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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 Sept. 2001

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3.0 out of 5 stars (3.5 ) Complex perceptions undermine Amnesiac as an album, May 10, 2004
Critics and fans alike haunt AMNESIAC, Radiohead's 2001 album, with accusations this record is little more than a KID B. Indeed, much of the controversy surrounding this album has to do with complex issues of album vs. single, and Radiohead's self-important reputation. It is rather funny how the actual music can get lost in all the shuffle.

In the early 1960s,...
Published on 11 Sept. 2012 by Mike London


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amnesiac should not be forgotten (its not just "Kid B"), 27 Feb. 2011
By 
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
Radiohead have pretty much run the gamut of rock music (from alternative to uncategorizable), and nearly all of their albums have been fantastic. Following the unsettling and fascinating sonic landscape of OK Computer (my favorite description of it was that it "sounds like what the future will look like" or something to that effect), the band emerged with the bizarre Kid A, which has its great and not-so-great moments. Amnesiac was released shortly thereafter, with what appeared to be much less fanfare- and thus far less subsequent attention. However, it is the one Radiohead album I return to more than any other...even though I enjoy HTTT very much (and feel that it was their most cohesive record since OKC), both it and In Rainbows, as lovely as it is, do not match the spirit that lies within Amnesiac. At times sparse, at others emotionally complex, the songs that comprise this album are truly distinct and carry a weight which transcends melody or lyrics; they seem to have an urgency and depth about them, a sense of impending...well, inevitabllity- as though events are transpiring rapidly or coming up from all sides (both within and without) and we must navigate them with care lest we become caught within the labyrinth (as some of the artwork also seems to suggest). With the much-heralded release of IR, and the well-deserved accolades of OKC, Amnesiac should not be overlooked or dismissed as merely the happenstance sibling of Kid A, but observed perhaps as an artifact of some of our innermost (labyrinthine?) desires and often unspoken concerns...and cherished as such.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite Kid B, more Kid A-, 24 April 2010
By 
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
This album is possibly more accessible than Kid A. The opening track, Packt Like Sardines in a Crushed Tin Box, is a thoroughly original piece of music, driven by a wonderful bassline and a great chorus of 'I'm a reasonable man, get off my case'.

This momentum is spoiled a little by the next track, the funereal 'Pyramid Song'. Not a bad song in itself, but the plodding pace of it jars after Packt. And the less said about the next track, Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors, the better. It's kind of a drum 'n' bass experiment with some warped vocals thrown in, minus any melody worth speaking about. You and Whose Army comes as a welcome relief, which starts with Yorke singing over some sparse electric guitar, before the rest of the instruments come in and build to a great little climax. I Might Be Wrong grooves along nicely, leading into Knives Out, the most 'normal Radiohead' sounding track on the album. It's a great tune, all long drawn-out syllables and jangly guitars.

Morning Bell is reprised from Kid A, but with a totally different arrangement. The serene Kid A arrangement is replaced by an almost child-like arrangement. It sounds a little throw-away until you realise that you can hear the lyrics even more clearly as Yorke's voice is right out front, giving more emphasis to lines like 'cut the kids in half'.

It's followed by Dollars and Cents which to my ears is less interesting and a bit more old-school Radiohead. Hunting Bears is a nice instrumental led by electric guitar which builds a nice healthy bit of tension before the warped sounding Like Spinning Plates, where it sounds like the keyboard line was played backwards.

Life in A Glasshouse is the closing track and it sounds like an old jazz band after taking a load of downers. Yorke sounds almost too bleak on this one before becoming somewhat dismissive at the end ('of course I'd like to sit around and chat'). It's an unsettling way to end the album. Nevertheless the album rewards repeat listening. It's less of a cohesive listen than Kid A, but probably contains more impressive individual songs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The EXTRA tracks from Kid A are actually better!, 31 May 2003
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
On Kid A Radiohead showed the world that they are more than just one the most talented bands at the moment, that there is also an innovative side that can only class them as genius, and obviously the best band to come out of Britain in a long time.
Kid A was a huge step from OK Computer, and even though many of the critics didn't really like it (what do they know), it was still brilliant.
Amnesiac (tracks recorded at the same time as Kid A) shows this again, but with more guitar this time. But those of you epecting epic songs and long guitar solos look away now.
The range of songs on offer are great from the beautiful "Pyramid Song" to the wierdness that is "Like spinning plates". The opening track "Packt like sardines in a crushd tin box" has a large range of instuments and effects, demonstrating the ability of each band member.
The one song that is more like a typical Radiohead song is "Knives Out" which sees the band using the three guitar system that was evident on the previous albums, and the dark lyrics that Thom sings often "Catch the mouse/Squash his head/Throw him in the pot". Nice image.
The only downside is "Morning Bell/Amnesiac". One of the best songs from Kid A loses the flair that made the original good, this time it is too slow and a bit crap without the great guitar ending. But it is still good, mind.
It is also nice too see the band trying out some new styles ("Life in a Glasshouse").
A nice highlight is "Dollars and cents" which has some great moments, such the build up (the "why don't you quiet down" bit) and then the drums explode before going silent again.
What Radiohead have created however are songs that will be forever used on adverts. How many times have you heard a Radiohead song on an advert or TV programme? I think the list is endless.
Overall, buy this album if you want to discover a great band or have an open mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nine out of ten Helens agree...., 30 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
Amnesiac IS the album of 2001. Packed like 11 completely touching movements in a crafty mid/tempo box, it's got enough smart hooks to survive in your mind long after the first few spins. It's got 'legs' as they say. And I can't remember a time since first hearing 'Ok' where the vocals stirred up so much raw emotion as they do here. Put on the stereo headphones, listen for all the myriad sounds playing through every track. Close your eyes and the stories told here will dazzle you. But that's the poetic side of the cd talking.
Got Singles? Yes. 'Amnesiac' is like taking everything, or anything you liked about 'Kid A', and lightly sprinkling it evenly throughout 'Ok Computer'. And man is it catchy.
But of course I disliked 'Kid A' immensely upon the first many listens. "Where are the loud distorted guitars"? "Where are the vocals"? Only to soon realize how to open up and take it for what it is, art. Not a collection of radio friendly singles but akin to a beautiful painting or a striking classical movement. 'Amnesiac' feels like more of the same. Though a bit more accessible and 'radio friendly', can still be felt front to back as one long piece of art without your mind segregating the tracks. A ride if you will. And what a ride it is.
Take some time for this one because once you get into it, it's live emotions. The vocals stop you and the music moves you. Leaving you with a sense of not knowing what you've been through. But I'm sure I enjoyed the ride.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Style., 18 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
I have been a Radiohead fan ever since I first heard Stop Whispering back in 1993. I was not really hooked before I heard My Iron Lung. But even though I really liked the band I thought something was wrong for a long time. Tracks like Bones, Nice Dream, Bullet proof & Black Star from the Bends seemed not quite to work out. I had this feeling that the band was still only "promising." With OK Computer the band finally perfected their style. I had the feeling that this could be the last album they would record. As shown by Ed's diary this was a real danger. KID A was a wierd experience at first. The style was drifting and the space in which it was moving, was so cold. It was only after I learned to play some of the songs myself, that I got the idea. Some of my friends never understood anything of this recond. A shame, it is a truly great record. Still Amnesiac sets out to be even better. It is more positive than all the other albums and the negative songs are aggressive instead of depressive. Surely an improvement. Occasionally one can miss the excellent lyrics of OK Computer, but there are still some great moments, like in Pyramid Song (which might be their first really big hit since Creep. Only Karme Poilice was close.) where Thom sings of "the moon full of stars and astral cars." When I write that this record is beyond style I mean it. It has Jazz-elements, rock, pop and techno-songs. My own favorites are (currently) Dollars and Cents and You and Whose Army. But also the rerecording of Morning Bell is beautiful beyond words. But basically most of the record is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another very personal album from Radiohead!, 6 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
This album is, as expected, very good. But, I am not writing this review on the album but on the Ltd Edition part of it. The package arrived this morning and immediately I took it upstairs and opened it. I saw A red book with a weeping devil bear thing sitting down. And most of all the satisfaction of finally, after all the waiting, seeing the words AMNESAIC RADIOHEAD printed on something that wasn't a bootlegged CD. I opened the book and carefully placed the CD in my Hi Fi and sat back and leafed through the rest of the book. I am an art student and a rebelious one at that and all I ever want to do is create images like the ones in the ltd edition, I mean images that have no meaning to anyone except me and people like me. That is what they have accomplished with this book. These images seem so pointless and irrelevent when taken at face value, just like Ok COmputer and Kid A sleeves but delv a little deeper and you can see how it relates to everything the band stands for. Politics and many other issues. If you find yourself not understanding any of these images just look at the radiohead website and all the causes the band supports. Another aspect of the images is they seem to relate somewhat to Tolkein. Strange creatures and evil looking landscapes are everywhere. If you have any further doubts about the artwork in this cd/book just think of all the other bands currently releasing stuff and look at how much personal effort has gone into producing their sleeves, none!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag (including greatness), 8 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
"Amnesiac" starts off where "Kid A" left off: for me, "Packt like Sardines" sounds like a "Kid A" track. Then comes "Pyramid Song", which for me is still today the most amazing track by Radiohead. Very simple, very minimalistic in a way, it feels like some sort of soundscape just reaching out into eternity. Very zen, love it.

Then, dear, oh dear, what the hell were they thinking with "Pulk/Pull"? I really hate this track, having given it many, many chances and yet I continue to find it unlistenable. Luckily the album immediately redeems itself with the slow, haunting "You and Whose Army". "I Might Be Wrong" and "Knives Out" continue the album's good run, even if the former is, again, very "Kid A". But I was really disappointed by the reworking of my favourite "Kid A" track, "Morning Bell"; they should have left well alone.

For me, the album then dips quite considerably. "Dollars & Cents" doesn't do anything for me, and "Hunting Bears" seems somewhat insubstantial. Then "Like Spinning Plates" pops up to give "Pulk/Pull" a run for its money in the worst track stakes. Thank God for "Life in a Glasshouse" which allows the album to close in style.

So quite a mixed bag, combining the sublime and the, quite frankly, pretty poor. It certainly doesn't have a chance against "Kid A" as an album to be measured in its totality. But it has to be bought if only for "Pyramid Song". Just know that this is one CD where you might want to program the tracks you want to listen to.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential album for any music fan, 17 Dec. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
Kid A, Radiohead`s 4th album and Amnesiac`s predecessor, took the music world by surprise with a completely different change of direction. Many consider it a mistake for a band who made an album as good as OK Computer to try something new, but in my opinion, Kid A is Radiohead`s best album to date. Amnesiac was recorded at the same time as Kid A, but has a more conventional feel about it, featuring more guitar and more audible vocals than Kid A.
The album kicks off brilliantly with "Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box", a slight reminicant of Kid A highlight, "Idioteque", but nothing can quite prepare you for what follows. "Pyramid Song" is easily the most gorgeous, original single released this year, and is definately one of Amnesiac`s highlights. As it all quietens down after it`s stunning, euphoric climax, "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" takes you by surprise with it`s aggresive intro, and leads into Yorke`s incredibley distorted vocals describing different types of doors. It`s pretty hard work on first listen, but after listening to the whole album for about the third time, everything begins to make sense.
After the angry, and slightly disturbing "Pulk", Anti-Blair rant "You And Whose Army" is perfect to lighten the mood. It builds from a beautifully serene beginning into a powerful, "Karma Police"-style climax. Third single "I Might Be Wrong" follows, opening with an impossibly catchy guitar loop, leading into Yorke`s (again) distorted vocals, before ending with a slightly quieter peice of music, which, apart from the fact that it also features guitar, seems somewhat unrelated to the song it follows.
"Knives Out" comes next, opening with Jonny`s haunting guitar riff, before Yorke goes off on one, singing about dead mice and drowning dogs. Although this is pleasent enough, it is by no means one of the best songs here. It starts as it means to go on, and features no real musical development, unlike the track it is frequently compared with, the brilliant "Paranoid Android". This is followed by a remix of the Kid A classic, "Morning Bell", here retitled "Morning Bell/Amnesiac", and whilst being perfectly listenable is not a patch on the original. It is stripped of the drum rolls and keyboards, and the "round and round and round.." refrain is not nearly as effective here.
Through the bass-lead "Dollars And Cents", and the brilliant (but frequently slated) intrumental "Hunting Bears", featuring mainly Jonny and/or Ed mucking about with a delay pedal, the album reaches it`s penultimate track, the stunning "Like Spinning Plates", probably the most experimental track here (apart from Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors). But no matter how good the album has been so far, the album finishes with the absolutely breath-taking finale, "Life In A Glasshouse". It features jazz veteran Humphrey Lyttleton and his band, and is without doubt the best song here, and maybe even the best track to come out of the Kid A/Amnesiac sessions.
This undoubtedly brilliant album is absolutely essential for any Radiohead fan, or then again, any fan of decent music, music with a difference, a major rock band making music that demand, but greatly rewards a bit of patience from the listener. But no matter how good Amnesiac is, it still doesn`t meet the impossibly high standard set by Kid A, which is in my opinion the greatest album of all time. But, nevertheless, this is fantastic. Buy it now.
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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
(REAL NAME)   
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the summer side, 12 April 2001
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
after the first listen, the things I had heard from others sneaking a peak at the album leak out all over--surely, this album is the breath of "Kid A". I really can't put it to words. The techno pieces such as "pulk/pull" and "packt like sardines..." are the most simple on the album. The textures and colors scream all over, but the structure is reminiscent of "everything in...". Very simple statements--but perfectly self contained.
In the same album are these rich and bluesy rock tunes like "dollars and cents" and "Knives Out". Totally unexpected after the last album and semingly totally out of place on Amnesiac; but then again everything is. The pieces all have an integrity of their own.
The piece that shines to me is "like spinning plates". The most molassas rich noises swirl around thom's voice--Every time I hear it the last few bars hit me like groggy eyes pulling apart after a nap (a can't help and smile and breathe deep everytime). It is the last serious note on Amnesiac before settling into the rant of "Living in a glass house"
Kid A makes a lot more sense after adding this album to it. They complete each other (winter and summer).
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Amnesiac
Amnesiac by Radiohead
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