan,Bowie etc.have been driven by the urge to explore and, despite the inevitable clunker, emerged...
Published on 30 Sep 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Wierd, but I like it.
Well, the book like thing is a really cool gimmick and I love it, but just where am I going to keep it? In my CD rack? -I think not! And it's well-annoying to get the cd out of it too. I love the art work inside too. But please don't try to find any hidden meaning behind it, you're just kidding yourselves. It's only random gibberish done to give it all a 'wierd'...
Published on 23 Jun 2001 by Mr. Matthew C. Franks


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great album becomes a good one, 5 Sep 2009
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Amnesiac [2CD & DVD] (Audio CD)
"Kid A" and "Amnesiac" are largely the two sides of the same coin. Written and recorded at the same time, the two albums are the twins of the same musical pregnancy, seperated and left to live their own lives. "Amnesiac" suffers slightly from being the younger brother - the perception being it is made of out-takes and not very good songs. This is nonsense.

The two albums really are part of the same whole and should be seen only as companion pieces, not seperate entities. One could argue that each should have different selections and running orders, that the records are in a way, slightly schizophrenic, split personalities that would've benefit from seperation into two distinct stories, and you would be right. But they are in themselves, both, valid artistic statements with no shortage of integrity or vision.

What is truly baffling is the bonus tracks are, once again, shattered into pieces and fragmented out. The concert that appends "Kid A" and "Amnesiac" is a complete, and passionate one hour from French television after the release of the second album. Nonetheless, the concert is broken into two parts, and the songs divided into their parent albums. Instead of a Radiohead concert, you get a random assortment of songs lacking any cohesion. And since it was broadcast on French Television, you might expect the television broadcast on the DVD that accompanies them.... Well, you'd be wrong. The callous and heathen mutilation of the material is lacking in even a moments thought.

Not only that, but the bonus tracks are frankly, very incomplete, and are presented without a moments thought as to how they may sound when listened to as a complete experience.

The shows they are taken from are mutilated, cut to pieces, kids cut in half, torn apart by demons, and abandoned as roadkill with no care. If these releases are EMI's funeral farewell to Radiohead, theyc ould at least bury the records with dignity instead of leaving the corpse in the road.

The 10 song DVD that accompanies "Amnesiac" is servicable, but again, there's so much space unused, and the whole of that Paris concert that is licensed - and available spread across the two CD's in bits - still remains in a vault visually. What a waste. How these can be regarded as bonus editions when they are assembled with no artistry, no coherency, and no consideration is fairly incomprehensible.

This is the sound of a slapdash, half-bothered attempt to put together some vague appetisers to fool the majority of the public and assembled without any consideration for either what is actually available or what makes any form of musical or artistic sense, validity, or cohesion. The sound of a goal being missed as administrators devalue the art.

Sure, it's a fairly hefty bonus package and assembled with some decency, but it is, by any standard, an incomplete package assembled with no thought for what could provide a truly outstanding release. Why be great, when you can be good? Must try harder.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, 13 July 2001
By 
A. L. Wood "Marmite Turkey" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
I'm fascinated by the different effects this album has had on people - with their established and famously fanatical fan-base, Radiohead were able to do things in Kid A which would have gone unnoticed by other bands. It divided fans into love it and hate it on release. Although it was recorded at the same time as Kid A, and although it contains a version of a song on Kid A, Amnesiac has a more solid feel to it - it's less 'out there' than Kid A, and therefore more involving. I'm surprised that it seems to be less well-received than Kid A though - it's a more coherent collection of actual songs.
The music itself is as complex, layered and complete as OK... was - not obvious arrangements at first, but when you become familiar with the songs, it all makes such perfect sense.
Brooding, beautiful, dark and totally absorbing. I love this album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I spend far too much time listening to this album!, 13 July 2001
By 
B. Cotier "MonkeyTennis" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
I'm not one for remembering track names. I seem to better recall the track numbers. So, if I tell you that tracks 1,2,4,5,6,8,10 of Amnesiac were at times disturbing, enlightening, paranoid, uplifting, innovative and brilliant you'd have little clue as to what I mean. You'll just have to buy it and see. Really though, I can't praise this album enough (yes it is in some ways similar to Kid A but as that is also a brilliant album it's a good thing) and so I won't try. I will however leave you with a warning. Avoid 'Packt like sardines in a crushd tin box, 'Pyramid song' and 'You and whose army' at all costs. If you know they are about to be played, cover your ears and run for cover because these songs will get inside your head and they'll never let go.....never let go.....never let go!!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most underrated and under appreciated Radiohead album, 12 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
A lot of people, critics and fans alike, simply dismiss Amnesiac as some form of inferior B Side album to the great Kid A. No doubt, because the songs on Kid A and Amnesiac were recorded in the same sessions. This may cause one to form an negative opinion, before having heard the album, based on the assumption that Radiohead put out this album with songs not good enough for Kid A.

Having listened to both albums extensively, I honestly find that this cannot be true. There are two reasons for this: one is that (in my opinion) the music on Amnesiac is just as good if not better than that of Kid A, and secondly that Amnesiac has a very different sound to Kid A. More on both of these points.

Firstly, by 'good music', I mean here more attractive, melodic and pleasing. Obviously those are not only criteria on which music should be judged - I think Kid A is a more powerful album, and more influential/important - but I personally much prefer listening to Amnesiac. Listen to tracks like the Pyramid Song (which is simply a instant Radiohead classic), with its stunning piano chord progression and striking melody, or You And Whose Army, which progresses from a gentle - almost acoustic - beginning to a rock anthem style ending. The way that song changes at the end of the first minute I find a remarkable listening experience. The grungey guitar riff of I Might Be Wrong grabs one instantly, as does the softer but at the same time darker Knives Out. There really are a multitude of great tracks on this record; Dollars & Cents, Morning Bell/Amnesiac (which is very similar to its Kid A counterpart but more attractive) and the opener (which shares similarities with the Kid A opener Everything In Its Right Place, with infectious dark synths and similarly great lyrics - I'm a reasonable man/Get off my case), amongst the other strong songs.
In comparison to Kid A, Amnesiac holds its own musically. Admittedly Kid A has that fabulous opener and Idioteque (surely one of the most powerful and tense songs every recorded), but the riff on I Might Be Wrong is just as strong as that on The National Anthem, Like Spinning Plates is an equally strong ambient track compared to Tree Fingers, and Knives Out and The Pyramid song are (in my opinion) superior to the likes of Kid A and How to Disappear Completely.

The second reason that Amnesiac is not merely a B Side to Kid A is that the sounds of the Albums are very different. Kid A is a lot more aggressive, more angry, more unsettled (and unsettling). That sound is characterized by the twitchy beats on The National Anthem or Idioteque, or the downright weird Kid A. Amnesiac I find to be softer, more accessible. I don't understand why some say that Amnesiac is even more difficult than Kid A, it really isn't. Many of the songs are driven by guitars or pianos, there isn't as much weird electronica (not to say I don't like weird electronica but it tends to be more challenging) - pulk revolving doors being the exception there.
No, Amnesiac stands very successfully as an individual album, the songs flow together nicely to create a remarkable listening experience.

One thing is for sure, if you are getting in to Radiohead, you have probably heard OK Computer, In Rainbows, The Bends or Kid A. The next step is Amnesiac, a record which deserves similar (perhaps not quite as much) recognition as those three. Don't be put off by the dismissiveness of other critics, or indeed the frankly wrong suggestion that amnesiac is less accessible than Kid A. Give it a listen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the boxes, 11 Oct 2009
By 
Conrad W. Zimmer "Conrad" (London, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This must be the best of the 2xCD+DVD box sets. A good representation of the original packaging in box form with all the inserts you might require (2 postcards of the 2 single sleeves, Pyramid Song & Knives Out, library card and booklet as per original CD release). The second CD is an amazing blend of b-sides and live tracks, Kinetic being my personal favourite. The DVD includes 3 promo videos, 2 Top Of The Pops recordings and 4 tracks from the Later With Jools Holland special, featuring the late lamented Humphrey Lyttleton and his trio on Life In A Glasshouse. A truly great re-release!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and emotional, 2 Aug 2001
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
Hi i am 14 years of age and to me radiohead have been a great sucsess now you all like it as an adult but kids listen to it to the music is relaxing at times and rowdy at others depending at what way you look at it. they are so different that their style of music should have its own category
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And where do we go from here?, 14 April 2001
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
The ride that Radiohead have taken us on seems to climax on this album. There are sounds that are reminescent of all of the last four albums. Pieces that could have come from anywhere. "Knives Out" sounds like it could be from the Pablo Honey or Bends era, "You and Whose army" from Ok Computer, or "Spinning Plates" Kid A. The entire album builds and wraps up perfectly in the beautiful track "Life in a Glass House" which is by far the most incredible Radiohead track to date. This album is full of energy and creativity, and while it takes us farther and farther away from our dear friend Rock and Roll, it brings us closer and closer to something incredible.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thing of great beauty, 4 Aug 2006
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
Aren't Radiohead supposed to be gloomy and dull? Then why do I find all their music so uplifting? Is it the anger that lifts me? Or is it their defiance? In the case of this and Kid A their defiance even extends to the supposed boundaries of a rock group. Radiohead have dared to evolve rather than become dinosaurs. You must see Radiohead live if you really want to get these songs - they suddenly make complete sense and any doubts you have about them are immediately dispelled. BTW, I'm also enjoying the book Slowly Downward by Stanley Donwood. Stanley is the artist who won a grammy for his work with Thom Yorke on the cover and packaging of Amnesiac and his book is brilliant and disturbing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The face of the 21st century, 13 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
After getting used to the change of direction of Kid A, I found this easier to get into. But - and this is essential - Radiohead albums really need time to get into. I've got used the the songs here, and all I can say is that this is pure class. My personal favourite is the sublime "You & whos army". It was recorded at the same time as Kid A, but Amnesiac has more of a Jazzy/bluesy feel (especialy on the finale) and more guitar work. 21st century music for people who arn't convinced that the 21st century world is working. By the way, great art-work on Kid A & Amnesiac.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radiohead on top form, 8 May 2001
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
This album has not been out of my cd player for about 2 weeks now, and it keeps getting better. If The Bends was Radiohead's 'Revolver', and OK Computer was 'Sgt Pepper', then this album could be rightly called their version of 'The White Album'. Sprawling in variation and compelling to listen to, this fifth album from Radiohead will honestly appeal to any fan of any era in their history.
The variations work astonishingly well; from the frazzled dance of 'Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors' to the classic guitar song 'Knives Out', where Thom has actually written perhaps his first number 1, no more experimental (or should i just say mental) than The Smiths.
The Highlights of the album really do stand up with ANY guitar band's best work, and at the very least surpass their own output with style. 'Dollars and Cents' perhaps supplies the peak of the album at around the two-and-a-half minute mark with it's abandoned chaos in the middle of the song, but 'Pyramid Song' must take the credit as the best Radiohead moment yet. It builds and builds into the most beautiful song, a true classic and a worthy first single off an excellent album.
There are another 2 songs which deserve extra-special mention, namely the last two: 'Like Spinning Plates' starts off the chaos with what first appears to be a backwards mess. But it flourishes into a wonderful throbbing maelstrom with a coda that will lodge into your brain for weeks to come. This is then surpassed by the excellent 'Life In A Glass House' where subtle jazz pulses turn into a fitting finale. You actually feel that Thom is talking indirectly to you when he sings "Of course i'd like to sit around and chat/Of course i'd like to stay and chew the fat/", and then after a belated chorus says: "...But someone's listening in....". It is a perfect end to the album.
In conclusion then, this disc shows that Radiohead are not afraid to confront their past and pillage their own trademarks, -even- if it means picking up guitars again. The other tracks set the mood perfectly, actually complementing the standouts, based around a core of tracks 4-8 which are normal, but outstanding songs. A true Classic, and their best album yet.
And yes, if you are wondering, The White Album was my favourite Beatles album, too.
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Amnesiac by Radiohead (Audio CD - 2001)
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