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Band: Radiohead
Album: Amnesiac
Label: Capitol Records
Year: 2001
Reviewer: Sean Wiggins

       “Where have all the cowboys gone?” That's what I was wondering when I purchased the new release from Radiohead, Amnesiac. It appears the cowboys went to this place called “England,” and recorded two albums worth of… music. Recorded at the same sessions as Kid A, Amnesiac ventures into the lyrical abyss left in the wake of its predecessor. But, lets not go there just yet… Amnesiac was released in two varieties on June 5th here in the U.S.: a standard version, and a limited edition. I have had the pleasure of dealing with the limited edition, which, rather than a standard CD jewel case, comes in a book. That's right, a book. The book is linen bound and resembles the old library book portrayed on the cover of the standard version of Amnesiac. Inside, the CD rests in a due date card holder, along with its own damage/repair card. “Neato,” I says, as I look through. I then become very, very scared as I leaf through the pages scanning the artwork. See, I suffer from nightmares and chronic bedwetting and this stuff scares me so I had to close the book before I crumbled under the realization of my inevitably long night… God help me.
        Aside from the visual distractions of the packaging, Amnesiac leaves nothing to be desired by the listener. Dark and deep, lyrically and musically, it appears Radiohead's latest effort is nothing short of a masterpiece. Another introspective look into the head of the emotionally tormented lead-singer Thom Yorke, I can surely say that I am scared… very, very scared… again. The opener, Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box, Yorke proclaims, “I'm a reasonable man/get off my case.” Ok. Yorke failed to comment when I questioned him as to who this lyric is directed to… or, I failed to ask Yorke who this lyric is directed to… at any rate, I can only assume he is talking to me because I keep calling him at the middle of the night wondering why he doesn't return my phone calls. DO YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTER THAN ME? Amnesiac moves on through Pyramid Song, the first single off of the album in the U.S., and sets the mood for the remainder of the album. Closing with Life in a Glass House, Yorke, with the accompaniment of jazz musicians, tells me how much he loves me. I love you too Thom. Honorable mentions go to Knives Out and the instrumental Hunting Bears.
       Overall, using an arcane rating system that only I could understand, the number value, from 1-17, which I would attach to this piece of work, would be 16, if Weezer's Pinkerton yielded a 16 and Creed's My Own Prison scored a 3. Needless to say, Amnesiac could be the best album of the year, but I wouldn't know, seeing as how there are still 6 months left in the year and David Lee Roth could still in fact re-join Van Halen, and they could hastily record another album and release it before the year's end. We can only hope. My name is Sean Wiggins and I think we should be friends.

Web: Official Site