Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Old School Album of the Day: Kid A

I've had this record for a while now, but for some reason I never really listened to it. Is it still appropriate to call it a record since I don't actually even own a physical copy of the record. I'm talking about the Radiohead album, Kid A, for the record. Ha, record has two meanings. Something made me actually listen to it recently. I can't really say what it was, but whatever it was I want to thank it.

This album is practically ineffable. It's transcends the "good" label. It's working on an entirely different level. It's simultaneously beautiful, dissonant, challenging, attainable, linear, disjointed, depressing, joyful, multi-layered, stripped down, non-musical, and perfectly melodic. I don't know what it's trying to accomplish, but I'm at a point right now where I can't stop listening to it. It's like my brain hasn't completely heard all the sounds on the album and I have to come back to get all the data. I'm like Johnny 5 rolling around America looking for more input.

To say that this album is challenging I think would be an understatement. The only thing I can compare it to is the album by M.I.A., Arular, except that despite my blogging for years about how I love that M.I.A. album, I know none of you have ever heard it. Except with Kid A it's not challenging because the sounds are unique or anything, which is the case with the Arular, it's more like the sounds are just put together in a way that I've never heard before. I had to listen to it about 3 or 4 times just to even wrap my head around the whole idea of the album, and now I'm at a point where I'm just hooked.

And I typically hate saxophone in rock music (I love you, Clarence), but here it's used enormously effectively throughout the whole album (I love you too, LeRoi). I have all the Radiohead albums; I haven't listened to any of them nearly enough, but it's just amazing how different each of them sounds from each other one. OK Computer is similarly good, but I haven't listened to it enough to really comment on it yet.

Anyway, I think Idioteque is the most approachable part of the album as a single unit.

ADDED: "The National Anthem"


Open Bar said...

Kid A is a ridiculously good album. Shit, I woulda written something about it had I thought any of you jerks mighta heard of it.

Not quite as groundbreaking as OK Computer, but it definitely leaps ahead sonically from where OK Computer ended. But OK Computer fully deserves its own post. Maybe the best album of the 1990s.

I added a video to the bottom of the post. "The National Anthem" has one of the most badass bass lines ever. And vid isn't by Radiohead; it's an original by some guy and it's pretty darn weird and good.

Anonymous said...

Chuck, +85 blogger points for the Short Circuit reference. "More input, moooooore input!"

Radiohead is amazing. I've listened to OK Computer so many times and it's still great. From The Bends on, they all sound a little different and they're all incredible.

Give OK Computer another shot and let us know what you think.