By Tanner Wasson
Banner News Reporter
Radiohead’s Kid A is one of the most esteemed albums ever recorded, and many of you may have never heard of it. When most people hear Radiohead, they think of the song Creep and that’s about all they know. Even though the general public doesn’t know it, Radiohead is one of the most highly regarded bands of all time among hardcore music fans. These hardcore fans go much deeper than just how it sounds, it’s just as, if not more about how the music makes you feel, the thoughts that it provokes, or even its ability to tell a story.
The “underground” or “audiophile” music scene doesn’t hold the same standards as the general public, they view music as an experience, not just background noise. An album’s worth doesn’t lie in it’s sound but in its story and in its emotional pull. You don’t listen while you’re working or studying, you sit and digest every lyric, instrumental, and arrangement to see just what the artist wants you to feel or experience.
I got into this scene trying to find more rap to listen to, because I was getting tired of the rap music that was continuing to be released. There is an endless amount of opinions, reviews, and suggestions you can go through, and I started finding some of the most critically acclaimed hip hop ever, but none of that made as big of an impact on me as finding Radiohead. I stumbled upon Radiohead, because as I went through more information, I continuously saw people praising all of Radiohead’s albums so of course I was intrigued. I read that everyone considered Kid A and OK Computer to be two of the greatest albums of all time, not just by Radiohead, but ever.
So I went into Radiohead’s Kid A almost blind, honestly expecting to get bored not very far in, thinking,”It’s Art Rock, how good could it be?” I wasn’t immediately blown away but after feeling goosebumps on every track because of the raw emotions that I was connecting with I was in awe. I thought then and still think now, that this is the most emotional experience I had ever had, because of any sort of media. I wasn’t rolling on the floor crying, but I felt like Thom Yorke (lead singer) was speaking directly to me the entire time, pulling every single one of my heart strings.
Radiohead opened the door for me to enter into this music scene that doesn’t stop at how it sounds, but cares about much more than that, and I haven’t been the same since. Not only am I more open to all genres, but I’m more open to different levels of popularity, of critical acclaim and of fan loyalty, I can look at music in a completely different light, because Kid A showed me how much more music can be.
Two years later, I can still say nothing has topped Kid A in my mind, but there have been albums that were close if not tied (To Pimp a Butterfly, Run the Jewels 2, Worry). If you haven’t listened to Kid A, while I encourage it, there’s a certain mindset you have to adopt before you can listen to it, and understand all of it’s accomplishments. Radiohead’s Kid A is truly a masterpiece, and I urge anyone even mildly interested, to keep an open mind and try listening to some music that you can’t find on the radio, or on a top hits Pandora station. There is more music than you could ever listen to out there, and I think that if you look hard enough you too will find an album that makes you feel the way that Kid A made me feel.