Quick Review (LP): Summerteeth by Wilco

Wilco
Summerteeth
Reprise; 1999

My Rating: A (86/100)

Best Tracks: "Shot In The Arm", "I’m Always In Love", "How To Fight Loneliness", "Via Chicago", "When You Wake Up Feeling Old", "Summerteeth", "In A Future Age"

Fractured folk and power pop hybrid – “summer here and summer over there.”

TRACK NOTES

  • You know what "Can’t Stand It" reminds me of? "You’re So Vain." Cool tune though, poppy as a hell, a great jumping off point.
  • "She’s A Jar" is the first of the record’s slower, abstract folk numbers. Tweedy’s in abstract poetry mode there.
  • "Shot In The Arm" is still a live favorite of the band. It’s a really cool, spacey, Neu!-ish tune. Great lyrics.
  • "What you once were isn’t what you wanna be/Anymore!"
  • "We’re Just Friends" is a personal favorite. Sort of reminds me of Randy Newman.
  • Same with "Always In Love." I love how big it is as a power-pop song. Tweedy sounds like he’s coming off the rails.
  • "Nothing’severgonnastandinmywayagain" is cute, but it’s a bit annoying too. I’ll take it though.
  • "Pieholden Suite" may not be one of the better tracks here, but it sort of points toward the band’s more experimental/fragmented approach on later records.
  • "How To Fight Loneliness" is a gorgeous little acoustic strummer. Great instrumentation.
  • "Via Chicago" is another tune that points toward Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Brilliant in every way.
  • "I dreamed about killing you again last night/And it felt alright to me" – that is so great.
  • "ELT" is cool, but sort of drags in the middle and pails in comparison to some of the other power pop numbers herein.
  • I just don’t care much for "My Darling."
  • I love "When You Wake Up Feeling Old." It’s one of my all-time Wilco favorites. It almost sounds like something Chicago would’ve recorded in collaboration with The Beach Boys.
  • The title track features some great lead guitar work. It’s a nice combo of the record’s two sides.
  • "In A Future Age" is similar to "Via Chicago". Perhaps not as dark, but equally great. Love the piano work there.
  • Imagine The Beach Boys of the mid-60’s forming a band with Alex Chilton and Chris Bell in the early 70’s and you pretty much have the magnificent "Candyfloss."

ALBUM NOTES

  • Great late night driving album. Amazingly good for top of the lung singalongs in order to stay awake.
  • This album, more than any other, strikes me as a partnership between Tweedy and Bennett. Bennett really exerted his "throw everything at it" production mindset with Summerteeth.
  • There are two sides to this album: a sunny, power pop side where the upbeat tunes foil Tweedy’s utterly miserable disposition at the time and the understated, experimental folk side where fractured but gorgeous tunes pass the time and Tweedy crafts some amazingly adventurous lyrics.
  • I compare this one to Radiohead’s OK Computer. Not quite as experimental as it seemed when it first came out, but it serves as a turning point for the band and the record when people really started to take notice.
  • Given the two faces of the album (power pop/fractured folk), I’m starting to sense some of the brilliance of the record.
  • When it all comes down to it, this album contains about 10 or 11 amazing songs, and while many are unpolished, there is an open-ended feel to everything here that makes it very listenable.
  • The definition of “summerteeth” according to the Urban Dictionary. I’m thinking this refers to the fact that the album contains both light and dark songs. It could also refer to the way the lyrics are really biting at times. Also, Tweedy has a thing for interesting words as well, and I think that factors in.
  • Always thought that moon image was a captivating cover.

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (5/5
Consequence (4.5/5)
Consistency (4.5/5)
Songs (4.5/5)

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Quick Review (LP): The King of Limbs by Radiohead

Radiohead
The King of Limbs
2011

My Rating: A (86/100)

Best Tracks: "Bloom", "Lotus Flower", "Codex", "Give Up The Ghost"

It’s a Radiohead LP – Fussy and Brilliant

Well, this one was bound to be a divider, but it has won me over. Yes, I’ll admit it was lost on me after my first few listens, but then again it took me several months to breakthrough with Kid A. Maybe I’m just one of those suckers who will fall for anything, but I really dig the fact that the overriding theme of this record, for all of its electric and industrial sheen, is the natural realm, pure and simple. (I can just see Thommy boy strolling through the post-apocalyptic forest with Mr. Bluebird on his shoulder.) Sonically, Limbs is a fantastic offering. True, it’s only 8-wide, but its octave of tracks forms a delightfully dense and spectral aural mist. Side B really steals the show, kicking off with the truly brilliant "Lotus Flower", followed up by the chillingly gorgeous "Codex," which might just be a better piano ballad than "Videotape." At this point, any one who expects Radiohead to make a predictable record needs to get a clue. While I’d love to get the guitar-heavy follow-up to OK Computer that I’ve been thirsting for since 1997, I’ve also learned to love the fact that Radiohead will never make the same record twice. The King of Limbs’ payoff is anything but immediate, yet for those who are willing to listen closely for the tender, the nuanced, and the elegaic, it is without a doubt one of the most rewarding records in the band’s catalog.

RANDOM NOTES:

– Perhaps The King of Limbs is the avenging angel of death on the cover, ready to get back at mankind for the mess we’ve made of things?
– Their most mellow record for sure.
– Reminds me of the Amnesiac b-sides, esp. "Kinetic" and "Fog."
– "If you think this is over then you’re wrong…" Please let that mean a follow-up is coming soon!

ATTRIBUTES

Consistency (4.5/5) – second half def. superior to first half
Cohesion (5/5) – frantic blended brilliantly with the slow and ominous
Consequence (4.5/5) – not as big a bang as OKC, Kid A, In Rainbows, but this IS Radiohead
Concept (5/5) – thematically excellent with nature motif
Songs (4.5/5) – too few!

OTHER REVIEWS:

Pitchfork
AMG
Josh Hurst
Metacritic

Radiohead: Top 12 Non-Album Tracks 3-1

3. “Cuttooth” from the KNIVES OUT singles: Bearing one of the most strangely enticing song titles in the band’s catalog, this one comes straight from the depths of the KID A sessions. It’s a piece of shimmering, propulsive Krautrock that shows Radiohead pretty much mastering the genre overnight. While it’s all for the best that they moved on, and although “Cuttooth” bears the sunny glow that reasonably excluded it from KID A or AMNESIAC, it’s nevertheless one of the coolest things the band has ever recorded. With “Cuttooth”, Radiohead joined the ranks of artists like Springsteen and Pavement, where the myth of lost tracks began to rival the myth of the albums.
2. “Pearly*” from the PARANOID ANDROID singles: Although ultimately it doesn’t feel right at this point to question the band’s judgment on the tracklisting for OK COMPUTER, it still makes me scratch my head that this one was left off that album in favor of “Electioneering.” Featuring similar subject matter and a similar sonic trajectory, “Pearly*” is far more exotic and otherworldly, once again featuring some marvelous instrumentation from both the guitar and the drum sections. “Pearly*” is the “Maquiladora” of OK COMPUTER. Seriously, couldn’t they have made room for just one more?
1. “Talk Show Host (Nellee Hooper mix)” from the ROMEO AND JULIET soundtrack: Some might argue with the fact that I chose a cinematic cut-up of “Talk Show Host” as the band’s number one non-album track, but Nellee Hooper’s remix just gets it right. Go back and listen to the version from the STREET SPIRIT single and see for yourself. The bass and drums are just a little too aggressive, a little too direct. But Hooper expertly brings trip-hop subtleties to bear on the song’s bare bones, exposing the emotional heart of the song, and fleshing out a cinematic and musical masterpiece in the process. Don’t settle for the original in this case; Hooper’s remix is the real deal.

Radiohead_knivesout3. “Cuttooth” from the KNIVES OUT singles: Bearing one of the most strangely enticing song titles in the band’s catalog, this one comes straight from the depths of the KID A sessions. It’s a piece of shimmering, propulsive Krautrock that shows Radiohead pretty much mastering the genre overnight. While it’s all for the best that they moved on, and although “Cuttooth” bears the sunny glow that reasonably excluded it from KID A or AMNESIAC, it’s nevertheless one of the coolest things the band has ever recorded. With “Cuttooth”, Radiohead joined the ranks of artists like Springsteen and Pavement, where the myth of lost tracks began to rival the myth of the albums.

Paranoid_Android_CD12. “Pearly*” from the PARANOID ANDROID singles: Although ultimately it doesn’t feel right at this point to question the band’s judgment on the tracklisting for OK COMPUTER, it still makes me scratch my head that this one was left off that album in favor of “Electioneering.” Featuring similar subject matter and a similar sonic trajectory, “Pearly*” is far more exotic and otherworldly, once again featuring some marvelous instrumentation from both the guitar and the drum sections. “Pearly*” is the “Maquiladora” of OK COMPUTER. Seriously, couldn’t they have made room for just one more?

Romeo_+_Juliet_Soundtrack_Vol._11. “Talk Show Host (Nellee Hooper mix)” from the ROMEO AND JULIET soundtrack: Some might argue with the fact that I chose a cinematic cut-up of “Talk Show Host” as the band’s number one non-album track, but Nellee Hooper’s remix just gets it right. Go back and listen to the version from the STREET SPIRIT single and see for yourself. The bass and drums are just a little too aggressive, a little too direct. But Hooper expertly brings trip-hop subtleties to bear on the song’s bare bones, exposing the emotional heart of the song, and fleshing out a cinematic and musical masterpiece in the process. Don’t settle for the original in this case; Hooper’s remix is the real deal.

Radiohead: Top 12 Non-Album Tracks 6-4

6. “Four Minute Warning” from IN RAINBOWS CD2: I think this track may have been the one Ed referred to as “Bombers” during the KID A sessions. Can’t be sure, but nevertheless, it’s one of the best songs the band has recorded period. It might have closed out IN RAINBOWS just as easily as “Videotape”, the white-noise fade-in evoking a cinematic landscape of bravenewworld devastation. Coming from the same subconscious goldmine that gave us “Pyramid Song”, the lyrics and music working together to evoke a similar slow-motion waking dream. Proof positive that Radiohead needs to record an album of piano-based ballads.
5. “Maquiladora” from HIGH AND DRY SINGLES:  Taking second place only to “Just” as the most in-your-face brit rock track in the band’s repertoire, “Maquiladora” is another b-side that “might have been a hit” for the band during THE BENDS era. With Jonny G.’s incendiary lead and the explosive refrain “Oh – BAY – BAH – BURN!!!!!”, this is the sort of track that the band should still be rolling out as an encore every once in a while. Also priceless – the clean cut breakdown (aka the pretty part) between the episodes of thundering heaviness. Simply brilliant all around.
4. “A Reminder” from PARANOID ANDROID SINGLES: Once considered as the lead-off single for OK COMPUTER, this one didn’t make it onto the album proper, but still stands as one of the strongest examples of the band’s aesthetic at that time. Slowly building around a locomotive drive, it’s an obtuse little love song, evocative of a train trek across the sub-continent of Europe in the prime of one’s youth (this is helped by the actual sounds of a Czech rail station opening the song). Like Richard Linklater’s BEFORE SUNRISE, the song’s narrative revolves around two people, the speaker and the addressee. Highly personal and minimally detailed, it nevertheless expresses a deep romanticism that the band hasn’t quite achieved since.

Radiohead_Nude6. “Four Minute Warning” from the NUDE singles: I think this track may have been the one Ed referred to as “Bombers” during the KID A sessions. Can’t be sure, but nevertheless, it’s one of the best songs the band has recorded period. It might have closed out IN RAINBOWS just as easily as “Videotape”, the white-noise fade-in evoking a cinematic landscape of bravenewworld devastation. Coming from the same subconscious goldmine that gave us “Pyramid Song”, the lyrics and music work together to evoke a similar slow-motion waking dream. Proof positive that Radiohead needs to record an album of piano-based ballads.

High_and_Dry_Planet_Telex_CD15. “Maquiladora” from the HIGH AND DRY singles:  Taking second place only to “Just” as the most in-your-face brit rock track in the band’s repertoire, “Maquiladora” is another b-side that “might have been a hit” for the band during THE BENDS era. With Jonny G.’s incendiary lead and the explosive refrain “Oh – BAY – BAH – BURN!!!!!”, this is the sort of track that the band should still be rolling out as an encore every once in a while. Also priceless – the clean cut breakdown (aka the pretty part) between the episodes of thundering heaviness. Simply brilliant all around.

Paranoid_Android_CD14. “A Reminder” from the PARANOID ANDROID singles: Once considered as the lead-off single for OK COMPUTER, this one didn’t make it onto the album proper, but still stands as one of the strongest examples of the band’s aesthetic at that time. Slowly building around a locomotive drive, it’s an obtuse little love song, evocative of a train trek across the sub-continent of Europe in the prime of one’s youth (this is helped by the actual sounds of a Czech rail station opening the song). Vaguely recalling Richard Linklater’s film BEFORE SUNRISE, the song’s narrative revolves around the hopes and fears of two young people intimately connected for a moment in time. Highly personal and minimally detailed, it nevertheless expresses a deep romanticism that the band hasn’t quite achieved since.

Radiohead: Top 12 Non-Album Tracks, 12-10

12. “Palo Alto” from AIRBAG/HOW AM I DRIVING? EP: Originally titled “OK Computer”, this track might have birthed the creative concepts behind the homonymous album. Encapsulating many of the same themes, it immediately evokes the false pleasantries of THE TRUMAN SHOW as Yorke greets the listener “I’m OK/How are you/Thanks for asking/Thanks for asking.” Still, underneath it all is Yorke’s old nemesis, the omnipresent fridge buzz. “In the city of the future/It is difficult to concentrate.” It also shines as one of the most chipper mid-tempo rockers in the band’s repertoire, effecting a Beatles-esque glee through Jonny’s noodly leads. Simultaneously a chunky guitar fest and an effects-laden dreamscape, it evokes the best of The Bends AND OK Computer in one little track. Muy bueno.
11. “Last Flowers” from IN RAINBOWS CD2: A mysterious tune that’s been floating around since the days of OK Computer, it didn’t see the light of day for nearly ten years. Through all the changes for the band, this comes across as one of their most sober and lovely little tracks, and proves that when you strip away all the bells and whistles, what you have is a great band of musicians in the most timeless sense. Featuring some of Yorke’s most emotionally potent lyrics (“You can offer me scape…if you take me there you’ll get relief”), its arguably his most disarming performance since another great b-side, “How I Made My Millions.” It can be easy to forget that so many of us fell for Radiohead because of their weepier stuff – “Fake Plastic Trees,” “High and Dry” – but this lost beauty brings it all back home.
10. “Fog” from KNIVES OUT SINGLES: Introducted to the world via concert in 2001 as a “silly little song,” this lullabye about humans as sewer gators is quite simply one of the most obtuse and artful tracks by any band ever, a whimsical ode to lost innocence. Although it seems to come across as a throwaway, it features one of the best melodies in the band’s catalog, and works itself into a great jam at the end, featuring everything but the kitchen sink. Bonus points here for the stark visuals drawn by the music, proving once again that Radiohead is great because they think in like, I don’t know, five or six dimensions.

Airbag12. “Palo Alto” from AIRBAG/HOW AM I DRIVING? EP: Originally titled “OK Computer”, this track might have birthed the creative concepts behind the homonymous album. Encapsulating many of the same themes, it immediately evokes the false pleasantries of THE TRUMAN SHOW as Yorke greets the listener “I’m OK/How are you/Thanks for asking/Thanks for asking.” Still, underneath it all is Yorke’s old nemesis, the omnipresent fridge buzz. “In the city of the future/It is difficult to concentrate.” It also shines as one of the most chipper mid-tempo rockers in the band’s repertoire, effecting a Beatles-esque glee through Jonny’s noodly leads. Simultaneously a chunky guitar fest and an effects-laden dreamscape, it evokes the best of The Bends AND OK Computer in one little track. Muy bueno.

17563562-17563565-slarge11. “Last Flowers” from IN RAINBOWS CD2: A mysterious tune that’s been floating around since the OK COMPUTER-era, it didn’t see the light of day for nearly ten years. Through all the changes for the band, this comes across as one of their most sober and lovely little tracks, and proves that when you strip away all the bells and whistles, what you have is a great band of musicians in the most timeless sense. Featuring some of Yorke’s most emotionally potent lyrics (“You can offer me escape…if you take me there you’ll get relief”), its arguably his most disarming performance since another great b-side, “How I Made My Millions.” It can be easy to forget that so many of us fell for Radiohead because of their weepier stuff – “Fake Plastic Trees,” “High and Dry” – but this lost beauty brings it all back home.

Radiohead_knivesout10. “Fog” from KNIVES OUT SINGLES: Introducted to the world via concert in 2001 as a “silly little song,” this lullabye about humans as sewer gators is quite simply one of the most obtuse and artful tracks by any band ever, a whimsical ode to lost innocence. Although it seems to come across as a throwaway, it features one of the best melodies in the band’s catalog, and works itself into a great jam at the end, featuring everything but the kitchen sink. Bonus points here for the stark visuals drawn by the music, proving once again that Radiohead is great because they think in like, I don’t know, five or six dimensions.

Weekly Review Round-Up 8/16/2009

Here’s a list of the CD reviews I did this week:

Monday
Radiohead, OK Computer

Tuesday
Dinosaur Jr, Farm
Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News

Wednesday
Radiohead, The Bends Collector’s Editions Disc 2
Camera Obscura, My Maudlin Career

Thursday
REM, Fables of the Reconstruction
Josh Ritter, The Animal Years

Friday
Tortoise, Beacons of Ancestorship
Radiohead, OK Computer Collector’s Edition Disc 2

Saturday
U2, No Line on the Horizon
Jeremy Enigk, OK Bear

Enjoy!!

Radiohead: OK Computer Collector’s Edition Disc 2 (2009)

Radiohead
OK Computer Collector’s Edition Disc 2; 2009
Capitol Records
My Rating: 71/100
By now we realize that Radiohead is never stretched for high quality material. With this collection of b-sides, Radiohead proved themselves to be a fanboys dream. The three P’s – “Pearly,” “Polyethylene”, and “Palo Alto” – are fabulous cross-eyed rock songs, while “A Reminder” is one of the most gorgeous songs the band has ever recorded. The band showcases a penchant for the hushed on “Melatonin” and “How I Made My Millions,” and “Lull” is just a brilliant little throwaway. Still, what this disc shows more than anything is that Radiohead was experiencing the kind of once-in-a-lifetime inspiration that most bands never experience. My only gripe with the collection over all is that it covers previously released material. Surely there’s something lost in the vaults from the OKC sessions that could stand the light of day? “Big Boots?” “Lift?” “Follow Me Around?” “I Promise?”
PS The live tracks are pretty great as well.
PPS The ZERO 7 remix is worth it, the FILA BRAZILA remix is dull.
TRACKS
1. Polyethylene (Parts 1 & 2) (5/5)
2. Pearly (5/5)
3. A Reminder (5/5)
4. Melatonin (4/5)
5. Meeting in the Aisle (5/5)
6. Lull (5/5)
7. Climbing Up the Walls [Zero 7 mix] (5/5)
8. Climbing Up the Walls [Fila Brazila mix] (3/5)
9. Palo Alto (5/5)
10. How I Made My Millions (5/5)
11. Airbag [Live in Berlin] (4/5)
12. Lucky [Live in Florence] (5/5)
13. Climbing Up The Walls [BBC Radio 1] (5/5)
14. Exit Music (for a Film) [BBC Radio 1] (5/5)
15. No Surprises [BBC Radio 1] (5/5)

ok compRadiohead
OK Computer Collector’s Edition Disc 2; 2009
Capitol Records

My Rating: 71/100

OK, we get it now. Radiohead is a great b-side band. With this round back in 97/98, Radiohead proved themselves to be a fanboy’s dream. The three P’s – “Pearly,” “Polyethylene”, and “Palo Alto” – are fabulous cross-eyed rock songs, while “A Reminder” is one of the most gorgeous tracks the band has ever recorded. They showcases a penchant for the quiet and powerful on “Melatonin” and “How I Made My Millions,” and “Lull” is just a brilliant little throwaway. Still, what this disc shows more than anything is that Radiohead was experiencing the kind of once-in-a-lifetime inspiration that most bands never experience. My only gripe with the collection over all is that it covers previously released material. Surely there’s something lost in the vaults from the OKC sessions that could stand the light of day? “Big Boots?” “Lift?” “Follow Me Around?” “I Promise?”

PS The live tracks are pretty great as well.

PPS The ZERO 7 remix is worth it, the FILA BRAZILA remix is dull.

TRACKS

1. Polyethylene (Parts 1 & 2) (5/5)
2. Pearly (5/5)
3. A Reminder (5/5)
4. Melatonin (4/5)
5. Meeting in the Aisle (5/5)
6. Lull (5/5)
7. Climbing Up the Walls [Zero 7 mix] (5/5)
8. Climbing Up the Walls [Fila Brazila mix] (3/5)
9. Palo Alto (5/5)
10. How I Made My Millions (5/5)
11. Airbag [Live in Berlin] (4/5)
12. Lucky [Live in Florence] (5/5)
13. Climbing Up The Walls [BBC Radio 1] (5/5)
14. Exit Music (for a Film) [BBC Radio 1] (5/5)
15. No Surprises [BBC Radio 1] (5/5)

Pitchfork’s Review

All Music Guide Review

Radiohead: OK Computer (1997)

OK COMPUTER; 1997
Capitol Records
My Rating: 96/100
All things considered, THE BENDS was essentially an outstanding mope-rock record. I’ve already expressed my deep appreciation for what the band did there, but looking back, it was OK COMPUTER that made me (and many other music geeks) believers. When it all comes down to it, there are records that better express what it was like to be alive in the late-1990’s, but that speak so profoundly as OK COMPUTER. With acts left and right embracing their inner electronic selves, OKC was the album that injected it all with a healthy dose of skepticism and irony. Note well: OKC is also the lone CLASSIC record from that era and genre. Still, it’s not that OK COMPUTER is preachy at all. On the contrary, Yorke and company masterfully paint twelve pictures of what it means to be living in a time such as this. When Yorke howls “Pull me out of the air crash/Pull me out of the wreck/Cuz I’m your superhero” he seems to foreshadow our present turmoil, sprung upon the world just four years later. Maybe that’s because, while their Brit-rock counterparts were busy boozing it up and swapping headlines in the tabloids, this was a band with an eye the world around them. Overall, OK COMPUTER is a harrowing listen and experience, from the opening riffs of “Airbag” to the extraterrestrialisms of “Subterranean Homesick Alien,” right on through nine tracks that, though diverse in style, are thematically linked. Though it is forever anchored in the late 90’s, in light of Yorke’s closing plea to “slow down,” OK COMPUTER becomes a truly timeless record. Go on – sit back and shudder.
TRACKS:
1. Airbag (5/5)
2. Paranoid Android (5/5)
3. Subterranean Homesick Alien (5/5)
4. Exit Music (for a Film) (5/5)
5. Let Down (5/5)
6. Karma Police (5/5)
7. Fitter Happier
8. Electioneering (4/5)
9. Climbing Up the Walls (5/5)
10. No Surprises (5/5)
11. Lucky (5/5)
12. The Tourist (5/5)

ok compRadiohead
OK Computer; 1997
Capitol Records

My Rating: 96/100

All things considered, THE BENDS was essentially an outstanding mope-rock record. I’ve already expressed my deep appreciation for what the band did there, but looking back, it was OK COMPUTER that made me (and many other music geeks) believers. When it all comes down to it, there are records that better describe what it was like to be alive in the late-1990’s, but none that speak so profoundly as OK COMPUTER. With acts left and right embracing their inner electronic selves, OKC was the album that injected it all with a healthy dose of skepticism and irony. Note well: OKC is also the lone CLASSIC record from that era and genre. Still, it’s not that OK COMPUTER is preachy at all. On the contrary, Yorke and company masterfully paint twelve pictures of what it means to be living in a time such as this. When Yorke howls “Pull me out of the air crash/Pull me out of the wreck/Cuz I’m your superhero” he seems to foreshadow our present turmoil, sprung upon the world just four years later. Maybe that’s because, while their Brit-rock counterparts were busy boozing it up and swapping headlines in the tabloids, this was a band with an eye the world around them. Overall, OK COMPUTER is a harrowing listen and experience, from the opening riffs of “Airbag” to the extraterrestrialisms of “Subterranean Homesick Alien,” right on through nine tracks that, though diverse in style, are thematically linked. Though it is forever anchored in the late 90’s, in light of Yorke’s closing plea to “slow down,” OK COMPUTER becomes a truly timeless record. Go on – sit back and shudder.

TRACKS:

1. Airbag (5/5)
2. Paranoid Android (5/5)
3. Subterranean Homesick Alien (5/5)
4. Exit Music (for a Film) (5/5)
5. Let Down (5/5)
6. Karma Police (5/5)
7. Fitter Happier
8. Electioneering (4/5)
9. Climbing Up the Walls (5/5)
10. No Surprises (5/5)
11. Lucky (5/5)
12. The Tourist (5/5)

Radiohead: Kid A (2000)

kid_aRadiohead
Kid A; 2000
EMI/Capitol Records

My Rating: 10/10

KID A is the most controversial album in Radiohead’s catalog. After the tremendous commercial and critical success of OK COMPUTER, the band might have easily crafted a cybertronic Brit-Rock re-tread. Instead, they chose to completely turn their songwriting and production process inside out, retreating into the studio for over a year and completely re-learning the art of rock and roll. Lots of people found OK COMPUTER difficult compared to the melodic Brit-rock of THE BENDS, but with this one, the band completely says goodbye to the past and announces to the world, “We are not resting on our laurels.” From the opening cascade of electric piano on track 1, KID A sounds numinous, cold, and chronic, perpetually avoiding the pop-music hook but all the while re-inventing it. The album cover features a digitally rendered mountainous landscape, which suggests that the band intended to make a grand and foreboding album. Well, all I know is that this album is a tough climb at first, but once you’ve struggled to the top, it all starts to make sense. An incredible and unique sonic journey.
TRACKS:

1. Everything In Its Right Place (5/5)
2. Kid A (5/5)
3. The National Anthem (5/5)
4. How to Disappear Completely (5/5)
5. Treefingers (5/5)
6. Optimistic (4/5)
7. In Limbo/Lost at Sea (3.5/5)
8. Idioteque (5/5)
9. Morning Bell (5/5)
10. Motion Picture Soundtrack (4.5/5)