Review #20: Kid A, Radiohead

Karla Clifton
3 min readJan 23, 2021

#20: Kid A, Radiohead

Fast forward to mid-January. I sit down to write this review.

My recollection of listening to this extremely experimental Radiohead album on the road is not positive, and in fact I remember it being the first album I did not enjoy listening to. You try listening to Radiohead on hour 20 of a solo road trip. I had a few good (I think, at least) jokes about it. “This album is the Emperor’s New Clothes of so-called ‘great’ albums,” I was going to say. “We are all too scared to say what is plainly true: This is computer button-noise gibberish.” In fact, if you want to hear the most on-the-nose take on Radiohead ever articulated, click here. (Seriously, click that link.)

Late at night, I sat down to write as cynical a review of Kid A as I could. I changed into an oversized hoodie, put headphones on, and started to give the album another listen as I wrote the review in my cluttered bedroom. (I’m making a point to listen to all of these at least twice, since in most cases it’s my first time interacting with them.)

There, tucked in a small dark place, I finally realized something: This is how this Kid A is meant to be listened to.

FAVORITE SONGS:

“Everything In Its Right Place” — Eek. I think if I had listened to this album when I lived alone I would have lost my mind.

“Kid A” — One of the most interesting to listen to. If I had to guess what the storyline of this album is (and I haven’t cheated and looked it up) I would say it’s about a baby clone who grows up in the apocalypse. This is the song where he is developing in the test tube. Thoughts?

“The National Anthem” — This one sounds the most like music so far, but it does freak out into jazz at the end.

“How To Disappear Completely” — Beautiful intro. But wow, what a way to feel like you’re slipping off the face of the Earth — at least when you’re driving on the highway.

“Treefingers” — Eerie, freaky. Slenderman stalking you, but it’s Thom Yorke.

“Optimistic” — I like the songs that have guitar in them the most. This sounds like an actual rock song. Exciting!

“Idioteque” — Oh the backbeat on this song was made to disturb people wearing headphones in the darkness of their bedrooms.

“Motion Picture Soundtrack” — I know this one is slow but you know, I really like it. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of the name of this band from my dark pop-punk past.

LEAST FAVORITE SONGS:

“In Limbo” — Love the ladder guitars in this one, but his voice drives me up the wall.

“Untitled” — Oh cool, ethereal noises for a minute. So groundbreaking.

IS RS FULL OF IT?

No. Kudos to Radiohead for making my bedroom feel like a terrifying place.

Review #19: To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar

Review #21: Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen

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