Record label: Capitol
Format: 2x10"/CD
Release date: 5 June 2001

It was nine months ago that Radiohead fans stood ready for their beloved band to claim the title of rock and roll's saviors. Shortly afterwards, the band released Kid A - the underlying response being: "fat chance…we never wanted the job in the first place." While Amnesiac was recorded around the same time as Kid A (the reprise of "Morning Bell" being a clue), it's not as shielded by electronics as the last effort, but still suggests that they won't go back to what they once were. Melancholy orchestral jazz makes up "Pyramid Song" - a gorgeously odd choice for a single - while "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" peeks into the mind of whoever's been doing illustrations and serial killer-esque scrawls in the CD booklets. On "I Might Be Wrong," the guitars come to a compromise with a drum machine while vocalist Thom Yorke croons off in his own little world. The beautiful moments on this disc are numerous, from the trance-inducing organic loop created by the bass and the drums on "Dollars & Cents" to the sensitive interplay amongst the band on "Knives Out". Just as Kid A made us turn our heads in astonishment, Amnesiac confirms their consistency and willingness to take chances. Not even comfortable with the possibility of being considered avant-rock gods (doesn't Tortoise already have dibs on that title?), Radiohead is a band that just wants to be themselves. And at the end of the day, that's all that should be expected of them.

{cali ginseng}
  • purchase this album and listen to samples at CD Now.
  • visit the official Radiohead Web site.

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