Radiohead

I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings

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For their third release in 13 months, Radiohead let loose a mini-album of live material culled from four European dates and slapped them together into their standard excellent packaging adorned with manic drawings, scribbles, and text excerpts. I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings, originally scheduled as a single for "I Might Be Wrong," is precisely what the title implies, a compilation of recordings and not a live album at all. While it seems as though Radiohead could have made it into a cohesive album if they had wanted to, or at least made this one sound like it was one show, what listeners find here is an uneven and incoherent set of Kid A sessions material that is sometimes strong but sometimes uninspired. When strong, the band seems as if it's in command by adding new texture and content. "Like Spinning Plates," "Everything in Its Right Place," and "Idioteque" are revelatory and at times feel almost new. Meanwhile, the track "I Might Be Wrong" just doesn't match in sound quality to the others, as the bass is completely lost and the additional percussion is way upfront. There are some serious benefits to be reaped from this collection, though. For those unlucky enough to not have seen any of the world tour of 2001, it is a serious treat to hear these studio-crafted songs played live (which also proves Radiohead are still a powerful rock band). But the real gift here is the last track, "True Love Waits." As yet to find itself on any of their singles or albums but played live for a number of years, it's easily one of Thom Yorke's most morose songs, but it's also one of his most powerful. In the end, it's a matter of Radiohead making some strange plays with the material that was recorded during the Kid A sessions. While the initial release of Kid A seemed logical and insanely cohesive, subsequent releases of that material (Amnesiac, Live Recordings) are incomplete. It might have been wiser to release Amnesiac and some of the material from this release as a complete Kid A sessions package, rather than a couple of thrown-together releases.

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