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Monday, 4 June, 2001, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Amnesiac: Your views
Tom Yorke
No return to the days of guitars 'n' angst for Radiohead
Radiohead have said their fifth album, Amnesiac, will be more commercial and more accessible than their last album, Kid A.

"Take this CD into a darkened room, put on a big pair of headphones, turn the volume up and prepare for a hard slog before you see the light," wrote BBC News Online's Ian Youngs.

But what do you think? Is the current sound of the band a progression or a mere diversion? Is it a good thing that they are moving away from commercialism? Or are they going too far?

HAVE YOUR SAY

I will always admire creativity and Amnesiac is a wonderful demonstration. I think Radiohead has progressed and pushed the realms of their genious to the brink without concerns of whether it will be marketable.

They put their art first and financial concerns second and yet they still consistently sell millions of records. Much of today's music could learn a lesson from the example set by Radiohead.
Rich S., US

Wow! I loved Kid A from the first listen and the same goes for Amnesiac too. Music was made to be stretched and it is good to see it being stretched so well!
Richard Davies, UK

Depressing. Self-loathing. Epitome of whiners. I think they have a heavy load on their back. For their own good and those of us who can only listen to radio, I beg them to let it go. Remember the old days. I do not mean corny smiles, just let it go!!!
Julian Carrasco, Chile

No way this is an easy listen, you have to dive in head first and even try to forget their past albums. But, if comparisons must be made then Dark Side of the Moon is definitely in there. Some of it also reminds me of Martin Hannets treatment of Joy Division on Unknown Pleasures.

The truth is, the media and press find it hard to get their dumb heads around bands like Radiohead when they are spending so much time with the whole boy/girl band thing.
Threlly, UK

It would be silly to overlook the fact that Radiohead listeners' tastes have evolved as much as the band's themselves. Everyone evolves emotionally. This is a welcome change from Popstars. Being a commericial success these days carries little weight with the music, so it is good to find a band that acknowledges this. Amnesiac is a rewarding album to listen to and is well worth "making the effort" to learn/know/understand. With more emotion than Kid A, it proves a rollercoaster to listen to.
Dom Thomas, UK

Of course Radiohead do not owe us anything and can make this uncommercial music if they so choose, and I have listened to and thoroughly enjoyed both of the last two albums because they are damn fine. But go on, admit it, you want Jonny to crank his Telecaster up to 11 as well don't you?
Gareth Williams, UK

It is a shame Radiohead cannot get some ideas of their own. They make nice sounding music, but it is all ripped off. Looking at their discography, it is all inspired by things other people were doing less visibly a couple of years before them.
David Bleeker, UK

After hearing that Radiohead were supposed to be going back to their guitar roots a bit more on Amnesiac, I have to say I was a bit disappointed when I got it home. After listening to it a fair few times, I have changed my mind. It is truly brilliant, and I would not change it for the world.
Steve Welch, UK

Kid A is all the Radiohead you need. Try listening to some truly amazing music: Marillion's new album Anoraknophobia for example, or Eno's latest, or No-Man's Returning Jesus, or Anja Garbarek's new album. Greatest ambient/textural music at the moment is Bass Communion. Check that out!
Ard van der Horst, The Netherlands

I bought the album yesterday and I think it is great. It does sound very similar to Kid A but that is not a bad thing. It is definitely Radiohead and I do not really see why everyone is complaining about the lack of guitars. The music is great and that is what is important not what instrument its played on.

I'm not sure if it's as good as OK computer but it's certainly one of the most refreshing albums I've heard in a long time. Oh yeah by the way the comparisons to Pink Floyd are probably well founded but only because they are trying to push back a few boundaries.
Jimus, UK

OK - so at the first hearing it is pretty hard going - but then so was Kid A, so was OK Computer - and so was the wonderful first single from Amnesiac, Pyramid Song. Dig deep and it'll be well worth it......though I do miss the guitars!!
Chris Long, UK

I thought progressive rock died with the 70's! OK, Radiohead are technically genius, but do we really want another Pink Floyd? And look at the rash of whiny ass bands they've inspired. Dull, boring, whingeing dross.
Nik, UK

I read on the radiohead web site that amnesiac would contain "left overs" from the Kid A session. Forget about that, they just pull your leg. One of the things I have learned about Radiohead is that you have to let their music speak for itself and ignore all other things.. most of the time it is contradictory.

As far as Amnesiac goes, it is brilliant. I am amazed that after OK Computer a collective of musicians knows how to get a hold on themselves and produce something exciting and new and not more of the big selling same.

What I have always admired in Radiohead is that they refer a lot to everything that has been produced in the UK since the 60s, but definitly produce a very recognizable sound of their own without getting repeatitive. Like all good music, you have to listen a few times to the record befor it starts to communicate with you.
Martijn ten Napel, The Netherlands


Perfect poets for a cynical generation with chords that really impinge on your soul

Chris Jones, UK

Listening to all of their albums in order, you can hear a natural progression in their 'sound' towards their current work. Much as I love Kid A and Amnesiac I can see why other fans think they are 'having us on' - however, these last two albums are definate 'growing' albums that take time (and repeated listening) to fully appreciate their inate genius. Definately the bravest band out there - and a lot better than the manufactured stuff that litters the charts at the moment.
Nick Bailey, UK

In an increasingly commercialised and uninspiring popular musical landscape, Radiohead must be applauded for pushing at the boundaries, whilst still rewarding the faithful and attentive listener.
Tom, uk

Radiohead are at their peak. We should rejoice that there are bands like them who try and stretch themselves and music to previously unknown areas. I don't like all this album or the last - but there are some truly great moments. The world would be a poorer place without them and without this record.
jon, France

This album is definitely a hard slog and I am not sure it would go anywhere in the charts if it wasn't by a well established band such as Radiohead. There are definitely occasional moments of brilliance but for me these were interrupted by too much self indulgent experimentation with random noises. I'd recommend buying gaps in their previous work before gettign this album... I loved the last brassy track though!
Matt P, UK

Shocking, the worst album of the year and anyone will be hard pushed to take that accolade.
David , Scotland

Radiohead throw up a veritable feast of melancholy and angst, produced to a mouthwatering perfection that sometimes belies their 'rock' image. Perfect poets for a cynical generation with chords that really impinge on your soul
Chris Jones, UK

I'm not a big Radiohead fan, but Kid A is a good album. I've always been aware of Radiohead and listened to their previous work, but this is the only album of theirs i own a copy of. It's pleasing when a band are not afraid to explore different areas of music and branch out from 'their sound' and try something new to them.
Dave, London

Very impressive collection of music, and I did not commit suicide after listening to it.
John Simper, Wales

"Amnesiac" or "Kid B" as it can be considered, is certainly a progression for the band, in the sense that they prove that they can be adventurous while remaining more or less accessible (albeit some songs). Which is certainly a good thing.


What exactly is their current problem with somthing as mundane as a tune?

James, UK
Thom Yorke will probably never admit it, but never does the band sound better than when they return to more traditional forms of songwriting. Who needs a "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" when they can have beautifully crafted songs like "You & Whose Army" or "Knives out"? Last time they played a concert in Paris, they played Neil Young¿s ¿Cinnamon Girl¿, so maybe everything¿s not lost.

The ¿holier-than-thou-I-shall-never-write-another-pop-song¿ attitude of Kid A was a bit boring,let¿s hope that ¿Amnesiac¿ is a sign they will get back on planet Earth, or at least one of its satellites. ¿Anyone can play guitar¿ and thankfully they remembered they could do so.
Sylvain Magnin, France

It's a load of self indulgent tripe. What exactly is their current problem with somthing as mundane as a tune? The single is just an awfully dull whinge-a-thon that smacks of a band that is devoid of ideas to the extent of having to resort to Spinal Tap style "jazz odysseys". It's lyrically banal, and musically so deliberately obtuse that it's completely artless. It's been said so many times, but here we go again, Thom is you hate being famous so much, stop writing more adolescent gripes, and go and work in a supermarket.
james, UK

Amnesiac is yet another master class in music from Radiohead. As with KID A you need to listen a few times to appreciate the arrangements and mood. Unconventional, different, thought provoking, refreshing. Favourite tracks: 4,5 and 6. Brings back memories of the tent tour.
Guy, UK


Radiohead's new album is a welcome antidote to the tired, sick and insipid world of 'pap pop'

Martyn, UK
Who are we to question what they choose to produce? They have no commitment to anyone but themselves and should be allowed to write what they want without talk of diversion or taking things 'too far'. Business is business, music or not. They write music, they release music; people like it, they buy it; people don't, they don't. Simple as that.
Owen, England

This album is a bitter, twisted, head rush, like sitting on a lofty hill with your ears floating in drums of bees while dead relatives shout at you through a misty fogmist of nostalgia and regret.
jamie downing, UK

For such a relatively young band to be so experimental and indeed risky is refreshingly encouraging. Of all the bands to emerge in the last 10 years none have been as solid and creative as Radiohead. They are a great throw back to Roger Waters' Pink Floyd. If other bands were to be influenced by Radiohead then there is a chance that classic rock will return, otherwise we will forever torched with unimaginative plagiarists like Oasis, Sterophonics, Manics etc... Neither of them would dare tempt anything as adventurous as Radiohead.
Andrew, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

My greatest fear is, even speaking as a fan, that the band are going more and more "Pink Floyd". But saying that... What I think Radiohead are saying now is: "This should be seen as a work of art." Something that should be interpreted in whatever the listener hears for themselves.
Gram, UK

Oh grow up. Are they going too far? What are you talking about? There are no rules to music. Thankfully Radiohead don't give a damn what you or anyone else thinks about their records.
Stephen Pinner, UK

It is the same type of genre as Kid A, but is like all the rest of their albums....Mind Blowing!
Scott Jamieson, Scotland

Oh cheer up!
Alfred Noakes, UK

Amnesiac is good. It's like Kid A part II, which is a first for Radiohead, as typically each album is unlike the last. It's got a slightly higher pace than Kid A, but that's just from a couple of listens. I miss Johnny's guitar work, but I like this. Not quite of OK Computer's standards, but worth getting.

Highlight tracks so far: I Might Be Wrong which has a good guitar line, and Life In A Glasshouse which is a Piano/Trumpet jazz style number.
Michael Dales, Scotland

Worth buying the Album for the song "Spinning Plates" alone ... sheer brilliance. Roll on Oxford next month !
Tony, UK

Kid A took a while to settle in, but that's because there was such a big step. In theory, there shouldn't need to be any settling-in time with this- its more of the same. But its not settling- a lot of it drifts by unheard. It ranks below Kid A and OK Computer. Pyramid, however, is their best song ever. And thus, THE best song ever.
Andy Lowery, England

Its brilliant.
Andrew Bullock, Southend, UK

Why does this band get singled out for a BBC notice board of their own? Their music is boring, sluggish rubbish and in no way indicative of the kind of bands that are breaking new ground. Radiohead were never interesing except to those sitting out the last years of their twenties in a perpetual state of adolescence. Radiohead are a dull band for dull people... who cares about them?
Paul McGranaghan, UK

After the difficult but aurally thrilling Kid A, Amnesiac sees Radiohead evolve into the band I had always wanted them to. It is an album of epic beauty, mixing modern production with classic romanticism. As Radiohead's grip on quality music continues to tighten, will they ever let us down? Modern music at its best.
Craig Nelson, UK

Its an excellent album. Radiohead have not pushed things as far as everyone accuses them of. Kid A was more experimental then Amnesiac and although it obviously took a while for people to get into it I think most people would admit that it isn't a difficult album...

Amnesiac is easier to listen to and only the third song can really be described as experimental. Go out and listen to some proper experimental music, or if you can't face stretching your musical tastes go and buy the latest stereophonics album.
Mark Halloran, UK

Having heard the single the other night on TOTP I can't help thinking that they are taking the mick. I mean who really would want to buy that dirge?
Scuzz, England

Very appealling album, with some of the best songs Radiohead have done. Things like Pyramid Song, Dollars and Cents, Glasshouse, and the weird but haunting Spinning plates can't be ignored. In addition, Stanley Donwood's artwork is his best yet
Peter Silk, UK

Radiohead's new album is a welcome antidote to the tired, sick and insipid world of 'pap pop' that is dished out by manufactured squeeky clean, blemish free, manikins put together by music chefs that only know one recipe.

I found Kid A tough and it certainly didn't work live, perhaps Kid A proved to be an exercise for the guys in breaking things down. As for Amnesiac, yes it requires some listening before you 'get it' but there's a great reward. Taking a different slant on producing music leads to new sounds and influences and helps revitalise the music scene. Amnesiac is one of these journeys. Radiohead's new album challenges the status quo (sorry for bad pun!)and follows in the tradition of other pioneering work like Kraftwerk's Computer World, Beatles Sgt Peppers, The Doors, Massive Attack's Protection, The the's Infected, U2's Archtung Baby... etc.

For this, the MTV 'Hear'Say' generation that has the attention span of goldfish, it could well be too much of a challenge. If you are only going to listen to a a few tracks then I'd suggest Pyramid Song, I might be wrong, Dollars and Cents as the most accessible. Radiohead continue to prove that they are the thinking persons band.
Martyn, London, UK

The album is an iced foambath of scented emotions postpunk Beatles style. Cleverly and well done, but sounds like they can't get their heads under that syrupy surface of sound and start swimming. Well, well. Sign of the Times, but they are still some of the best bands in their genre and I do think they one day willmake something that will really flows. PS. They always reminded me of what Beatles did on The White album, and now one hears Tom Waits. A future winning combination...possibly
Om, UK

Certainly not back to their roots as they said it would be.
Bala, UK

As with OK Computer, it takes a couple of listens before you get it. Once you have done that, be prepared for an excellent CD
Jo Jack, United Kingdom

Is anything at all now relevant in British music? If it is not manufactured blandness of teeny-bop crassness, our favourite sons are off on a planet that only themselves inhabit. That's fine, but if you are not accesible to that planet, then you're lost. Sorry, so are Radiohead, this new album is poor.
Andrew McMenemy, England

I really dont understand what all the fuss is about.Radiohead are probably too good for the average pop fan to have any understanding of their music.If you have the Luggs(auld scots word for ears)to listen to Radiohead,your made for life. A breath of fresh air in a dull pop world.
stephen irving, scotland uk

I'm listening to it as we speak. I sure like it. To answer the question about steering away from commercialism, I applaud them. There is certainly no shortage of commercial rubbish out there. To do something different - and do it well - is one of the highest goals in the arts.
Billy Dechand, USA

I don't rate it at all.
Nick, UK

Most good albums these days tend to be great for the first few listens but then slowly become a bore. With Radiohead it's the complete reverse. I admit that on first hearing Pyramid Song I wasn't impressed, but I listened to it again and it's amazing. The same can be said for the whole album which just gets better and better the more it's listened to. It must be listened to without pre-conception of either Radiohead or of music itself. Just let it hit you.
Adam Cavanagh, United Kingdom

Why? Why do this to yourselves and your fans Radiohead? Making your music less accessible does not make you cool or your music any greater. You will get your wishes to lose the fans who never really 'got' you, but thats all. You are no better now than Oasis in that you contine to disappoint.
Amit Burman, UK

I think Amnesiac as a whole is easier to 'get into' than Kid A. There are a couple of tracks which are unlikely to appeal to anyone but the most devout Radiohead fans (pull/pulk, hunting bears) but OK Computer had Fitter Happier. Put simply, there are unlikely to be many albums released this year better than Amnesiac. After a few listens it seems to fall into place. I can see why it isn't getting five star reviews, but to be honest, alongside the likes of Shaggy and S Club 7, it is probably worthy of at least ten stars more if only to get the balance right!
Jamie, Scotland

Radiohead's new album is a welcome antidote to the tired, sick and insipid world of 'pap pop' that is dished out by manufactured squeaky clean, blemish free, manikins put together by music chefs that only know one recipe.

I found Kid A tough and it certainly didn't work live, perhaps Kid A proved to be an exercise for the guys in breaking things down. As for Amnesiac, yes it requires some listening before you 'get it' but there's a great reward. Taking a different slant on producing music leads to new sounds and influences and helps revitalise the music scene. Amnesiac is one of these journeys. Radiohead's new album challenges the status quo (sorry for bad pun!)and follows in the tradition of other pioneering work like Kraftwerk's Computer World, Beatles Sgt Peppers, The Doors, Massive Attack's Protection, The The's Infected, U2's Archtung Baby... etc.

For this, the MTV 'Hear'Say' generation that has the attention span of goldfish, it could well be too much of a challenge. If you are only going to listen to a few tracks then I'd suggest Pyramid Song, I might be wrong, Dollars and Cents as the most accessible. Radiohead continue to prove that they are the thinking persons band.
martyn, London, UK

I cannot get into my head just why people actually like any of Radiohead's music. Do these people actually enjoy listening to it or is it just some kind of ritual torture.

If you're really that morbid/bored with life to listen to Radiohead then perhaps you should contemplate ending it all sooner rather than later.
John Ward, UK

Radiohead will never recapture the halycon days of plastic palm trees et al while they indulge their pink floyd influenced middle class fantasies with stuff like kid A.
bill gallacher, scotland

The current 'sound' of Radiohead is, relatively speaking, no more experimental than any other band which takes music as seriously as it should. We must remember that music is an art form which shouldn't have to be restricted to the typical scenario of singer, guitar, bass and drums. The latest albums simply show a willingness to completely escape the image which unfortunately was attributed to the in the early 90's - 'teenage angst' is boring now because everyone writes music from that perspective. All great musicians explore relatively new boundaries that make the music worthwhile.
Jonathon Templar, UK

Bands will never better themselves unless they experiment. Where would the Beatles have been if they stuck to the same formula ? It's an old saying; Change or die. If they had stuck to their laurels the fans would have got bored and moved away. (As has happened to other bands.)
Yuri The WebMan, UK

I can't believe it. This is much better than the disappointing OK computer. It even surpasses their previous masterpiece "showbiz".
Rusty Gunson, Scotland

Radiohead are undoubtedly the greatest band the last ten years has produced. They have rejected pressures to play music that people want to hear and play 'true' music, music which is a product of nothing other than their own desire and love for the sounds which have made them what they are today. I think their music is a fantastic release from convention which leaves the listener (fan) with a lasting impression of their genius. True its not going to be everybody's cup of tea but then you're not forced to buy their albums.
Jamie, UK

I'm a Radiohead fan. I hold The Bends and OK Computer as two of my favourite CD's. Very few CD's will I listen to fully and enjoy all the songs. However, Kid A was a large disappointment to me. I know they are under pressure to produce new and different music but the CD did not appeal to me in the slightest. I'm hoping they have got the formula correct for Amnesiac!
Barry , England

In an increasingly commercialised and uninspiring popular musical landscape, Radiohead must be applauded for pushing at the boundaries, whilst still rewarding the faithful and attentive listener.
Tom, uk

Their best and least pompous yet. We've had about 15 years to get used to electronic sounds being the dominant ones in modern pop, so it's a bit silly to start complaining just because Radiohead have woken up to it. Every song has hooks, they're just not necessarily melodic ones. Best trax: the opening three. Worst: throwback move of "Knives Out".
Tom, UK

'Musically Outstanding' again. Radiohead are residing themselves on the cutting edge of music, creating sounds that ring originality and send you in to a world of difference. Long live music.......Short death Popstars !!!
Peter Troop, England

Great album. Does suffer a bit from being created at the same time as Kid A so doesn't really move the band on. I didn't rate Kid A very highly when I first heard it but now I realize that it's pretty close to perfection... same goes here. If you couldn't get enough of Kid A then you'll love this. Not sure if it will attract many new fans cause it is still quite dark. One day all music will be as well put together as this (I wish).
David, France

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