Volume 94, Issue 19
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Radiohead's Kid A not child's play
Radiohead has never been very comfortable with their own popularity, as was evident in their 1998 bio-documentary Meeting People Is Easy. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming success of their last album, OK Computer, they now have the undivided attention of the entire music industry.
Their latest release, Kid A, is one of the most anticipated albums of the year and with good reason. While it may be a distant relative of OK Computer, it is simply not a cheap replica. Without a single, or video to be released from this album, Kid A functions as a collection of songs that stand in relation to each other, rather than as separate creations.
"Everything In Its Right Place" opens the album with a low, humming keyboard over which lead singer Thom Yorke's disjointed vocals echo a melodic whisper. The title track gently opens the album up further and is reminiscent of OK Computer's "Fitter Happier." Contributions from drummer Phil Selway and bassist apparent as a thick bass and drum loop steady "National Anthem" through a chaotic jazz improvisation. Meanwhile, "I'm Not Here, This Isn't Happening" features a haunting chorus. The album then empties into "Tree Fingers," an instrumental piece that reaches for the depths of the album before returning to the remaining five songs.
Kid A is not designed to carry the weight of all the expectations placed upon it with a single track. There are no sweeping ballads or trademark Radiohead numbers. Instead, Kid A is a collection of individual ideas explored to their capacity, resulting in a unique and well developed album with an identity all its own.
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