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Music / Amnesiac

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You see that little guy? He's a minotaur...

I might be wrong
I might be wrong
I could have sworn I saw a light
coming home
— "I Might Be Wrong"

Amnesiac is the fifth studio album by English rock band Radiohead.

Released in 2001, it's considered as sort of a companion piece to Kid A, the previous album released in 2000. Lead singer Thom Yorke described it as "another take on Kid A, a form of explanation". Basically, the album could be considered as a "smoother version" of Kid A, while just as experimental if not more so, having influences of Jazz, Krautrock, Electronic Music, and Classical Music.

It received good reception, winning the Grammy Award for Best Recording Package and getting the #320 spot on Rolling Stone's 2012-updated "500 Greatest Albums" list. Despite this and multiple fan-favored songs, it seems to have gone down in history as an inferior follow-up to Kid A.

The singles are "Pyramid Song", "I Might Be Wrong", and "Knives Out".



  1. "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box" (4:00)
  2. "Pyramid Song" (4:49)
  3. "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" (4:07)
  4. "You and Whose Army?" (3:11)
  5. "I Might Be Wrong" (4:54)
  6. "Knives Out" (4:15)
  7. "Morning Bell/Amnesiac" (3:14)
  8. "Dollars and Cents" (4:52)
  9. "Hunting Bears" (2:01)
  10. "Like Spinning Plates" (3:57)
  11. "Life in a Glasshouse" (4:34)

Packt like tropes in a crushd tin box:

  • Auto-Tune: Thom's voice in "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" has autotune applied with ridiculous pitch-shifting settings to create a disorienting effect.
  • Book-Ends: The album's finale, "Life in a Glasshouse", has the line "packed like frozen food and battery hens", which possibly nods back to the album's opener, "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box".
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: "Life in a Glasshouse" portrays life in the very public eye as not dissimilar to a domestic prison.
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  • Creepy Monotone: Thom's voice in "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" is autotuned to achieve this effect.
  • Genre Roulette: Oh yes. It's got electronica ("Packt Like Sardines in a Crushed Tin Box", "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors", "Like Spinning Plates"), rock ("I Might Be Wrong", "Knives Out"), jazz (ranging from modern styles like the piano-driven "You and Whose Army?" and the cool jazz-esque "Dollars and Cents" to a New Orleans-style dirge in "Life in a Glasshouse"; arguably the Charles Mingus-influenced "Pyramid Song" also counts), and some things that don't quite fit into any genre.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: "Knives Out":
    So knives out
    cut him up
    don't look down
    shove it in your mouth
  • Inherited Illiteracy Title: "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box" stemmed from some typos on Thom's behalf that the band felt were fitting to the song, so they left them in.
  • Instrumentals: "Hunting Bears".
  • Intercourse with You: A case could be made for "The Amazing Sounds of Orgy".
  • In the Style of...: Most of "You and Whose Army?" was modeled after the sound of jazz vocal group the Ink Spots.
  • List Song: "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" is basically this, as Thom lists many types of doors.
    There are barn doors
    and there are revolving doors
    doors on the rudders of big ships
    we are revolving doors
  • Limited Lyrics Song: "Pyramid Song" has one verse of 8 lines repeated twice.
  • A Load of Bull: The crying minotaur on the cover.
  • Loudness War: As was the trend among music at the time, Amnesiac is louder than Radiohead's previous output. It's also the first album in their discography with clipping problems, which would plague most of their future releases from this point forward.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The album cover isn't too snazzy design-wise, but it's taken up a notch with the deluxe edition, which has only a red book with the crying minotaur drawn on it as the album cover art.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: This album is all over the place on this scale:
    • "I Might Be Wrong" is a 4.
    • "Knives Out" is a 3.
    • "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" is arguably a 7.
    • "You and Whose Army" starts out as a 1, gradually reaching a 2.
    • ...And so on.
  • Mood Whiplash: Due to the various genres utilized and the overall atmosphere of fear and confusion, the album has a lot of this. The paranoid, jittery "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box" is followed by the smoother, sadder "Pyramid Song," which is then followed by the nightmarish "Pulk / Pull Revolving Doors," and so on.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: See Word Salad Lyrics below.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The album, as mentioned above, takes influence from many different genres.
  • Paparazzi: "Life in a Glasshouse" takes off from a Real Life incident of a celebrity's spouse pasting up previously taken photos of the celebrity on the windows in order to foil press photographers.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-Universe; "Life in a Glasshouse" invokes this from the Celebrity Is Overrated angle, stating how confining vast amounts of fame can be for celebrities by means of privacy-breaching paparazzi, constant media scrutiny, and the self-imprisonment that comes with constantly keeping up a disingenuously perfect image.
    Well, of course I'd like to sit around and chat,
    but someone's listening in.
  • A Rare Sentence: Pitchfork's review of Amnesiac cracked a joke at a line from "Knives Out" that could be seen as an Accidental Innuendo.
    "The song also loses points for containing the line, 'Shove it in your mouth.' Really, Thom."
  • Rearrange the Song: The band rerecorded "Morning Bell" from Kid A with more emphasis on atmospherics as opposed to rhythm.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: Averted strangely with "Hunting Bears" / "I Might Be Wrong." They flow perfectly into each other, are in the same key, have the same tempo, harmonize perfectly when played on top of each other...but don't follow each other on Amnesiac. Instead, "Hunting Bears" serves as more of a Dark Reprise of "I Might Be Wrong," or an intro to "Like Spinning Plates."
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: This is on many of the tracks. Even Thom said himself that he doesn't like how "pretty" his voice sounds. For instance, "Knives Out" is about cannibalism, and his voice sounds quite soft.
  • Spoken Word in Music: In "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors", Thom speaks through a Roland MC-505 sequencer with some found sounds thrown in.
  • The Something Song: "Pyramid Song".
  • Stepford Smiler: The subject of "Life in a Glasshouse," implying great suffering in the privacy-lax and prison-esque celebrity lifestyle beneath the nice-looking surface.
    She is putting on a smile
    Living in a glasshouse.
  • Uncommon Time: Subverted with "Pyramid Song." It sounds arhythmic, but is actually a heavily syncopated, 4/4 bossanova rhythm played really slowly.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Done to strangely awesome effect in "You and Whose Army?"
    We ride tonight
    Ghost horses.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: It's subtle, but "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box". It actually stemmed from a typo by Thom, but due to it fitting the band decided to Throw It In!.
  • You and What Army?: "You and Whose Army?"
    You and whose army?
    You and your cronies


Example of: