Artist – Album: Radiohead - Amnesiac
Released: 5th June 2001
Sounds Like: Radiohead are pushing boundaries again
Although 1997’s OK Computer pointedly avoided being The Bends 2, it’s arty, paranoid moments were contra-ed effectively enough by classic rock influences to appease fans and music critics alike and it turned out to be a huge success. It was just too awesome to be ignored.
Follow up Kid A came from even further left field – introducing robotic squeaks and squawks and all but eschewing guitars altogether. Despite debuting at #1 in the album charts in both the UK and the US, the initial reaction was somewhat mixed, with some fans feeling alienated by the departure from indie rock and the experiments with the likes of Krautrock and jazz. Eventually though, the public were won over by the avante garde masterpieces and that album’s awesomeness also shone through.
Amnesiac, however, came close to being a weird turn too far. As much as the majority of people learned to love Kid A, there was the hope that the group would allow Johnny Greenwood to pick up his guitar again and, as Melody Maker had anticipated of Kid A, they would “return rock to us”. Instead, they were presented with woozy electronic experimentation that sounds like a Kid A hangover. It beeps and bumps and, having been recorded during the same sessions as its predecessor, some accused it of just being a collection of B-Sides.
The best moments here though are absolutely stunning – the dense geometry of ‘Pyramid Song’, the whiny ‘You and Whose Army?’ , the breakbeat of ‘I Might Be Wrong’, the ringing ‘Knives Out’ and the beautiful reimagining of ‘Morning Bell’. The drunken jazz of closer ‘Life in a Glasshouse’ is as imaginative and rewarding as anything on their more acclaimed records. Although it’s suffered a more indifferent response than its brothers, there’s still time for Amnesiac’s awesomeness to win you over.
Albumaday... rating: 7/10
1. Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box – 4:00
2. Pyramid Song – 4:49
3. Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors – 4:07
4. You and Whose Army? – 3:11
5. I Might Be Wrong – 4:54
6. Knives Out – 4:15
7. Morning Bell/Amnesiac – 3:14
8. Dollars and Cents – 4:52
9. Hunting Bears – 2:01
10. Like Spinning Plates – 3:57
11. Life in a Glasshouse – 4:34
Listen to ‘Life in a Glasshouse’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upl_rxmsu6s
Also released on the 5th June:
2009: Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum