Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Favorite Albums of the 2000's: #1

Radiohead: Kid A and Amnesiac

What, you were expecting anything else? I grouped the both of them together for two reasons. First, I was only doing a list of ten albums and didn't want to double-up on any bands in the interest of variety. That's why you only see one album a piece by TVoTR, Sonic Youth, and My Morning Jacket. It's why Hail to the Thief and In Rainbows aren't on here either. I just couldn't clog up the list with 5 bands worth of work. Second, I believe both of these albums go hand in hand anyways.

Several months back I wrote an extremely long-winded review of the Deluxe Edition of Kid A. I wrote that Kid A, to me, was an album about the difficulties of making an album. On the flipside, I've always believed that Amnesiac is an album about how easy it is to make an album. The reason I believe this to be true is because it simply makes no sense. The tracks have no logical sequence to them, and you could probably play the entire thing in reverse and it wouldn't make a difference at all.

99.9% of the time, when bands do this, it doesn't work. It's usually disastrous actually. Sequencing, ebb, and flow are supposed to be required for truly great albums. Here's the problem though; all of the songs on Amnesiac are really, really fucking good. To make things even crazier, the songs from Amnesiac seem to work better live than any of their other work, which REALLY makes no sense. But I digress, I stopped trying to figure out Amnesiac a long time ago and as soon as that happened, I began enjoying it more than I ever had. Maybe Yorke explains it best on the opening chorus of track 1, "I'm a reasonable man/get off, get off, get off my case." Maybe, just maybe, Radiohead, for once, wanted everyone to stop overanalyzing every second of every track and just enjoy the friggin' album. In other words, sometimes music doesn't have to make sense.

And that's that. Kid A is my favorite album of the decade and probably of all-time (for now at least). It took years after its release to get there, but it was there every step of the way and I'm thankful for that. That said, it wouldn't be what it is without Amnesiac, because it just helps me appreciate Kid A for what it is. And, in a delicious twist of irony, Amnesiac's songs provided the band with its best live material in their catalog. I guess that means that both albums kind of made the best parts of each other what they are, so maybe it's fair to view them as one cumulative piece of work, especially since they were recorded at the same time, even though the band would still probably disagree.

I got a bunch of feedback on Facebook from people, so thanks to everyone for reading. I enjoyed doing this list and I'm conjuring up something similar for next week that should work pretty well too.

So, with that, here's 3 favorites off Amnesiac, followed by 3 from Kid A. Enjoy the weekend.


Kid A

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