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OlaCorleone

Your Unpopular Radiohead Opinion

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honestly, i don't think that, and i'm not really one of those hardcore Kid A people either

 

 

I don't think so either. Kid A is objectively "better" (even though I personally like Amnesiac more).

 

 

Care to explain? I think I could be persuaded by a good argument here.

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i dunno, kid a sounded like nonsense to me at first and it was amnesiac that coaxed me into "getting" it. at this point in my life i probably prefer amnesiac. i think it's an interesting thought experiment.

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did anyone else hear amnesiac before kid a?

 

i might have

 

but the reason i don't think "public opinion" would shift if those records were reversed is because, either way you look at it, Kid A is the more "complete," together & cohesive statement

 

i actually prefer Amneezy myself some days, but in reality i think even if those records had came out in reverse order it would have been looked at similarly to how some of you talk about Hail to the Thief & In Rainbows these days:  one being the "kind of mess, but kind of brilliant" release, and the other being "where they really got it together"

 

all that being said, Amnesiac might have actually been even more jarring to people than Kid A had it came out first

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while amnesiac has a lot of weirdness overall, it has some individual songs that probably aren't nearly as wtf as what kid a probably sounded like the first time.  like packt is sort of a massive attack-esque banger, pyramid song is now one of their top tier classics, then you have knives out and imbw.

 

but overall i can't see the album being as well received. i mean people did kind of initially shrug at it when it came out, and it was following ok computer and kid a. 

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It's like yin and yang. Amnesiac is my personal #1, no question. It is like this wonderful cohesive whole, where the songs are individually somewhat bit understated (in a good way) and work in relation to each other, and in relation to Kid A.

 

But Kid A is on a whole other level, where each song is an individual epic, and they all come together to make this profoundly cohesive statement about music, modern civilization and about life itself (the 'theme' in Kid A being about the successive stages of life). I mean, each track on Kid A is a standalone masterpiece and every track on that album could fit in a plausible Radiohead top-twenty, which can't be said about any other album.

 

Maybe I'm just biased because I discovered Rafiohead through Kid A at age 16 and it completely changed my life in a way that music can only do at that age... But I think the album has an objective quality that makes it the GOAT, and it's obvious why it was chosen to come out first, with Amnesiac as the afterword. It wouldn't have worked the other way around.

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I think if I would have heard Amnesiac first, it would not have sounded super crazy. But then again, Amnesiac may have been so easy for me to enjoy from basically the first listen because I had struggled with Kid A for a few months initially. But songs like PS, YAWA, and IMBW were instant classics with me. I can't say that about any of the songs on Kid A except maybe NA and Optimistic. 

 

Anyway, Amnesiac is my personal fav, but Kid A seems more brilliant or something to me. I'm not even sure I would say Kid A is more cohesive than Amnesiac. It's just the overall quality of the songs on Kid A are so genuinely unique to that album that it seems superior. I'm not even sure if that makes sense. 

 

Maybe what I'm getting at is that Kid A would probably be considered the better album, in my view, even if it had been released second. I'm not completely convinced yet, tho....still thinking. 

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I think OK Computer to Amnesiac to Kid A feels like a more logical progression, so people may have been a bit less shocked by the direction they took. I think that shock is the thing that cemented Radiohead as a band who can do what they like though

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Kid A would still be my favourite though. It's a hella complete and concise album, and the tone of the production just has a way of getting under my skin. It all sounds so alien and isolated and thats how I feel a lot of the time so I relate to it hard

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Care to explain? I think I could be persuaded by a good argument here.

 

Kid A is more cohesive, moody and experimental. The soundsapes and the mix are denser, the mood is colder, and the songwriting and arrangements are more abstract. I think it would still be remembered as the grander statement. Amnesiac inherits the same sound but the mood is friendlier and the songwriting is more straight forward. Knives out and Pyramid Song aren't too far from OK Computer, but the first half of Kid A definitely is. 

 

If Amnesiac was released first I think critics would have praised it for pioneering a revolutionary sound, but would still have criticised it for inconsistency, even if they weren't aware that it was the "leftovers" album. Kid A would then have been released afterwards and people would have said "they perfected what they were trying to do with Amnesiac".  

 

The closest comparison I can think of in pop music is U2's Unforgettable Fire - that album probably wasn't better than the Joshua Tree (which came after it) but it was their first work with Eno, and introduced the sound. 

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If Amnesiac was released first I think critics would have praised it for pioneering a revolutionary sound, but would still have criticised it for inconsistency, even if they weren't aware that it was the "leftovers" album. Kid A would then have been released afterwards and people would have said "they perfected what they were trying to do with Amnesiac".  

 

 

 

Good points. I think I can go with you there, but a question or two about what critics have traditionally said about Amnesiac:

 

Would critics have thought of it as an album of leftovers, if it was first? I mean, many of the songs were recorded first and weren't leftovers; they just didn't fit on Kid A. So, would they still think of the songs as leftovers in this hypothetical situation? Would the "filler" tracks, like Treefingers and Kid A (trust me: I do NOT believe they are filler tracks!!), be seen as leftovers, not cohesive enough tacks, if Kid came second? I've always thought people didn't think Amnesiac was very cohesive because of Pulk and Hunting--"filler" tracks. But I think they fit very well in the album. 

 

Which leads me to another question: many, if not all, of the songs on Amnesiac were not chosen for Kid A because they didn't fit. Kid A is so cohesive. But because people see Amnesiac as a leftovers album, I think they assume that means it is not as cohesive as Kid A. But is that actually true or just perception because it came second? What is it about Amnesiac that isn't as cohesive as Kid A? You made some great points about what makes Kid A so cohesive. I totally agree. But what exactly is it that makes Amnesiac less cohesive, if not for the leftovers/filler tracks argument?

 

I think it is just as cohesive. I just think it is jazzier and not quite as dark, so it doesn't get taken as seriously or something. I don't think it's a problem of cohesion. 

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Little By Little is one of the best radiohead songs

TKOL is one of the best albums

 

really digging TKoL lately but LBL is still my least favorite track on the album. Don't know why. I just can't get into it. 

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Also on the Kid A/Amnesiac topic... I think Kid A stands as the complete meltdown in their discography. It was all about breaking apart every element that they had crafted so brilliantly in OKC, from the songwriting to the mood and the arrangements and the effects and the instruments themselves... So it sounds very harsh and extreme to anyone that is caught off guard.

 

The way Amnesiac was put together, on the other hand, makes it seem like it is trying to find a certain "balance" between both approaches, given the more straightforward songs such as Knives Out and You And Whose Army.

 

I personally think Radiohead actually became one of the best bands ever when they created this new approach. No wonder IR and HTTT are my favourite albums. In HTTT they were experimenting with this balance. In IR, they nailed it. And when they nailed it, they decided it was time to break everything apart again. TKOL was the result of that.

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Aside from the negative inferrence of breaking their sound apart, I completely agree

I didn't mean it as something negative, but it was a process that was necessary. And it must have been pretty tough for them, but made them a much better band.

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Good points. I think I can go with you there, but a question or two about what critics have traditionally said about Amnesiac:

 

Would critics have thought of it as an album of leftovers, if it was first? I mean, many of the songs were recorded first and weren't leftovers; they just didn't fit on Kid A. So, would they still think of the songs as leftovers in this hypothetical situation? Would the "filler" tracks, like Treefingers and Kid A (trust me: I do NOT believe they are filler tracks!!), be seen as leftovers, not cohesive enough tacks, if Kid came second? I've always thought people didn't think Amnesiac was very cohesive because of Pulk and Hunting--"filler" tracks. But I think they fit very well in the album. 

 

Which leads me to another question: many, if not all, of the songs on Amnesiac were not chosen for Kid A because they didn't fit. Kid A is so cohesive. But because people see Amnesiac as a leftovers album, I think they assume that means it is not as cohesive as Kid A. But is that actually true or just perception because it came second? What is it about Amnesiac that isn't as cohesive as Kid A? You made some great points about what makes Kid A so cohesive. I totally agree. But what exactly is it that makes Amnesiac less cohesive, if not for the leftovers/filler tracks argument?

 

I think it is just as cohesive. I just think it is jazzier and not quite as dark, so it doesn't get taken as seriously or something. I don't think it's a problem of cohesion.

 

Amnesiac would probably have been seen as a "transitional" album - something that revolutionised their sound but didn't perfect it.

 

I actually find Amnesiac does have a consistent mood to it, because the band had time to work on making all the bits fit together, either through soundscape transitions, production or similar instruments. It obviously jumps around in musical styles but I don't feel that anything shouldn't be there, or that the album is sequenced wrong. They had a lot of disparate parts and they somehow managed to fit them together.

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- "The Tourist" is probably my favorite album closer

- I loved "Supercollider" more when it was a simple piano ballad with such a peaceful melody

- I think Ed O' Brien is underrated (especially live)

- They should have found a way to put "Cutooth" somewhere on Amnesiac

- I don't care much for "Down is the New Up" 

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