Wednesday, January 27, 2010
1. Kid A – Radiohead (2000)
SCQ Rating: 100%
I’ve put off writing a review for this album since the inception of Skeleton Crew Quarterly and, you know what, I’m going to keep it that way. Not simply because I’ve just written too many conversational write-ups in the past forty-eight hours, but because I honestly doubt words on a blog can give Kid A justice. How do you describe hearing the Beatles for the first time, other than saying their combination of chords, lyrics, arrangements and ideas combined to create an alternate universe, one rooted in childhood fantasy and grown-up wonder, where at times you could almost see or feel the world beneath its music? That’s what Kid A is for me: the second reality - untouchable and undetectable to every sense but hearing - I’ve ever concretely believed in.
Its narrative is exposed in the toybox lullaby of the title track, that horn explosion in ‘The National Anthem’, the lost-in-purgatory calm of ‘Treefingers’ and that unforgettable resolution inherent to ‘Motion Picture Soundtrack’… but I couldn’t, for the life of me, tell you what it’s about. Kid A is too coded and pure to make any convincing sense of, and will no doubt be subjected to the last-straw reaching that made Dark Side of the Moon synonymous with The Wizard of Oz. So, if I may: Kid A is a personal journey; one that might take you through strange environments and show you impossible things, one that might force you to reevaluate how you view music, one that might open the gates to a variety of new, mystic genres worth exploring, or one that might persuade you you’ve wasted your time and that Radiohead are, like, so overrated.
Still, I've danced around the review. How do I describe listening to Kid A, other than saying I’ve been there?