Wilco – Yankee… Radiohead – Kid A review

Well, I started listening to Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, in fact I still am listening to it, I am on track four, “War on War.” Not knowing what I felt like reviewing, I went from listening to Caitlin Rose’s cover of the Arctic Monkeys’ “Piledriver Waltz” for her Record Store Day 2012 release (music video linked), as Richard from Thoughts on music (a cool blog for which I find out about a lot of new music!) posted about it, to thinking about Arctic Monkeys and somehow jumped to the Wilco album, as I have never heard it (in fact hardly listen to Wilco ever!), and it is rated as one of the best albums of the 2000s decade. Now I am on track six, “Ashes of American Flags”, and it does seem like a good album, but, a little too mellow for me. So instead, I will review what I think is the best album of the last decade, Radiohead’s Kid A, strictly from memory. I am pretty sure Rolling Stone agreed, with Wilco in second place. (Rather, I agree with them!).

Kid A is a definite turning point in their career, going from the critically acclaimed OK Computer which did have its share of electronic in it to pretty much a total electronic album.

From memory, I cannot begin to list where all the sounds in Kid A came from. Of course there are standard instruments in there, guitar, bass, and drums, but not always used in the conventional methods. Even the lyric style is fairly unique, starting off the album with “yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon” to “there are two colours in my head” (all in “Everything in Its Right Place”). Similar to South Park mocking Family Guy, it could have been two manatees choosing random phrases, and putting them together! Yet, I think it works very well, and I enjoy how they work! I myself have tried songwriting, and cannot really come up with zany stuff that works, of course I have not tried too hard.

I used to look forward to being able to listen to a modern rock radio station when I was in range (before internet streaming was what it was today!), and one of their ‘Buzz Cuts’ at the time was “Optimistic”, which manages to work on modern rock radio. Radiohead being a band, along certain others (such as the Beastie Boys) that work on modern rock radio even if they are not quite ‘modern rock’.

“The National Anthem” also could be such a song, with its very distinct bass line (which I might add is a fun one to play — yes, it is fairly easy, but it does sound cool too!).

The electronic aspect is very prevalent in “Idioteque”, which practically has Thom Yorke having a seizure by the end of it! The album does come to a nice mellow close (not at all like Wilco’s style of mellow!) with “Morning Bell” and “Motion Picture Soundtrack.”

And now for something completely different (I recommend hearing the actual album first):

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