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Radiohead's Kid A (33 1/3) Paperback – November 25, 2010
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About the Author
Marvin Lin started, and is editor-in-chief, of the acclaimed online music magazine Tiny Mix Tapes. He lives in Minneapolis.
Top Customer Reviews
Lin as a writer is solid, although he's got a puzzling habit of putting far too many words in quotation marks, which gives the prose a snarky, ironic tone that I find a bit distasteful. While I don't believe this was his intent, any editor worth his salt should have given all the quotation marks the heave-hoe without a second thought (they're in nearly every paragraph around "normal" words that don't "need" to be set "apart" to show that they're part of the "mainstream" music discourse and might break down under "scrutiny").
In summary, not bad if you're a big fan of the record, but too often it seems like a term paper written by a first-year graduate student who's desperate to show off how much theory he's soaked up and how many diverse works he can apply all of it to. You know that guy. He's the one who brings Foucault into a discussion about the Super Bowl -- those of us who want to talk about football kind of just nod and slowly back away.
From Lin's Introduction: "Needless to say, I won't be recounting my favorite Kid A moments or uncovering how each track was made. And I certainly won't be flying to Oxford to get the 'real' story behind the album or the band ('Hey Thom, what do you think about Kid A's relationship with time??'). While the album's aesthetics are the foundation upon which the book will proceed, I'll situate Kid A in contexts that extend beyond the sounds themselves. I'm especially interested in roping us - the audience, the fans, the listeners - into the discussion, to reinvigorate music listening as a site of socio-political importance, to see if we can learn more about ourselves through our shifting tastes, through the mythologies we perpetuate about the album, and particularly through our perceptions of it."
The book's boldness challenges in the most joyful way. From what he calls 'transcendence' and the idea of time to personal taste and 'commodification', Lin not only discusses the importance of our listening habits, but he considers the act of music listening implicitly political. But I should be clear that these concepts are NOT the focal points of the book. With the exception of the Kid Agency chapter (which is more about media and mp3s than Kid A specifically), they all relate in meaningful, sometimes dramatic ways to Kid A. Through these concepts, he talks about the identity crisis in the studio, the polarized critical chatter, the significance of the artwork (I learned a lot about the band here -- had no idea global warming had anything to do with Kid A), the way we 'perceive' the album and its music, and the album's marketing and promotion, all while debunking the myths that Radiohead were trying to scare off their fans or even that the album was 'groundbreaking' at all.Read more ›
If you want a graduate level treatise on music's relationship with time and time's relationship with capitalism, this is your book. If you want information about the writing and recording of the radiohead album "kid a", keep looking.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pretty interesting. I have enjoyed other books in this series more. I would recommend Brian Eno Another Green World and David Bowie Low.Published 6 months ago by James W. Adkisson
If this was an ironic pretentious gag, it would be a great comedy read.Published 7 months ago by levi
This book is probably not what you think. It's more of an essay on the writers interpretation of whatever Kid A is. Who care? Read morePublished 16 months ago by jeremy
the 33 1/3 series of books are almost all excellent - this was my second copy I bought for a friendPublished 20 months ago by James Peabody
Don't buy this if you actually want to learn something about the record. Basically no discussion of the music. Some books in this series are good- this is the worst I have read.Published on January 30, 2014 by Larry D. Harvey
I got the book really quickly, and blasted through it in a few days. It's a great look in to the context of the record, loads of great passages.Published on April 8, 2012 by Pen Name
I'm an educated person (BA, MBA, JD) but I spent the entire book lost. After finishing I wondered why I bothered. I learned nothing about the album. Read morePublished on March 28, 2012 by Nick
How can so many words have so little content?
The author talks ad nauseum about how much he liked the album in college. Read more