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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Radiohead
Kid A
Capitol

Rating: 10/10 ?


October 19, 2000
Why anyone bothers reviewing anything post-"Airbag" released by Radiohead is beyond me, but our whip-cracking Editor wanted a review of Kid A muey prontola and I'm the lucky guy who landed with the task. The ruminations upon and reviews of Radiohead albums in themselves, especially in hindsight of OK Computer, having long been established as pointless in both the promotion game and the information game (everyone is going to buy it and everyone is going to interpret it for themselves regardless of what the review says), are now a kind of catwalk upon which music critics and aspiring Matt Pinfields can strut their journalistic stuff. In their excellence and unparalleled versatility, Radiohead have commanded an excellence from writers and listeners alike never before seen outside the realm of classical music. Sure, bands like Led Zeppelin and the Pixies have been benchmarking all along, but no one has approached Radiohead's inapproachability. It is generally accepted in both hemispheres, North and South of the equator, that Radiohead are in a league of their own. It seems like the entire modern culture has been defined by the post-war era of the last century, but at some point people are going to have to get past the Beatles. Nothing lasts forever, and there will eventually be a more important and more visionary and more genre-melding band, and that band is Radiohead.

When a schizophrenic finally looses touch with their base, what most call "snapping" or "breaking," they are launched into a world completely uncharted, one from which they cannot return to who they were. Kid A finds the English quintet breaking away from themselves in much the same way, because not only is it the album on which Radiohead ceases to be Radiohead and becomes a legend, a unit of measurement, but it is the album that they cannot return from. OK Computer was probably the most startling affront to the traditions of guitar rock since In Utero, but it was still a guitar record in a guitar world. Kid A is a departure not only for Radiohead, but for rock music as well; although mastermind Thom Yorke borrows heavily from the ambient, glitch- and IDM archives of established houses like the Warp label, along with infusions of jazz and fargin' adult contemporary, he's not aping or ripping anyone off. This is the age of the information blitz, and Kid A is Radiohead in the aftermath of the apocalyptic disconnection of OK Computer - the latter was the fascinated horror at watching the analog, wood and bone world of the Cold War being coded into HTML and scrambled, and Kid A is what came out the other end. We have all heard the press buzz that "Kid B," the brother album that was created alongside Kid A from a lengthy recording process that yeilded some 40 songs, is much more guitar-based and less transient, but when released it will viewed in the afterglow of its older brother. It will be the same again, guitars or not. Radiohead has moved on.

I could use up space on the LAS web server by going into detail about the core of the album known as Kid A and the intricacies of the transformation it represents, but the words would serve no purpose, fulfill no duty, enact no change. Kid A is an album that will be dissected for decades to come, dissertations will be written on it, and it will reshape music. Not just rock music or popular music. This album is going to redefine music, and for once we'll be able to have an alternative when the topic of discussion turns to The White Album. I need say that only Radiohead could write an album that would dwarf OK Computer, and Kid A is that album.

Reviewed by Avery Jones


See other reviews by Avery Jones

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