#1: First Impression of Radiohead’s Kid A

The professor’s pick album I chose to review was Kid A by Radiohead. Kid A was recorded in Paris and parts of England and Denmark by a producer named Nigel Godrich. Kid A was the fourth album released by the band on October 2, 2000 in England and on October 3rd, 2000 in the United States and Canada. The album was a big change-up for the band; being greatly influenced by jazz and twentieth century classical music, the earlier rock style was replaced with more of electronic-like sounds and very abstract lyrics. How did people react to this album? In its first week of release the album went platinum thanks to the unique advertisement of it as well as the anticipation for it because of Radiohead’s previous album in 1997, Ok Computer. As stated on the assignment sheet, Kid A was written in a response to the bands’ rejection of their quick success. In 1998, Radiohead was followed by Grant Gee in a “rockumentary”. The quote on the cover art could not explain what the band felt any better:

“If you have been rejected many times in your life, then one more rejection isn’t going to make much difference. If you’re rejected, don’t automatically assume its your fault. The other person may have several reasons for not doing what you are asking her to do: none of it may have anything to do with you. Perhaps the person is busy or not feeling well or genuinely not interested in spending time with you. Rejections are part of everyday life. Don’t let them bother you. Keep reaching out to others. When you begin to receive positive responses then you are on the right track. It’s all a matter of numbers. Count the positive responses and forget about the rejections.” -Thom Yorke

The reason I chose to do this album was because I wanted to choose an album that was modern, as well as not too old (in the middle). Since I have never really listened to Radiohead, other than “The Daily Mail” on the first day of class, I really did not know anything about Radiohead other than always hearing that Ok Computer was supposedly one of their best albums. Before even listening to the album, I expected this album to be pretty good from all the high ratings I have seen. However, just quickly glancing at the song titles, majority of them were a little bit negative other than “Optimistic” (duh). For two weeks my iPod followed me, with the album being the only thing I listened to. The first song that went on, “Everything In It’s Right Place” gave me a little taste of the album and what to expect. The weird voice effects, cool beats, Thom Yorke’s soft voice and the combination of different musical instruments made me know I was already going to enjoy this album very much. After listening to the album fully for the first time, I came to realize that each and every song had its own personality and was different in some way. My thoughts were that it had a sad, negative, and just overall pessimistic tone because of the slow music and vocals. Although there were a couple of weird songs, I was very impressed with the album. I liked it a lot!

Rating 4 out of 5





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