I have an odd little story about Radiohead that has nothing to do with anything, especially Kid A. I was invited to a Capitol Records listening party in maybe 1992, where a bunch of dimwits from the label played their upcoming releases and asked our opinion. The first song they played was "Creep" by Radiohead, and I was floored. Each successive artist got worse and worse, and my comments grew more and more scathing, to the point where I asked the host why the label was even still in business when it was obviously run by a bunch of deaf imbeciles. It was probably six months before "Creep" was released, and the song had taken such mythical proportions in my head that I was certain I'd be disappointed when I heard it again. Nope. It was just as good as I'd remembered.
This ain't "Creep," baby. I'm a big fan of experimental music, but the downside to experimentation is that every success stems from dozens of failures. These songs sound like the failures. There are one or two songs on Kid A that are pretty good, as long as you don't compare them to good Radiohead songs. There are a few moments where the experiments kinda sorta almost succeed, especially if you're distracted by talking on the phone or beating your thumb with a hammer. And then there's the rest of the album, which is on par with the ambient noodling that every jackass seemed compelled to record in the late '90s.
I wholeheartedly recommend that you skip Kid A and instead pick up OK Computer and Tim Hecker's Harmony in Ultraviolet next time you're at the Pratt Library. Together, these two albums succeed at all of Kid A's failures.
The package is gorgeous, but it's ultimately pointless. The printing is beautiful, and the way every page is a bit different -- some are translucent vellum and some fold out -- makes the booklet feel like a tiny piece of art. But when you look at what's printed on the paper, the images are just as limited and shallow as the music.
Listen if you like: basking in the approval of rock snobs who lack the ability to form their own opinions and cannot recognize the difference between innovation and garbage.
If it were food, it'd be: Grape Kool-Aid