Join along as we take a look at one of the years most anticipated releases in our Radiohead Kid A Mbesia review. I spent the better part of the weekend with the newly released deluxe reissue from Radiohead, Kid A Mnesia. A little background is probably in order for those not familiar with the release. Radiohead released a rock masterpiece in ‘OK Computer’ in 1997, (if you are not familiar, stop reading and check it out now, it is like a ’90s answer to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon). As you can imagine, the band was under pressure to follow-up OK Computer and they answered with two albums released a year apart. First was ‘Kid A’ released in October 2000 and followed by ‘Amnesiac’ the following year. Now that you are up to speed, let’s jump into our review of the reissue of the two releases along with outtakes in Radiohead’s Kid A Mnesia.
Radiohead Kid A Mnesia Review Overview
The Radiohead KID A MNESIA release comes in 4 formats, vinyl, CD, Digital and cassette. With the exception of the cassette, the album comes with 3 discs listed below:
- Disc 1: Radiohead Kid A
- Disc 2: Radiohead Amnesiac
- Disc 3: Radiohead KID A MNESIA
Album Flow and Tracks
Not too much new to say about this that have not been covered in our original reviews of Kid A and Amnesiac. Kid A still creates and transfers us to a new world of the ambient atmosphere that few albums can match. Having Amnesiac packaged along with it still puts us further in Thom's world. With the edition of the third disc, Kid A Mnesia, taken from the same sessions we would think it would prolong our journey into this world of millennial dread.
Love Radiohead, see our Radiohead OK Computer 25 Year Review
Unfortunately it comes up short of accomplishing this for me as a lot of the songs come off as unpolished and did not extend my enjoyment of the first 2 albums and is really not strong enough to stand on its own as something I would reach for and listen to on a regular basis.
Radiohead Kid A Mnesia Review of Packaging
The Radiohead Kid Amnesia vinyl comes on three 12" discs. The original albums are half-speed cut pressings done by Bazza at Alchemy Mastering. I personally went with the standard vinyl but there is a red vinyl edition available as well as a deluxe set in cream vinyl that includes a book available from the bands store.
Overall the packaging is suitable. For the price, I personally would have liked to see the regular release include a booklet or some extra goodies. All 3 discs come in a standard weight cardboard sleeve and all are printed. I hate it when printed sleeves with liner notes are not included so was happy to see this. Having all 3 discs in the 3 pocket Gatefold is nice to keep them together but also a pain as it is not going to fit in a standard protective sleeve. I did not get the CD to review but looks to be in a cardboard Gatefold package.None of the vinyl editions or CD specify they are Limited.
There is also a double cassette that is limited to 5000. I did not order it but if you are a die hard Radiohead fan I would suggest checking it out. It comes with a booklet and has some B-Sides not included with the regular releases. You can get details at the artists store.
Finally there is a bonus release coming out in 2022 in the form of a book. This I am so excited about as it will consist of hundreds of images made by Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood that were created over the period the albums were conceived and produced. If you have not seen it you can check out the preorder on here.
Check price of Vinyl Set at Amazon
Check price of CD set at Amazon
Sound / Mastering / Pressing Quality
The vinyl I received was dead flat and quiet for the most part, some of the quieter passages had some noise but nothing too worrisome so overall it looks like XL and Bazza did a good job with the pressing. From reading some online user reviews it does look like others have not been as lucky as I was. I have seen some complaints with the records being off-center or having a slight warp.
For the sound and format they sound similar to the last reissues from a few years back for Kid A and Amnesiac. One nice thing is they are on a single disc so if you are old and lazy like me it is less times to get up and flip the records vs the previous releases. Overall I cannot really recommend this over the originals or the reissues if you already have the records.
The third disc I have mixed feelings about. It is great to hear some outtakes from the Kid A and Amnesiac recording sessions but as expected a lot of the tracks are more demo-like and not as polished as the finished records. You can tell the songs were from the same era and sessions but playing the KID A MNESIA disc after listening to the first 2 does not extend the journey but instead diminishes the hypnotic flow established from Kid A and Amnesiac. I included the videos of the 2 songs released from KID A MNESIA on the video tab. I think you will see what I am talking about with the song 'Follow Me Around'. It sounds like it was recorded from an earlier session and does not fit with the flow of the rest of the albums.
I will mention when I first seen that they were doing a 21st anniversary release for Kid A and Amnesiac I was over the top with expectations. in a perfect world I was expecting a 45 RPM release as they have never came in this speed and I think the complexities from both albums would benefit. Also I thought we would see a remaster. Although I feel Chris Blair knocked it out of the park on the mastering of these two masterpieces I still find it interesting to see what others might do (Although I am under the impression that a 'Kid A' remaster would have to be done from earlier transfers, as they cut up the master tapes ((at least that's what was said for the A Moon Shaped Pool special edition)).
Overall I can see what they were going for by adding the third disc but in my opinion it did not quit get there.
Radiohead Kid A Mnesia Review of Lyrics / Music
Not going to touch on the lyrics and music for this review. Kid A and Amnesiac have both been analyzed to death and both are still relevant today as they were when released (in short, both are simply amazing). I will say that as years have passed that I find myself enjoying Amnesiac more and more. When released I did not find it as memorizing as Kid A but it has definitely earned a place in my rotation over the years.
For the new disc, KID A MNESIA, I found it good but more from an interest to hear some additional material that was recorded during the period. Honestly I cannot see myself reaching for the disc on a semi-regular basis to play the tracks. Most likely if the urge hits I will play it on digital.
Radiohead - If You Say The Word Video
Radiohead - Follow Me Around Video
1. "Everything in Its Right Place"
2. "Kid A"
3. "The National Anthem"
4. "How to Disappear Completely"
7. "In Limbo"
8. "Idioteque" (Radiohead, Paul Lansky, Arthur Kreiger)
9. "Morning Bell"
10. "Motion Picture Soundtrack"
Total length: 49:57
11. "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box"
12. "Pyramid Song"
13. "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors"
14. "You and Whose Army?"
15. "I Might Be Wrong"
16. "Knives Out"
17. "Morning Bell/Amnesiac"
18. "Dollars and Cents"
19. "Hunting Bears"
20. "Like Spinning Plates"
21. "Life in a Glasshouse"
Total length: 43:57
22. "Like Spinning Plates ('Why Us?' Version)"
23. "Untitled v1"
24. "Fog (Again Again Version)"
25. "If You Say the Word"
26. "Follow Me Around"
27. "Pulk/Pull (True Love Waits Version)"
28. "Untitled v2"
29. "The Morning Bell (In the Dark Version)"
30. "Pyramid Strings"
31. "Alt. Fast Track"
32. "Untitled v3"
33. "How to Disappear Into Strings"
Total length: 34:08
|The Line of Best Fit
|Under the Radar
Genre: Electronic, Rock
Release Date: Nov 5, 2021
Label: XL Recordings – XL1166LPE
Recorded: January 1999 – April 2000
Studio: Guillaume Tell, Paris
Unnamed studio, Oxford, England
Producer: Nigel Godrich, Radiohead
Mastered By: Bob Ludwig (tracks: C1 to D6), Chris Blair (tracks: A1 to B5)