It’s April! A month best known worldwide for being the one which hosts my birthday.
It’s also a month which enjoys a dubious association with fools. Although really only for a half a day.
Mainly though it is a month synonymous with alphabetical blogging, as April also plays host to the A-Z Blogging Challenge, an annual blogging event that, for some reason, I have tended to participate in every other year.
But this year I’m breaking with that tradition and doing it for the second year in a row. Mainly because this year’s efforts are very much on the same theme as last year. Indeed this is almost a direct sequel.
Last time around I wrote mostly about 90s music and this time around I’ll mostly be writing about 00s music.
If the 90s represent my ‘coming of age’ then the 00s represent my ‘wilderness years’. For most of the decade I was in my twenties and oscillating between drinking too much and long distance running. I still enjoy a beer and occasionally torture myself with a run, but I was much better at both in the 00s.
I don’t remember it being an era of great music, but, with the benefit of hindsight, quite a few of my favourite albums were released between January 2000 and December 2009.
But which of those albums made the cut for the first letter of the alphabet?
A is for ‘Amnesiac’
Last year I included Radiohead in my 90s A-Z but rather than plumping for OK Computer, which is arguably one of the most iconic albums of all time, I went, instead for Pablo Honey, which is not so iconic. I mainly did this so I could have a different album for ‘O’ but I do also really like Pablo Honey. It therefore only seems fitting that, in order to accommodate Radiohead in my 00’s A-Z, I should eschew their two most acclaimed releases of the decade, Kid A and In Rainbows, and instead go for another of their more obscure albums in the form of 2001’s Amnesiac.
I’ve mainly gone with this, because I have other albums lined up for ‘K’ and ‘I’ that I couldn’t leave out, but I also do really like Amnesiac. Indeed I could have made a relative compelling case for allowing Kid A to be my selection for today because there is definitely a prominent ‘A’ in the title. But the truth is, even though it has grown on me over the years, I did struggle to like Kid A when it was released. Lots of people did. However much it grows on you with repeated listens, Kid A is not instantly accessible. Bizarrely, even though it’s mainly made up of songs that didn’t make the cut for Kid A, I did find Amnesiac far easier to enjoy from the outset. Indeed, were it not for Amnesiac, I may well have written off all of Radiohead’s post OK Computer efforts, such was my initial antipathy for Kid A.
However, I did enjoy Amnesiac, which in turn persuaded me to revisit and fall in love with Kid A.
And however much Amnesiac might find itself in the shadows of its more acclaimed siblings, it’s hard to deny that it has some great tracks in its own right.
Not least the brilliant Pyramid Song: