East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The decade in Radiohead

It's as clear that Kid A is not the best album of its decade (or second, or third, or...) as it was that OK Computer was not the best album of its decade (or second, etc.), but shouldn't distract you from the band's achievement. It's difficult to recall how controversial Kid A was upon release: even before a decade of dubstep, its sonics seemed pleasant, not harsh, and the album was scarcely less tonal than their previous work ("What we're doing isn't that radical" -- T. Yorke). Having said that, "National Anthem" is a fun freakout and "Everything in Its Right Place" is a flicker of warmth amidst a freezing soundscape.

The soundscapes in Amnesiac, this time including a higher proportion of guitar, are uglier, and not always in a useful way. Colin Greenwood, as always, manages to hold the album together.

Hail to the Thief refocuses on writing, and Thom Yorke holds up his end of the job, even if his themes are limited (if not his concepts). "Sail to the Moon" is particularly simple and fetching.

The group rejuvenated themselves in public opinion by offering In Rainbows on a pay-what-you-wish download basis. In Rainbows is more of a band album, with Jonny Greenwood in especially fine form. And "I have no idea what you are talking about" is a definitive lyric one way or another.



  • At 3:58 AM, Blogger Ransom said…

    I couldn't help comment upon the assertions made in your post at my own blog here, but I must ask of you: What were the best albums of the 1990s? What about the 2000s?


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