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Kid A

Inspired by comments in another thread...

I'm confident that Kid A will eventually surpass The Bends in terms of acclaim, both on this site and in general. On this site, the difference in all-time rank between the two albums is only 48, and once the decade best-of lists come out (with Kid A likely being among the top of most), it will climb past The Bends.

The Bends is a great album, don't get me wrong. I love it. But I think what people tend to forget is that it's not fully realized -- it's a great sounding, supremely melodic alt-rock guitar record with several great songs, but it comes up short in experimentation and innovation. OK Computer, on the other hand, IS fully realized and will probably always be Radiohead's greatest album in the eyes of critics.

Kid A was a complete rebirth, and the beauty of it is that it wasn't about the songs any longer, and it certainly wasn't about the guitar either. That's why it divided so many people upon release; people were like "I don't get it". Taken from the Popmatters review:

"On Kid A, Thom Yorke uses his voice more as an instrument than as a vehicle for his lyrics. And it’s a beautiful instrument—mournful and keening one minute, pissed off the next, jubilant the song after that. Together, Jonny Greenwood and Yorke make all these wacky noises that sound completely atonal and dissonant one minute, but in the next second fit together to create this moment of perfect resolution.

Kid A is pop music taken to the extreme edge, with it's feet overhanging. It WAS revolutionary. (Thanks, Nick!) But it's still gorgeous, and every time you listen to it, something new is revealed. I'm not sure you can say the same about The Bends.

Re: Kid A

Thanks for the nod, Liam.
Kid A to me has always seemed as the furthermost reaches of human paranoia, the whole album itself sounds like the soundtrack to a mental breakdown. I mean, I love The Bends- but I just can't get that unique feeling of being utterly lost in noise that I do with Kid A. Kid A's music is like none that's ever came before it and the album still hit #1 and sold over a million copies.

Anyways, here's how I rank my Radiohead.

6. Amnesiac
5. Hail to the Thief
4. In Rainbows
3. The Bends (#45 on my all time list)
2. Kid A (#26 all time)
1. OK Computer (# 2 all time)

Re: Kid A

1)Kid A -1
2)In Rainbows -2
3)OK Computer -3
4)Amnesiac - 10
5)Hail To The Thief -22
6)The Bends -43
7)Pablo Honey -Never made it into a person 500

Re: Kid A

I personally don't like Kid A. Just can't get into it. I'm not a big fan of electronic/ambient music in general. But then, I can't remember the last time I heard the record, maybe not since 2002/2003. I'll give it a listen again sometime and see if my tastes have changed.

Re: Kid A

I think Kid A is fantastic, and that the only way to truly experience it is to listen to it in a dark room with no distractions. To me it's like a collage of electronic noise and guitar feedback, glued together by Thom Yorke's voice.

As for it passing The Bends, it almost definately will. Bends is great, but as the OP said, it wasn't perfectly realized in nearly the way OK Computer was. If I had to rank the Radiohead albums, it would be as thus

1. OK Computer (fluctuates within my T20)
2. Kid A (fluctuates within my T40)
3. In Rainbows (maybe T100)
4. The Bends
5. Hail to the Thief
6. Amnesiac
7. Pablo Honey

I would like to say a few words about Radioheads most recent album, In Rainbows. IR is how I first got into Radiohead, and it's the album I always recommend to others. It's much more like a mainstream rock and roll album than any of their previous works (imo) and although not as good as OK Computer, the songs are less complicated and more accessible.

Anyay, I'm pretty sure Kid A will climb into the T100 after the decade lists come in, and maybe one day it will even break T50.

Re: Kid A

when i first listened to kid a, i was like, "what is this!?!?" and was severely dissappointed. but i didn't give up on it and now i absolutely love it! #7 all time or so for me.

Re: Kid A

This is from the AMG review of Kid A:

So, Kid A is an unqualified success? Well, not quite. Despite its admirable ambition, Kid A is never as visionary or stunning as OK Computer, nor does it really repay the time it demands. OK Computer required many plays before revealing the intricacies of its densely layered mix; here, multiple plays are necessary to discern the music's form, to get a handle on quiet, drifting, minimally arranged songs with no hooks. Of course, the natural reaction of any serious record geek is that if the music demands so much work, it must be worth it — and at times, that supposition is true. But Kid A's challenge doesn't always live up to its end of the bargain.

I think I tend to lean more in this direction. The Bends just makes me feel good. What's wrong with melody?

Re: Kid A

i'm quite happy with the rankings now. if kid a overtakes the bends, then that would put it on the same level as surfer rosa, transformer, moondance, and bitches brew. i don't think that it is. i would say that those are all better than kid a. i would like to see it hovering around the top 100. just in or just out. the bends should be slightly higher. in the 90s.

Re: Kid A

Yeah, giving it a listen again, and I still don't really like it. I'll keep in on my iPod rotation to see if it grows on me, but unlike everyone else here, I'm not that big of a Radiohead fan.