Kid A Reaches Adulthood: Radiohead’s Mesmerizing Fourth Record Turns 20

By | October 2, 2020

SPIN

Musicians, filmmakers wax poetic on the importance of the trailblazing band’s 2000 LP

Taylor Hanson

Singer/songwriter, Hanson

Taylor Hanson
CREDIT: Jonathan Weiner

Kid A was really one of their first albums that solidified them as a band that’s about the art. “If you don’t get it, sorry.” They’ve had it all, from the point of view of, they’ve been revered for writing beautiful songs that were sort of pop songs — they were singable, and they were radio darlings — but at the same time, are still respected purely as artists, as creators that are doing it for its own sake. I think that’s what every musician dreams of. To be able to have some of both is sort of the ultimate achievement. But they defined a generation’s musical statement.

When Kid A came out, I remember not getting it at first but then loving what it was saying about this band, which is they decided they needed to make sure they made a record that, if no one got it, it didn’t matter. They made a record they loved, and I think that’s one of the reasons why the song “Optimistic” is one we plucked and put into our live shows some years later. It’s such a tone-setter and walks the line of having enough pop sensibility where we thought we could bring something to it. But ultimately, it was a tip of the hat to an artist who has always chosen the art.