Kid A - Radiohead
Kid A Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 526 Ratings

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  • Summary: Seemingly unwilling to stick to a successful formula, Radiohead follow their breakthrough album 'OK Computer' with this much more experimental work (recorded during sessions that also spawned the later-released 'Amnesiac' album), which ventures even further away from conventional song structure and embraces electronica more fully (even sounding at times like Aphex Twin). Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. 100
    Comparing this to other albums is like comparing an aquarium to blue construction paper.... It's the sound of a band, and its leader, losing faith in themselves, destroying themselves, and subsequently rebuilding a perfect entity. In other words, Radiohead hated being Radiohead, but ended up with the most ideal, natural Radiohead record yet.
  2. Largely abandoning any elements of rock music, the disc ebbs and flows like Aphex Twin, the hypnotic loops of distorted beats and hissing, humming synths bravely replacing the usual recipe of drums and guitar.... For all its flaws and intentionally alienating tactics, Kid A defies expectations and sets the bar ever higher for the would-be copycats, who could learn a thing or two about taking risks.
  3. Not content to embrace familiar dance-music genres like trance (the way Madonna does when she's feeling experimental), the band delves into the most outré electronic music imaginable, from the amniotic soundscapes of Brian Eno to the industrial gristle of Coil. The result is Radiohead's best album...
  4. For an album that apparently grew out of the band trying to get away from melody, there's a lot of it here. They can't help themselves. They try to do a song with a robotic dance beat, load it up with bleak phrases like "laughing till my head comes off" and "take the money and run" and "this is really happening," call it "Idioteque" for chrissake, and what stands out are not the beat and not the phrases or the apparent concept of dance music being silly when horrible things are happening in the world, but the seven or eight different heartwrenching vocal lines and the amazing way they intertwine.
  5. A cryptic but brilliant record, radically stripped of Radiohead's supposed musical strengths and charged throughout with a feverish desire to subvert and, perhaps, alienate.
  6. 70
    Yes, they tried something different, but they kept it accessible. Just as with the last album's guitar-rock-on-tranquilizers, if Kid A's mood music changes the world it will be precisely because it is mainstream, not because it is revolutionary.
  7. A record that might've been amazing if the band had only bothered to write some actual songs. [#28, p. 62]

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 226
  1. Jul 11, 2011
    10
    The sheer ingenuity and depth of the album astounds. I think many of its more vehement critics on this site have failed to grasp the allusions to apocalypse - and indeed the comparisons of it with our own world. "Cheap sex and sad films" bemoans Thom on the final track, seeing where our own real lusts lie. The music complements this beautifully; too many have been expecting straightforward rock. The fact that Radiohead can experiment with dissonance, glitch and extended instrumental techniques shows thier vast versitility as musicians. Expand
  2. Oct 30, 2010
    10
    An album at the forefront of its time & a complete work of art. The first time I heard it it was like nothing I had heard before. The influence of this album will resonate for generations... Expand
  3. Feb 22, 2011
    10
    Upon first listen I can see why old school Radiohead fans won't like this album, I didn't either. After a few listens though the album grew on me. Radiohead took a leap of faith here by making an album totally opposite of their past masterpieces (The Bends & OK Computer). This transition kind of reminds me of Dylan going acoustic. His loyal folk fan base was horrified and didn't want anything to do with him after that. Thankfully artists make music for themselves and what that is and what the fans want may be two different things. If artists just stuck to their roots we they would never be able to grow intellectually and musically. Kid A is a fantastic album and is well worthy of all the praise it has and continues to receive and "Everything In It's Right Place" is one of the best songs of all time. Collapse
  4. Nov 15, 2011
    10
    Easily an album that helped shape the music scene as we know it now. With the leap from the critically and commercially successful sound of OK computer they made what in my opinion is the greatest album of the 00's. Absolute perfection. Expand
  5. May 15, 2013
    10
    The greatest album of the decade? Absolutely!! Is it the greatest album of all time? It certainly makes a strong case for it. I've never heard in my short, but dense years of listening, a more perfect album. It blends multiple genres from electronic to jazz to classical to ambient successfully, and unites them together in the form of a traditional rock album. But this album is far from traditional, hell it's a far-cry from a Radiohead record as well, but it is an exquisitely weird and beautiful album nonetheless and stands as the most influential and important recording of the 21st century so far. Expand
  6. Feb 20, 2014
    10
    An album that both alienates listeners yet draws them back in for more. Kid A is quite possibly the most unique sounding albums and constructed ideas of the last several decades. The stripped down sound of the "new era" Radiohead of the 21st century does more than cement their place as one of the most influential bands of all time and without question, one the best bands of all time. Expand
  7. Nov 6, 2012
    2
    There was commenter who said that "If you don't get Radiohead you don't get music". No, I get Radiohead... I just don't like this album in general. Now don't get me wrong, The Bends and OK Computer are some of the best alternative rock albums of the 90's. However people proclaimed this as the 2000's equivalent of Nevermind (by Nirvana) and that's just not accurate. There is nothing artful about unstructured noise and lyrics that have no meaning. And the worse thing is that this album is more successful commercially than White Pony by Deftones. If this album has more success, critically and commercially, than an album that has structure, character, and has some kind of musical/lyrical progression in it then there is something wrong with musical listeners. Now, if you'd excuse me I'm going to go and listen to some progressive metal, a genre of music that has actual structure and requires playing instruments. Expand

See all 226 User Reviews

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