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Radiohead Album Reviews 3out of 5
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'Amnesiac' is the swift follow-up to 2000's 'Kid A' which gave a whole new meaning to the term 'that difficult fourth album'. Amnesiac is similarly uncompromising as one can imagine by starting off with 'Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box' which is comparable to Kraftwerk using saucepans as percussion. Thankfully there are moments of emotion to deviate from the rather robotic feel of the album. 'Pyramid Song' is Radiohead's version of Joy Division's 'The Eternal' but it doesn't quite reach such a high point thanks to Thom Yorke's increasingly aggravating whine but it's certainly sinister and stirring enough to merit further listening. Also recommended are 'You And Whose Army' with its pre-war production values and sense of fragility and 'Knives Out', probably the best moment on the album; it has a similar structure to 'Paranoid Android' but deals with it in a more introverted, post-rock kind of way. The second half of 'Amnesiac' doesn't contain enough quality moments to sustain the momentum from the first. Take 'Hunting Bears' which is just an angular piece of guitar that really shouldn't have been included. We then hear lots of palatable but ultimately inessential experimentation which wouldn't have received much attention were it by a band other than Radiohead. Only on the last track, 'Life In A Glasshouse', do things pick up as the group satisfactorily attempt to add jazz to the melting pot in the same way in which Talk Talk did on 'Laughing Stock' 10 years previously. So there are a few good moments on this album but one can't help thinking that Radiohead really did reach their peak on 'The Bends' and 'OK Computer' where their sound was original but not half as insular as it is now.
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  Track Listing
01 Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box
02 Pyramid Song
03 Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors
04 You And Whose Army?
05 I Might Be Wrong
Standout Track Knives Out
07 Morning Bell/Amnesiac
08 Dollars And Cents
09 Hunting Bears
10 Like Spinning Plates
11 Life In A Glasshouse

Standout Track = Standout Track

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Also Recommended:
Boards Of Canada - Geogaddi
Lake Trout - Another One Lost
Pacific Model, A - Divisions
Radiohead - Kid A, Hail To The Thief
Talk Talk - Laughing Stock
Telex - Byp/Ctrl
Yorke, Thom - The Eraser
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