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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 A great album becomes a good one
"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...
Published on 24 July 2009 by Mr. M. A. Reed


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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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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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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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to listen alot, but it becomes fanntastic!, 13 Jun 2001
By 
sevensmallorphans@yahoo.com (Baldock, Herts, England, Uk, Europe, Earth) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
If you read many of the scathing reviews of this album beware, this is radiohead we are talikng about. Having set themselves very high targets with Ok Computer and Kid A its very hard to judge in context how good this album is. But, i can safely say its better than what any other band could produce and is really very very good, any fan of innovative rock music must have this album.
Packt like sardines, the opening track combines warm synths and a funky electroica feel. Another outstanding opener and is reminiscent of Everthing in its right place and idioteque.
Track two as with most radiohead albums is the best (pyramid song). It is a contender for the best radiohead song since Ok Computer. It has an incredibly difficult time signiture but the moody pianos and strings make it unforgettable. But most importantly, it has the most inspiring thing in music, a radiohead climax. Absolutely amazingly fantastic.
Track three (Pulk/pull revolving doors) is in a word - weird. Don't just leave it out but know that this is very hard to listen to all the way through simply because the sounds are so coarse.
Number 4, You and whose army? best demonstrates the diversity of the album. It is very old fashioned. At the start its just acoustic guitar and thom which sounds as good as ever. It builds into a nice climax with the whole band joining in. It's quite a nice short and simple piece.
Track five "I might be wrong" is very funky with a very cool riff and good tempo. Just as you think its gone on for a bit too long it stops and out of nowhere comes thoms bird like voice and a beautifully harmonic ending. One of the most beautiful moments on the album.
Track 6 is "Knives out" and it is simply an outstanding song. It is the basic three guitars, bass and drums and is reminiscent of Street spirit. It is very easily to listen to and probably the second best song after Pyramid song.
Next is a remake of Morning bell, one of the best from Kid A. This version doesent quite live up to its sister-song due to a lack of the climactical ending but is just as eerie and frightening.
The next song is "Dollars and cents" and is another brilliant song. It has a nice build up to the point of multiple thom's voices working incredibly together. It has a very cool bass riff which isn't too repetitive and still keeps the electroic and experimental feel.
Track 9 is the short instrumental "Hunting bears" Like Treefingers from Kid A this is hard to listen to all the way through. It is very slow and repetitive at the start but then gets really good towards the end when the harmonies kick in.
Next is like spinning plates and is absolutely fantastic. Again it has a diffucult beginning with sounds reminiscent of Pulk/pull, because of this people don't really listen and it is the most underated song on the album. Towards the end beautifully soft keyboards with amazing harmonies work prefectly with thom's amazing voice. Truely fantastic, dont let the beginning put you off.
The last but by no means least is "Life in a glass house" a absolutely cracking new orleons funeral march style song but with a bit of radiohead angst thrown in. This is the third best song on the album, a more traditional style and very emotional. A fitting ending to an amazing album.
Every Radiohead album i've heard, ive not liked straight away. It always takes a while for you to realise just how good it is. I used to think Kid A was too weird and disjointed when i first heard it, now i think it is the most amazingly flowing masterpiece of music since Ok Computer.
Some of the songs don't seem as good as others on the first listen but perceviere and they will all join together and flow effortlessly to form one beautiful album.
Just for Pyramid song it should get five stars, just for the fact it has many outstanding songs it should get five stars, but im giving five stars cos i know as i listen, it will get better and better and better.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Kid A, 4 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
If "OK Computer" was hard to follow up, "Kid A" was perhaps even harder - in the move from the former album to the latter they'd created a cultural short-hand for mainstream-to-avant-garde artiness, moving away from the sheer utter genius of "OK Computer" to the agonising introspection of "Kid A". Listening to "Amnesiac" you realise Radiohead have created an album better than "Kid A", full of better songs and slightly toned-down electronica.
"Packt Liked Sardines", "Pyramid Song", "You and Whose Army", "I Might Be Wrong", "Knives Out", "Life in a Glasshouse" - these are all stone-cold classics, rivalling anything they've done. "You and Whose Army" in particular seems brilliant to me - the funniest and most beautiful anti-Blair song likely ever to be written, with a simply stunning climax that had be out in goosepimples on a first listen. (There remain a few songs I haven't taken a fancy to - "Pull/Pulk" especially - but that's only to be expected in any album.)
Great bands - and there have only been a few (the Beatles and Pink Floyd spring to mind) - manage, successfully, to alter and develop their range over the course of their albums. Radiohead are beginning to join that select group. Their body of work is now more impressive than more or less any other band around (perhaps only U2 and REM challenge them). You can put any of their CDs on and hear a development in style, but the same beautiful content. Listening to "Kid A" now, an album which caused remarkable upheaval amongst critics and fans, it begins to sound just part of an evolution, it begins to sound normal. "Amnesiac" gives us the other (perhaps more palatable) half of the "Kid A" sessions, but looks forward to a further movement into new territory. (If there are some Radiohead theorisers out there, they can discuss how "Amnesiac" reworks "Kid A", with its own "Morning Bell", its own (better) instrumental, even references to some of the sound effects (eg the heaven-like ending of "Kid A").) Let's hope and pray that Radiohead's new direction is as fruitful and replayable as this.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memory Loss, 13 Feb 2002
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
Initially, it did take a few listens. And I was excited by some of the direction changes (even from Kid A), but it waned a little after the first 40 or 50 listens.
Then I heard "Pyramid Song" again, out of the blue, and this prompted another few listens. I saw them live in Belfast last year, also in Dublin the year before, and was blown away of course.
The problem is that a lot of "Amnesiac" benefits from a rethink, a live airing; the urbane digitized production techniques rendering some tracks flat as a pancake. "Like Spinning Plates" and "You And Whose Army" are shining lights played live, as is "Dollars & Cents". The intention of "Hunting Bears" I think, is edge and menace; only half of this intent comes across on record.
Although I get the theme of the album - a framented sense of the past desparately being pieced together in the present - and this is executed excellently, through an unsettling and disjointed listen, that feels incomplete when it ends, a little more space would benefit it's lasting appeal; a little more length, too.
It sounds unfinished, but I guess that's the point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this is actually a good album, 14 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
it is interesting to see the contrasting responses this album has provoked. Skimming over the other various reviews for Amnesiac on Amazon, it fascinates me to see how five-star-praise is littered with the occasional one or two-star condemnation. From Radiohead fans!
Anyway, I happen to be in the small group of people who actually loves Kid A. Amnesiac is also a very good album, and similar to Kid A in its use of loops, sampling, synths, strings etc (and of course the famous Ondes Martenot). Generally, the album lacks the fluidity and form of Kid, but makes up for these shortcomings by such highlights as the sublime Pyramid Song, as well as the savage textures found in tracks like Spinning Plates.
As for the criticism of the band's artistic indulgence. I thought the greates art was supposed to be "self indulgent". Radiohead aren't likely to pick up many browny points from the likes of MTV in their latest evolution. They will, however, retain the loyalty and respect of many music lovers. Besides, perhaps the world needs another King Crimson?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amnesiac/Radiohead, 17 Feb 2008
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
This album is less well recieved than Kid A.Maybe people just couldn't take another "alternitive" Radiohead album so soon after Kid A.The truth is that this is a superb release.The uncomfortable opener(Pakt Like Sardines In A Tin),with its disorted eletronica.Its followed by the sweeping Pyrimad Song.With its dense piano and cascading strings this was a timely reminder of just what Radiohead can do.There are "guitar" songs here too.I Might Be Wrong and Knives Out provide ample riffs.
Perhaps,better then, to reflect on what is not here.If the had approached Like Spinning Plates on record as they do live,when it is stripped down into a song,it would have served this record better.Pulp should not have been allowed anywhere near the studio.
It would be crass not to mention Dollars and Cents,another wonderful example of genius,or the showstopping Life In A Glasshouse.This better than Hail To The Thief but worse than previous offerings bar Pablo Honey.
Still though,sit down and listen to Kid A and this in a row and imagine what might have been.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stop whingeing and listen to the album, 8 Jun 2001
By 
A. D. R. MARKS "adrmarks" (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
I have to admit that the poor reception generaly accorded to Kid A mystified me. Kid A was/is a great album. Did those who disliked it really want an OK Computer part two? There's only one way to go after OK computer and that's to remake 'The Wall' - and not even Floyd would do that! A change in direction was essential for the band to progress, and Kid A was just what they/we needed. Amnesiac is a worthy progression, taking the textures of Kid A and moulding them to more familiar song structures - the best of Kid A and OK computer combined, you could say. Certainly it doesn't always work (Hunting Bears is largely forgetable) but an album which contains gems such as Pyramid Song, Knives out and You and Who's Army should find a place in the collection of any music lover.
Radiohead are trying to push their music forward, and for that we should thank them - such genuine artistry is a rare commodity nowadays.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radiohead continue to evocatively break new ground., 7 Jun 2001
This review is from: Amnesiac (Audio CD)
After the experimental sidetrack that was Kid A, fans expected the next release from Radiohead to be either a return to the guitar-based grass roots of the band, or an even more way out and experimental set. Thankfully, Radiohead have managed to balance both these sides of their musical personalities with near perfection, and Insomniac represents a beautiful cross-template of all that is great about the band. Much like the Orbital album In Sides, this is not Radiohead's greatest album, but is the definitive album. Fan's of any era will be satisfied by what is on offer here, and those new to the band will not be put off. Highlights are Pyramid Song - surely their best 'commercial' release since Creep, and the fantastic I Might Be Wrong - drawing from the best of both The Bends and O.K. Computer. In short, this is one of, if not the best records of the year, by one of, if not the best band of recent times.
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