1. Kid A
The best way that I can describe this album: OP.
I’m not sure if you’re shocked, surprised, disappointed, or impressed at this point, but Kid A is not only my favorite Radiohead album of all time, but my favorite album of all time ever. No album will ever have an effect on me the same way that Kid A did. There isn’t much to say about this album that hasn’t been proclaimed from the mountains, blown up across headlines, or etched into stone. It’s an album that can be depressing, uplifting, terrifying, and utterly awesome all at once.
The way it completely abandons everything the band had worked up to, especially when many thought they had reached their creative peak with OK Computer, is the epitome of ballsy. They had nowhere to go with guitars, especially since the sound they achieved with guitars had already been assimilated by so many other bands, so they tapered off them almost entirely in favor of computer-controlled electronics. This album had all of the potential to fail–drastically new sound, no singles released–but it didn’t. I’m so glad it didn’t.
I remember reading something about the band’s frontman Thom Yorke striving for rhythm when making the album, and in that sense Kid A is remarkable with how it creates the same human grooves and emotions through electronics, if not better grooves and emotions, as what they were doing with guitars. It’s sorta like that whole thing of what qualifies as a non-human, and whether a robot can ever be as “human” as a real person.
What makes this album such a gem to me is how I personally connect to it for several reasons, some of which are too personal to punch out for the world to see. Kid A takes me back to times when things mattered less, times when I was the happiest kid on the planet eating mint Oreos out of a makeshift bedroom fashioned out of my house’s basement with my imagination and I frolicking hand in hand, times when I was still finding myself as a person. Hearing music that was this alien and bizarre yet so down-to-earth and intimate allowed me to lose myself into these sounds.
Kid A is definitely one of the boldest and greatest music releases in history, and I’m glad to see it’s getting the utmost respect. “Motion Picture Soundtrack” is one of the greatest songs ever made. I love this album so much. So much. So much.
Now that this whale has been lifted off my chest, I hope you enjoyed reading and I’d love to know what you think! Feel free to leave a comment and subscribe if you’re new. Stay classy.