• Record Label: Capitol
  • Release Date: Jun 5, 2001
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Alternative Press
    90
    More often than not, Amnesiac finds a balance between twiddling and transcendence. [Jul 2001, p.79]
  2. By resolutely forgetting formula, Radiohead proves itself all the more relevant with Amnesiac.
  3. Quality aside, the questionable sequencing of Amnesiac does little to hush the argument that the record is merely a thinly veiled b-sides compilation...
  4. It is hard to shake the feeling that these songs may actually be leftovers.
  5. A sonic extravaganza for effects-loving headphone devotees, Amnesiac is another Radiohead effort that requires a bit of a leap to get into but is pretty unforgettable once you're there.
  6. Either Yorke’s lyrics are better this time, or the comparative voluptuousness of the vocal performances make it easier to tune in, or we’ve finally grasped what he’s been getting at since abandoning OK Computer’s more straightforward man-vs-society musings.
  7. This album is admittedly not as powerful as Kid A in many respects-nowhere are there songs as intense and bristling with action and desire as "Idioteque" and "National Anthem"; nowhere is there a song as sublimely beautiful and tragic as "How to Disappear Completely".
  8. Mojo
    80
    Deliriously provocative, Amnesiac is as splendidly other and awkward as its sister album. [Jul 2001, p.104]
  9. Where Kid A couldn't help but be seen as a reaction to fame and intense scrutiny, Amnesiac illuminates what Radiohead are now, and will likely be for a long time: an evasive, willfully experimental rock band who feel uncomfortable in their own skins.
  10. Despite Thom Yorke's assertions that 'Amnesiac' stands alone, it complements 'Kid A' so beautifully, develops it with such conviction, that the idea Radiohead ever cut themselves off to spite their fans suddenly seems irredeemably churlish.
  11. Blender
    80
    Amnesiac isn't a difficult album -- or, rather, it's not a mere experiment but a successful one... Nobody has ever made a record that sounds like this before. [Jun/Jul 2001, p.109]
  12. Radiohead have remembered how to feel, and do so without relying on the arena rock bluster of The Bends, the Orwellian remoteness of OK Computer or Kid A's pretense as a sort of MC Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. That's why Amnesiac sounds like their best album.
  13. Yes, and it's just as frustrating, too, and fiddly and awkward and self-conscious and self-important and neurotic and panicky, and as often ugly as it is beautiful, and as often pompous or irrelevant as it is profound. Just as you've come to expect.
  14. "Amnesiac" deepens the mystery that Radiohead began with its curious, largely electronic 2000 release, "Kid A," and certainly won't satiate those awaiting the lauded band's supposed return to guitar-heavy epics.
  15. 70
    Much of the time, Amnesiac ends up sounding more like a work in progress than the band's crowning opus.
  16. Spin
    70
    And this is how Amnesiac goes, or doesn't: Resonant, dusty somethings, not much on their own, line up and aggregate into something fluid and sweetly steady. [Jul 2001, p.124]
  17. Like Kid A, Amnesiac will be dismissed by some as an inconsequential indulgence, a mere sequel, or even a collection of lesser, leftover material. But the truth is, the band shows no intention of turning back. Nothing beats a good surprise, and Radiohead is full of them.
  18. Amnesiac is full of computerized clicks and hums - the kinds of tracks made by geeks alone with their gizmos - and of instruments and voices so heavily filtered they sound alienated even from themselves.
  19. Too tentative and slight to be genuinely moving.
  20. The spirit of Syd Barrett seems to loom over this record more than either of the previous Radiohead longplayers, and that's not a bad thing at all.
  21. Amnesiac plays like a streamlined version of Kid A, complete with blatant electronica moves and production that sacrifices songs for atmosphere.
  22. Entertainment Weekly
    58
    By the sound of it, Radiohead have strayed off into the same territory Yes did over a quarter century ago -- and two pieces of marginalia in a row don't bode well for the outcome. [8 June 2001, p.72]
  23. While this sounds mostly like incomplete leftovers, there are a few tasty treats: The lonely guitar of "Knives Out," that dirty beat pulsating under "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" and the hypnotic body-ponging of "I Might Be Wrong."
  24. Repeated listens draw out its infinite flaws, its awful smugness, and remind you that were this not A Radiohead Album it would have been consigned to the pile marked 'Not A Patch On Aphex Twin' last week.
  25. The Wire
    40
    Pleasant, yes, but not much more.... Too many of these 'songs' snap off at around the three or four minute mark, just as they start to get interesting.... It sounds consistently half-there. [#208, p.52]
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 502 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 502
  1. jamesw
    May 20, 2007
    10
    brilliant
  2. Nick
    Apr 22, 2007
    10
    You and Whose Army is one of the best songs written (not to mention my personal favourite I Might Be Wrong). The flow of this album also You and Whose Army is one of the best songs written (not to mention my personal favourite I Might Be Wrong). The flow of this album also contributes to its overall brilliance. Full Review »
  3. noway
    Jul 12, 2006
    3
    "It is obvious that reviewers listening to "a record of B sides" have little comprehension of what is truely interesting and intuitive "It is obvious that reviewers listening to "a record of B sides" have little comprehension of what is truely interesting and intuitive music." HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. that review is the funniest thing i've read all day; it reminds me of why i hate 85% of radiohead's fans. you know, the ones who write intense, poorly articulated arguments putting down everyone who doesn't think that everything thom & the band puts out is pure genius (sans 'pablo honey', of course). having said that, amnesiac is the weakest link in radiohead's otherwise impressive catalog. Full Review »