Kid A: A Mini-review, of sorts... part 1
OK. So I picked up the new Radiohead album yesterday and
so far, it's been in my certified Revolutionary computer since about 9:45 this morning on auto repeat.
Certain albums cannot hold up to very, very low volumes, but all told, this has a pretty good sound. Anyway,
here, I'll go through the tracks.
Naturally, I cannot properly assess its place in the Radiohead discography until I've had a lot of time
to absorb it. By initial measurement, it is not as good as OK computer, and about as good as The Bends,
for me. OK, here goes, track-by-track:
Everything in its Right Place: Those first four notes by the synth organ are amazing. I must say
that they're a near-example of what I call a "perfect note." Something that just, well, works.
Something that, for no discernible reason, sends shivers down my spine when I hear it. Lyrically, I can
see the point of the words, and can somewhat grasp the reasoning behind them, but they're a little too
impressionistic for me, not much that I was really able to grasp a strong hold of, kind of like Electioneering
from OK Computer and Nice Dream from The Bends.
Kid A: Interesting. The vocoder seems a bit hot in the mix, to me. I'd like to hear more of the
atmospheric and beat-oriented stuff around it.
The National Anthem: Pretty cool bass line. Not fantastic, but good. Interesting brass work, very
How to Disappear Completely: A standout track. Simply amazing. One, very strong, instance of
"the perfect note." It's an echo of this falling note which punctuates the lines periodically, and
the first instance where the vocal mirrors it.... The bass line is great (I can't hear the time
signature of the line because all I'm hearing is the 6/8 thing in the main music. Perhaps it's an
8/8. But I can feel the groove without knowing the signature. Kinda like the 5/4 going above the 4/4
in Let Down on OK Computer. I didn't know it was 5/4 until I read it somewhere, but I could play it.
Also, in the second verse "I'm not here / This isn't happening" an electronic, off-beat riff comes in,
varying in rate. The whole song is amazing. Again, this is an example of the brilliant lyrics which Thom
Yorke is capable. Several perfect notes and amazing mixing tricks. The song showcases Yorke's plaintive
vocal style, and drips with the kind of denial that was hinted in OK Computer.
Treefingers: Very good, atmospheric instrumental.
Optimistic: Currently my personal favorite on the album. Even more perfect notes than How to
Disappear Completely. I know it's the most radio-friendly song, but the lyrics are impressive... "This
one's optimistic / This one went to market / This one just came out of the swamp."
More to come...