Radiohead - The King Of Limbs
One of the most surprising things about Radiohead’s newest effort, King of Limbs, is how quickly it’s over. With eight songs clocking in at slightly over 37 minutes, you’re more likely to notice that your stereo/computer/MP3 player has looped back to the opening track, ‘Bloom,’ than you are to get even the slightest grasp on what you’ve just heard. If ever there was an album that demanded repeated listens, this is it.
‘Bloom,’ for starters, puts Kid A-ish vocals over a Bjork-like backing track, and it works well. The overly-computerized machinations of Thom Yorke’s voice on ‘Feral’ come off as infectious rather than distracting. And when the band scales things back a bit, as they do on the horn-and-piano ‘Codex,’ the effect is both mournful and pretty. The rest of the album takes a little more time to worm its way into your head.
It would be easy to dismiss King of Limbs as a confusing, too-short mess upon first listen, but Radiohead has the luxury of being one of the most successful bands in the world for more than 15 years now. Considering the heights they’ve reached in the past, their work deserves, warrants, requires more careful consideration. And, really, even OK Computer seemed like a bit much at first. Maybe the band seems more concerned with creating aural textures and sensations than in crafting actual songs – note the repeated emphasis on drummer Phil Selway’s percussion work – but that’s innovation for you.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.
on 2012-04-19 hstisgod Said:
I have yet to enjoy this, so I'm still avoiding a rate. However, thusfar, I have not enjoyed this or any album since "Hail to the.." it seems to me Radiohead has caught up to their own curve and they're slowly losing me as a fan. However, I still feel bad for not giving this enough of a chance. One of these days!
on 2012-04-19 jill88 Said:
It's no "in Rainbows," but it's still Radiohead. It seems like this album divided their fans, some of whom embraced their new, revolutionary approach to music making, and some of whom saw "OK Computer" as the pinnacle of the group's work, and everything after as a series of interesting, but inferior, experiments.
With every album since "Kid A" the band seems to have been walking a fine line: sometimes releasing music with more semblance of conventional song structure ("Hail to the Thief") and sometimes just completely delving into intuitive, haunting abstraction. "The King of Limbs" tends toward the later category.
I guess you either dig it or you don't. I dig it. A review I read called this Radiohead's "beat" album, but I think the songs are led less by "beats" per se than by textures. The album; short, streamlined, melancholy, haunting, and mellow, reminds me of a more fully fleshed out version of Thom York's (excellent) solo album "The Eraser."
on 2011-04-01 digitalbath Said:
Exactly how I felt. Was a bit tough to tell when the song was changing because they were just all too similar.
Lotus Flower is a great song though, that's for sure.
on 2011-04-01 dscanland Said:
I am going to have to take back my "So far so good" comment and switch sides of the fence. King of Limbs is mediocre at best. There are a couple of decent tracks "Morning Mr Magpie" and "Lotus Flower" but for the most part they are indeed coasting. Seems like out-takes or rejects from In Rainbows.
on 2011-03-28 tosnob Said:
This album is terrible. If there were ever a band coasting on reputation alone it's Radiohead.
on 2011-02-18 dscanland Said:
So far so good. The King Of Limbs is quite a short album, clocking in at 37 minutes with only 8 songs. Quite mellow.