Kid A [Bonus Disc]

Kid A [Bonus Disc]

5.0 1
by Radiohead
     
 

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Laser show operators, rejoice: This generation's weightiest purveyors of prog-pop have returned to action -- and rest assured, they haven't moved an inch closer to the middle of the road on this outing. If anything, Thom Yorke and company seem intent on seeing how far they can push the envelope -- a tone that's set with the paranoiac, piano-driven opener "Everything… See more details below

Overview

Laser show operators, rejoice: This generation's weightiest purveyors of prog-pop have returned to action -- and rest assured, they haven't moved an inch closer to the middle of the road on this outing. If anything, Thom Yorke and company seem intent on seeing how far they can push the envelope -- a tone that's set with the paranoiac, piano-driven opener "Everything in Its Right Place." The undulating layers of sound that swell through that song give way to the title cut's dizzying thicket of chattering voices, which in turn drift into a noisy reed duel that dominates "The National Anthem" (most assuredly not the tune you hear before sporting events). Although not as conceptually unified as OK Computer, Kid A is every bit as distanced from standard rock structure. This time around, the band have shed even more of their guitar orientation, replacing Jonny Greenwood's angular riffs with equally bristly piano lines and dense rhythm beds that split the difference between the tribal and the industrial. The decision to treat Yorke's voice as just another element in the instrumental mix is an interesting one, albeit one that makes it difficult to discern precisely what it is he's going on about in some songs. There's no mistaking the mood, however: Virtually every song is clad in dark hues, minor chords, and oppressive rhythms. On occasion, that bubbles over into wild-eyed aggression, as on the deceptively titled "Optimistic," but there are far more whispers than cries in the grooves of these ten songs. While it's not the easiest album in the world to get inside, Kid A's obsessiveness and complexity make it even more difficult to escape once you've found a way in.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Instead of simply adding club beats or sonic collage techniques, Radiohead strive to incorporate the unsettling "intelligent techno" sound of Autechre and Aphex Twin, characterized by its skittering beats and stylishly dark sonic surfaces, for Kid A. To their immense credit, Radiohead don't sound like carpetbaggers, because they share the same post-postmodern vantage point as their inspirations. As a result, Kid A is easily the most successful electronica album from a rock band -- it doesn't even sound like a rock band, even if it does sound like Radiohead. So, Kid A is an unqualified success? Well, not quite. Despite its admirable ambition, Kid A is never as visionary or stunning as OK Computer, nor does it really repay the time it demands. OK Computer required many plays before revealing the intricacies of its densely layered mix; here, multiple plays are necessary to discern the music's form, to get a handle on quiet, drifting, minimally arranged songs with no hooks. Of course, the natural reaction of any serious record geek is that if the music demands so much work, it must be worth it -- and at times, that supposition is true. But Kid A's challenge doesn't always live up to its end of the bargain. It's self-consciously alienating and difficult, and while that can be intriguing, it seems deeper than it actually is. Repeated plays dissipate the mystique and reveal a number of rather drab songs (primarily during the second half), where there isn't enough under the surface to make Radiohead's relentless experimentation satisfying. But mixed results are still results, and about half of the songs positively shimmer with genius. [The bonus disc on EMI's expanded 2009 reissue of Kid A hammers home how Radiohead precisely crafted the album proper. Radiohead pulled no singles from Kid A, so there are no B-sides or EPs with unheard songs and remixes, only live versions of almost all the album's songs (only "Kid A" and "Treefingers" are not here): a four-song BBC Radio One session from November 15, 2000, a version of "Optimistic" from Lamacq Live in Concert in October 2000, a seven-song set at Canal+ Studios in April 2001 and "True Love Waits" from the I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings EP. While there may not be any little-known gems, the bonus material is quite useful in how it opens up and warms the sometimes chilly Kid A, illustrating the core strength of the material plus Radiohead's force as a live band.]
Rolling Stone - David Fricke
...a clear-eyed space opera about a plausible future ­ a generation raised like plant life. And inside the hermetic electronics and art-pop frost is a heated argument about conformity, individuality and the messy consequences of playing God.
Entertainment Weekly - David Browne
As unnervingly cryptic as Kid A can be, it is a genuinely challenging work in a generally unchallenging time. It’s the Ralph Nader of pop.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/25/2009
Label:
Capitol
UPC:
5099969710629
catalogNumber:
97106

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Everything in Its Right Place  -  Radiohead
  2. Kid A  -  Radiohead
  3. The National Anthem  -  Radiohead
  4. How to Disappear Completely  -  Radiohead
  5. Treefingers  -  Radiohead
  6. Optimistic  -  Radiohead
  7. In Limbo  -  Radiohead
  8. Idioteque  -  Radiohead
  9. Morning Bell  -  Radiohead
  10. Motion Picture Soundtrack  -  Radiohead

Disc 2

  1. Everything in Its Right Place  -  Radiohead
  2. How to Disappear Completely  -  Radiohead
  3. Idioteque  -  Radiohead
  4. The National Anthem  -  Radiohead
  5. Optimistic  -  Radiohead
  6. Morning Bell  -  Radiohead
  7. The National Anthem  -  Radiohead
  8. How to Disappear Completely  -  Radiohead
  9. In Limbo  -  Radiohead
  10. Idioteque  -  Radiohead
  11. Everything in Its Right Place  -  Radiohead
  12. Motion Picture Soundtrack  -  Radiohead
  13. True Love Waits  -  Radiohead

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Radiohead   Primary Artist
Stan Harrison   Baritone Saxophone
Mark Lockheart   Tenor Saxophone
John Lubbock   Conductor
Martin Hathaway   Alto Saxophone
Andy (Stewart) Hamilton   Tenor Saxophone
Orchestra of St. John's   Ensemble
Andy Bush   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Radiohead   Composer
Miti Adhikari   Producer
Chris Blair   Mastering
Jim Warren   Engineer
Henry Binns   Rhythm Programming
Nigel Godrich   Engineer,Live Recording
Jonny Greenwood   Score
Jean Luc Lemerre   Live Recording
Gerard Navarro   Engineer
Graeme Stewart   Engineer
Sam Cunningham   Producer

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