Review of “Kid B” – 20 years of “Amnesia”


When it comes to the term zeitgeist it mainly refers to the cultural, intellectual and political mood of a society at a given time. In modern culture, and it would be said that it has always been, only with less interest, man, as a semi-conscious intelligent creature, has a fixation with identity, that is, with authenticity. Such a subconscious desire, and an ‘end goal’ of character that develops in a human life, is almost the primary goal of every human being, regardless of intelligence and cultivated mind. Each individual reacts to authenticity with a deep subconscious desire to realize (characterize, grow or develop) itself in some capacity as such. To quote a gentleman, ‘we consume identity, much less musicu ‘.

Simply put, fascination with a certain cultural and political identity is the ‘spirit of the times’. Having established the basic idea of ​​what the spirit of the time is, we can also look at the creators, namely those who transcend the cultural current and aesthetics of their time. Artists who push boundaries in the realm of coherent ideas will surely be remembered as figures whose contributions have become essential to the development of culture in human history, in this case as “newspapers-of-the-sound-that-will-love-tomorrow.”

Elem, today is the 20th anniversary of the release of the British band’s fifth album Radiohead. “Amnesiac“Ili”Kid B“, As it should have been called in the first place, is a nice scrap, which is reflected in the fact that the songs from this album are the ones that did not pass the setlist of the previous one”Kid A“. Originally, the Amnesian songs were to be released as part of a double album, known to the studio only as “Kid“. However, the band members realized that it might be an exaggeration and too hard for the listeners’ attention, because one of Radiohead’s albums is a real challenge for the music consumer. After that, Radiohead divided the album into two parts, mysteriously naming them as Kid A and B.

A big debate among fans has been going on since the day “Amnesiac” appeared in music stores, which album is superior, often taking as an argument the fact that “Amnesiac” was an essentially glorified side of the previous album, a statement in favor of the fourth album. and which is still scattered on various music forums. What we can say most clearly is that “Amnesiac” is not better than its predecessor, but it is certainly better than most albums that were not originally conceived as a b side, although the b side from an album like “Kid A”, hmmm … is not naive.

Certainly, this album stands without problems with other releases from the discography of this band, and where it is weaker, it replaces with daring tapes that are not lacking in fearlessness. “Amnesiac”, even with the reputation of the little brother of the album “Kid A”, has its own sound. The album does not resemble the previous one at any time, which is very surprising because 2/3 of the songs from “Amnesiac” were recorded during the same sessions at which they recorded “Kid A”.

There is a mime related to this album, and that is that in Radiohead’s opus Amnesiac represents the band’s legitimate jazz phase. There is truth in that, because he is a guitarist Johnny Greenwood stated on one occasion that they came into contact with a jazz musician while recording some songs from the album Humphrey Lytteltonom, under the pretext of “they just aren’t good enough to play and arrange jazz music“. That aside, though. The sound from “Amnesiaca” testifies to itself, carrying the evident influences of IDM contemporaries, kraut rock, modern classical music, cabaret and big band.

The album cover was conceived Thom Yorke i Stanley Donwood which for the visual identity of the band represents what it is for production and audio aesthetics Nigel Godrich. Stanley Donwood provided a bit of exposure in one 2020 recording, where he talked about his graphic work for the band. Namely, the cover for “Amnesiac” is something that looks very abstractly like the Minotaur, a monster from Greek mythology, who seems to be crying. Donwood explained the cover in the following text: “

The creature that haunts the red labyrinth is a weeping minotaur, a monster aware of its destiny, its isolation, its own prison and the disgust and fear it causes in everyone who sees it.

The Minotaur is drawn in the fetal position on the hard cover of a red unknown book, which shows signs of wear and age. As for the motive of the book, Donwood stated the following: “This book is the most common I could find, it looks like something that could have been lost in the attic for years“. Elem, the cover nicely represents the minimal audio aesthetics in the sound of Amnesiacs, but it is also suitable for the themes that permeate this work – existential reflections, constant reevaluation of one’s own value in capitalist society, deep introspection and contemplation.

Apparently a very introverted work. The album consists of 11 songs, where some are obviously better than others, and where others are mostly in the manner of ad hoc-intermezzo-aimless wandering, while the first ones that actually make up most of the playlists justify the quality of music that this band otherwise creates.

“Amnesiac” is the middle child of Radiohead’s work. To some, it seems like an incidental listening, rather insignificant among some of the more prolific albums, while others treat it as the band’s most important achievement. Although unjustly characterized as the younger brother of its more successful cousin “Kid A”, “Amnesiac” managed to find its way to the hearts of listeners around the world and to finally grow up after twenty years since its inception.

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