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Kid A

  • Capitol

Three years after their 1997 masterpiece OK Computer, England's best band has reemerged with a disc that forsakes all those typical pop things like hooks, choruses, obvious singles, and big guitar blasts in favor of an often mesmerizing soundscape.

You can hear it in a song like “How to Disappear Completely,” where chord textures fade in and out like the echoes of a subway station, while frontman Thom Yorke sings dreamily and sound effects crash against each other in dizzying fashion.

It's there in the electronica-laced propulsion of “Idioteque,” where multi-layered vocals wrap wondrously around a throttling house beat.

And it's there in the cascading flares and rapid fire piano notes of “In Limbo,” in which Yorke sings "I'm lost at sea/don't bother me/I've lost my way."

Don't believe him.

There's nothing lost at all about Kid A, which builds upon Radiohead's adventurous reputation. A modern successor to Pink Floyd and King Crimson, Radiohead, along with and producer Nigel Godrich (R.E.M., Beck, Travis), manages to make the most of a myriad of high-tech studio techniques here without ever sounding gimmicky.

Kevin O'Hare

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