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4.2 out of 5 stars 903 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 5, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amnesiac picks up where "Kid A" left off - recorded during the same sessions as its companion. Thom Yorke has compared the sound of Amnesic like this: "If you look at the artwork for 'Kid A'... well that's like looking at a fire from afar. 'Amnesiac' is the sound of what it feels like to be standing in the fire." Tracks include: "I Might Be Wrong," the first single, "Life in a Glass House," "You and Whose Army?" "Hunting Bears" and more.


More song-driven and acoustic than Kid A, Radiohead's Amnesiac isn't quite "Kid B," but it is unquestionably cut from the same far-out cloth, as the band revels in fascinating quirks and abject nihilism. It's also the first time in Radiohead's career that a new record hasn't meant a complete shift in artistic priorities. Surely, however, regardless of which was released first, they both deserve recognition; after all, Amnesiac, like Kid A, is an amazing piece of work.

Only lightly augmented with electronics, songs like "You and Whose Army?" and "I Might Be Wrong" almost sound like they came from a typical five-piece rock band. You may even believe the band still employs a guitarist after hearing Jonny Greenwood's wistful surf-guitar lead on "Knives Out" or his subtle but noticeable contributions to the anticapitalist rant "Dollars and Cents." But inevitably, the band continually shifts gears, moving into Boards of Canada territory on "Like Spinning Plates" and delivering dark, bass-laden oddities like "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors," a fuzzed-out piece of avant-garde techno that could just as easily be on an Autechre or Aphex Twin record. The song's half-sung, half-spoken vocal was laid down by either a heavily distorted Thom Yorke or, just perhaps, a loquacious microwave oven. Either way, the music always has momentum, regardless of whether propelled by man or appliance. Radiohead as a band understand how to make rock interesting again, and in the end, that's all they set out to do when they recorded Amnesiac, as well as Kid A. It's more than can be said for the bad frat-punk, teen-pop and soulless techno that currently rules the charts, and for that alone, Radiohead's astonishing exploration of 21st-century anguish deserves credit. --Matthew Cooke

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 5, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Parlophone
  • ASIN: B00005B4GU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (903 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,598 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This review is for those of you wondering what is different about the limited edition and if it is worth shelling out the extra money for (since it isn't apparent from this listing, and the above photo is actually of the regular edition). Look elsewhere for reviews of the music (which is excellent).
There is not a second of additional music in the limited edition. No hidden tracks, remixes, etc. Just the exact same musical content on the exact same cd (except it is printed in Europe). The only difference is in the packaging.
With the limited edition import, the cd comes inside of a bright red hardcover book. This book is basically the same one pictured on the cover of the regular edition (without the wear and tear). The book has a dimension approximately four times the size of the one depicted on the cover of the regular edition (the actual cd booklet, not the photo above).
Attached to the inside front cover of the book is a library jacket which contains a sign-out card and is also used to hold the cd. The remainder of the book reprints all of the artwork from the regular edition's booklet, with the exception of the last page (which lists the recording credits), but at a larger size, with the sides cropped to various degrees to allow for the book's different shape (but, consequently, there are sometimes details visible at the top and bottom of each page of artwork that gets cut out of the regular ed.'s booklet). The artwork underneath the cd tray in the regular ed. is also reprinted as one of the pages, and there are four additional pages of artwork nowhere to be found in the regular ed.
So is it worthwhile? Only if you want to get an interesting collectible or invest in something that might increase in value, or if you are a huge fan of the artwork on Radiohead's other albums such as Kid A and OK Computer. Personally, I found it to be quite cool, but I wish there was also bonus music.
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Format: Audio CD
Critics and fans alike haunt AMNESIAC, Radiohead's 2001 album, with accusations this record is little more than a KID B. Indeed, much of the controversy surrounding this album has to do with complex issues of album vs. single, and Radiohead's self-important reputation. It is rather funny how the actual music can get lost in all the shuffle.
In the early 1960s, rock music was a singles market, and people didn't think of albums as a piece of art. Through seminal releases from artists such as Dylan, The Beatles, The Who, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin and so on, albums became important mediums of art. Radiohead, with their three very self-contained albums (THE BENDS, OK COMPUTER, and KID A) fell in with this tradition.
When 2001 came around, Radiohead and their record company began promoting AMNESIAC as a whole new album, and all the heavy conceptual ideals that a new Radiohead album entails went along with this announcement. They also said that AMNESIAC would be the `real' sequel to OK COMPUTER, and there would be more guitars this time around. What did they give us? An album that doesn't sound much different than KID A, though a little more conventional and streamlined than its predecessor. Because KID A was designed to be a radical album, some of the simpler and more conventional tracks were left off it. Where did they go?
Why, AMNESIAC. And when AMNESIAC hit the market, people were more puzzled than they were with KID A, because they had been explicitly promised a return to the more guitar oriented sound of their pre-millennial work. Not only that, AMNESIAC was promoted very heavily an actual album, not as an outtakes album that got slapped together from KID A's cutting room floor.
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Format: Audio CD
I'll do a few things in this review. I'll give some facts about the album, go over the songs, and comment on the packaging (which is important on Radiohead albums and very important when it comes to the limited edition of this one).
The historical background: When they released Kid A in Oct 2000, Radiohead said they had recorded more than 20 songs and they weren't kidding. It is very tempting to consider these 2 different albums and critics have already labelled Amnesiac as a sort of reaction to Kid A and a return to more conventional Radiohead. The truth is that Radiohead had all those songs recorded, took 10 tracks to make Kid A, and have chosen 11 more for Amnesiac. I happen to be a big fan of those sessions and argue that they produced Radiohead's best work to date. Don't expect Kid B or a regression from Kid A and it doesn't matter if you haven't heard Kid A.
The songs:
- 1. Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box It's got a drum machine and electronic effects, follows in the tradition of Radiohead openers, and is an excellent song. Note that when played live, it's a rocker.
- 2. Pyramid Song A good representative of this period in the band's career. You've probably heard this one since it's the first release.
- 3. Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors It's totally electronic with computerized vocals and very strange. It's a love or hate song.
- 4. You and Whose Army This one is Thom on crooning one of his best vocal performances while playing piano. It's just him and the bass until the rest of the band come in at the climactic and anthemic ending.
- 5. I Might Be Wrong This one is a riff based rocker. It's one of the more radio friendly tunes on the album and might be released as a single.
- 6.
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