Kid A

By Natalie Sit

Something strange occurs on Kid A’s fourth track "How to Disappear Completely." Someone actually strums a guitar. While fretwork is kept to an economical minimum, the most arresting aspect is that it isn’t even missed.

Is Radiohead, then, going soft? One listen to "The National Anthem" should put any such talk to rest; layers upon layers of haunting effects and a ferocious horn section are faithfully held together by a scintillating bass. The music is positively chilling.

Although the overall sound is much bleaker, there is a communal feel to Thom Yorke’s lyrics. Avoiding OK Computer’s nihilistic bent, Yorke suggests we all may be in this horror together and even offers hope on "Optimistic," with the line, "the best you can is good enough."

This is a wonderful album and Radiohead are clearly on a roll. They continue to move onwards and upwards, leaving listeners to gasp in astonishment. And the way it looks, they always will. For when you are Radiohead, you’re only as good as the promise of your next album.

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