Radiohead: Thom Yorke, Ed O'Brien, Jon Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Phil Selway.
Additional personnel: Jimmy Hastings (clarinet); Humphrey Lyttelton (trumpet); Pete Strange (trombone); Paul Bridge (double bass); Adrian MacIntosh (drums); St. John's Orchestra.
Engineers: Nigel Godrich, Dan Grech-Marguerat.
AMNESIAC was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.
This second helping from the sessions that produced the preceding KID A will probably strike close listeners as a bit more structured, though it'll be difficult to determine whether that's simply because the peregrinations of the last album have prepared them for the trips to the outer limits taken here. Those expecting a U2-like return to tuneful, anthemic guitar-rock will have their hopes dashed upon a rock of colorful electronic experimentation and moody, studio-enhanced madness.
The piano-based "Pyramid Song" and the Martian-gospel-choir ballad "You and Whose Army?" might placate verse-chorus-verse traditionalists slightly, but the sampler-in-a-trash-compactor "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" and the pointillistic ambience of "Hunting Bears" attest to Radiohead's continued nonconformist tendencies. AMNESIAC opens with the claustrophobic, synth-bedecked "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box" and closes with the Dixieland funeral march "Life in a Glass House." Along the way, the band engages in the kind of fearless, pretension-risking (but highly successful) sonic experimentation that made a cultural artifact out of SGT. PEPPER. There are less apt comparisons.
What the critics say…
Rolling Stone (1/03/02, p.119) - Ranked #10 in Rolling Stone's "Top 10 2001".
Rolling Stone (6/21/01, pp.74-5) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "…Clear proof that the progressive-rock impulse survived the 20th century….full of computerized clicks and hums…and of instruments and voices so heavily filtered they sound alienated even from themselves….It's like ZZ Top kidnapped by Autechre…"
Spin (1/02, p.76) - Ranked #2 in Spin's "Albums of the Year 2001".
Spin (7/01, pp.123-4) - 7 out of 10 - "…Lullabies for the compressed present…abandoning verse-chorus-verse motion to let the tracks just roll out, like bolts of cloth…"
Q (7/01, p.118) - 4 stars out of 5 - "…Similarly shy, textural and embroidered by electronica, but where it differs vitally from KID A is in being 1) better balanced, 2) more emotionally intelligible and 3) even more grimly beautiful…"
Alternative Press (2/02, p.64) - Ranked #1 in AP's "25 Best Albums of 2001".
Alternative Press (7/01, p.79) - 9 out of 10 - "…Quintessentially Radiohead, full of existential rock songs powered by Yorke's delicate, aching, soaring vocals…"
Magnet (12-1/02, p.57) - Included in Magnet's "20 Best Albums of 2001".
The Wire (1/02, p.40) - Ranked #18 in Wire's "50 Records of the Year 2001".
The Wire (6/01, p.52) - "…It works for as long as you can keep other - weighted, braver, graver - examples or exemplars out of your mind, The moment you summon Jeff Buckley or John Cale, PiL or Can, Talk Talk or David Sylvian, the spell is broken…"
CMJ (6/4/01, p.5) - "…Another adventuresome, aloof, non-rock joint that's more an album of concepts than a concept album…"
Vibe (8/01, p.160) - 4 discs out of 5 - "…Populated with skittish techno beats, water-damaged samples and the kind of vocal mastery you would hear from a wounded donkey….If genuises are slightly mad, then Radiohead is stark, raving bonkers…"
Mojo (Publisher) (1/02, p.69) - Ranked #10 in Mojo's "Best  Albums of 2001".
Mojo (Publisher) (7/01, p.104) - "…Deliriously provocative….as splendidly other and awkward as its sister album [KID A]…"
NME (Magazine) (12/29/01, p.59) - Ranked #25 in NME's 50 "Albums Of the Year 2001".
NME (Magazine) (6/2/01, p.37) - 8 out of 10 - "…It complements KID A beautifully….the jazz spasms and electronic pulsings, the chill blood, and most of all, the chronic hypersensitivity to the world outside…"
- Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box
- Pyramid Song
- Pulk / Pull Revolving Doors
- You & Whose Army-
- I Might Be Wrong
- Knives Out
- Morning Bell / Amnesiac
- Dollars & Cents
- Hunting Bears - (TRUE instrumental)
- Like Spinning Plates
- Life In A Glass House
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