Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Radiohead's Kid A (33 1/3) Paperback – November 25, 2010
|New from||Used from|
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"A growing Alexandria of rock criticism - Los Angeles Times, 2008 Ideal for the rock geek who thinks liner notes just aren't enough - Rolling Stone One of the coolest publishing imprints on the planet - Bookslut"
About the Author
Marvin Lin started, and is editor-in-chief, of the acclaimed online music magazine Tiny Mix Tapes. He lives in Minneapolis.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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.
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.
As a professor, I enjoyed the more 'academic' chapters (contrary to John Wraith's review, I think Lin does a successful job at not going TOO far down the rabbit hole with theory -- and this is nothing like the series' OK CPU book), but I can see how they might be harder for younger folks to fully understand. There are also times when the album takes a backseat to some of the more explanatory moments in the book (notably, the chapter about "musicking"). But overall, Lin grounds these concepts in the everyday, making them resonate beyond academia. One of the most significant conclusions, I think, is Lin's belief that music listening isn't really about escaping the world, but engaging with it on a perceptual level -- that whether or not you're aware of it, the world can be changed through music. It's a hard pill to swallow at first, but it's a convincing one.
This book ranks right up there with the Sonic Youth, Celine Dion, and Throbbing Gristle books in the 33 1/3 series.
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."
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
The author talks ad nauseum about how much he liked the album in college.Read more