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DUST OFF THE VINYL: ‘Kid A’ delivers a cold but emotional masterpiece

ROMAN TYLER

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This week on Dust Off the Vinyl, i’m going to be discussing the masterpiece of the English rock band Radiohead, Kid A. Released three years after the release of their 1997 record OK Computer, Kid A continued the experimental and emotional trends from their previous effort while also completely changing up much of their songwriting and recording in ways different from anything they had done before, completely surprising fans and critics with something highly unexpected.

Kid A was recorded during a stressful time for the band, their catapult into success started by the highly popular single Creep off the album Pablo Honey and continued by the release of OK Computer was wearing on the band, with lead singer and songwriter Thom Yorke reportedly being on the verge of a mental breakdown. It was from this stress and desperation that Kid A was born, and it’s clear as day when listening to the album that it comes from a place of emotional pain and suffering.

The songwriting on this album varies from abstract, such as the line “Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon” from the opening track Everything In its Right Place, to honest and heart wrenching like on the track How to Disappear Completely where Thom Yorke sings the lines “That there/ That’s not me.” This album has some of the most emotional vocals of all time, with Thom Yorke sounding like he’s constantly on the verge of a breakdown, forming the backbone of the emotional impact the songs deliver.

Kid A is both extremely intimate and distant at the same time, it manages to be both bleak and emotional with the cold unwavering synths and electronic madness backing up the soft and emotional vocals delivered by Thom Yorke. Kid A delivers a unique sonic experience and still holds up as both the greatest Radiohead album and one of the greatest albums of all time, period.

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