What Maarten did was amazing because it’s exactly what all the critics should have done, but didn’t. The press frenzy that follows Radiohead’s every move is not a new story; to the contrary, practically every story written about Radiohead from Kid A to the present uses Radiohead’s PR acumen or lack thereof as the jumping-off point, and quite often as the article’s central theme. Amnesiac, released back in June to some fanfare though nothing resembling the saturation coverage that greeted Kid A, found reviewers trying unsuccessfully to break free from their self-constructed straightjackets. They want to talk about the album itself, the music on it, the way the songs relate to one another and the way they’re individually enriched by relationships within the greater pattern -- but they can’t. They are addicted to talking about Radiohead as cultural phenomenon, or Thom Yorke as hermetic rock star for the digital age, or the difficulty of following up on OK Computer. Always they have got to bring up OK Computer and how great it was. Kid A tries to shrug off the yoke of OK Computer, Amnesiac proffers a half-hearted bouquet to listeners who yearn for the sweeping anthems of 1997’s OK Computer, et cetera. It gets dull after a very short while.

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