AmnesiacRadiohead’s latest album, Amnesiac, is hardly going to win over those fans lost by Kid A. While it’s recognizably Radiohead, those looking for the much-vaunted return to a poppier, more accessible sound will be sorely disappointed.
Amnesiac is made up of material recorded during the sessions that produced last year’s oddest No. 1 record. The album opens with beeps and squeals and Thom York singing, “I’m a reasonable man, get off my case” on “Packt like Sardines in Crushd Tin Box.” Thus spake Radiohead, and no more asking for another radio-friendly version of The Bends.
The album relies heavily on electronica, instrumentals, and Thom Yorke waxing moody and atmospheric — familiar to Kid A listeners. The closest they get to sounding like a rock band is the moderately driving “I Might Be Wrong” and “Knives Out.”
“Pull/Pull Revolving Doors” — all distorted computer sounds, electronic beats and spacey samples — make this as experimental an album as is likely to chart any time soon. Veering from irritable to glum to just plain drugged out, Yorke’s musings on the likes of “Morning Bell/Amnesiac” and “You and Whose Army?” make for a good soundtrack to drink wine and wallow in a too-smart-for-this–stupid-world kind of way. Is it as deep as they and legions of fans think it is? Give it another 20 years to tell. (EMI/Parlaphone)