Radiohead
The King of Limbs


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tom Gellatly USER (40 Reviews)
March 2nd, 2011 | 22 replies | 3,338 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The band that defined the noughties at their onset return at the beginning of the new decade, with a decidedly more laid back mission statement than before.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Incredibly, I only 'got into' Radiohead about three weeks ago. I think I'd assumed, for some bizarre reason, that they were just pretentious douchebags, with little to offer on the musical front past some false sort of mysticism and idol worship, that I thought them completely undeserving of. But that all changed with my first ever listen of 'Kid A,' on that magical day three weeks ago. As soon as those opening synth notes of 'Everything In It's Right Place,' kicked in, I faced the uneasy realisation that every single thing I'd thought about Radiohead was completely wrong. Long story short, one week later I was an absolute convert, and all of their albums continue to climb my favourite lists even now.

So you can imagine my surprise, almost my disappointment, as King Of Limbs was dropped out of nowhere a week or so ago, before I'd even had a chance to give Amnesiac and Hail To The Thief time to sink in. This inspired a lot of 'panic listening' on my part, where I frantically acquainted myself with all of the band's work so I had some way to contextualise the new album by the time it came out. And, second long story short, I think the decision paid off.

The King of Limbs was not as unexpected a new direction for Radiohead to me as it seemed to be to many; whilst it was a departure from the more basic sound of In Rainbows, the evolution from Amnesiac and some of Kid A isn't that hard to see. What did surprise me, however, was how mellow it was. This wasn't a vibe I'd ever expected to get from a Radiohead album, but it just felt really chilled out throughout, with the bass grooves and Thom Yorke's lazy vocal lines all reverbing around, culminating in what could almost be described as genuine chillout music at points.

But now let's get down to the tracks. Bloom, the opener, sets the tone immediately, with an interesting drum beat and infectious bass groove to kick things off. When Yorke's vocals enter, they're slightly more restrained than normal, but they have the effect of being calming, more than anything else. The track doesn't really 'go anywhere,' as such, but that's sort of the appeal of the whole album; it just bubbles along on it's pleasing groove, and you don't expect any surprises, mainly because you don't want any. Whilst there is a discernible shift in tone from the first half to the second, you still know, to an extent, that you're going to be getting more of the same in each consecutive track.

Some of the reviews I've been reading have described this one dimensionality as a bad thing, but that seems to imply that it was unintentional on the band's part, which I'd contest. They also said that it was far too short, which, rumours of a part 2 to the album notwithstanding, I would also have to disagree with. What Radiohead seem, to me, to have wanted to do with this album, is release something of a much lower-key nature than we've grown accustomed to with them; this doesn't have any of the epicness of Jigsaw Falling Into Place, nothing of the show-stopping nature of There There or Pyramid Song, but that seems to be exactly what they were going for.

The lead single, Lotus Flower, perhaps exemplifies this ideal best. It, too, plods along fairly predictably, and, fine, it 'doesn't go anywhere.' But just look at Yorke in the (hilarious) video; he's just getting lost in the music and enjoy himself. This is what this album is for; sticking on a good pair of in-ear headphones and almost dozing along to the hypnotic beats Radiohead have presented us with this time; the fact that there's a quasi-dubstep song on the album, in the form of Feral, should have set the 'alarm bells' ringing that this was going to be a decidedly more laid back, less song development focused, affair than before. And frankly, it works wonderfully if you allow yourself to forget that it's the long awaited new Radiohead album you're listening to, not just 'a great album.' Which is exactly what The King Of Limbs is.



Recent reviews by this author
John Mayer Paradise ValleyThe Tallest Man on Earth There's No Leaving Now
Destroyer KaputtThrice Major/Minor
Tool UndertowTool Aenima
user ratings (2497)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
NigelH
March 2nd 2011



1571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Pretty good review. Sums up how I feel about the album.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2011



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you only got that neg because someone is pissed that there's another review for this. I think this is a very well written review. pos

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2011



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

actually, maybe it's because you submitted like, a dozen reviews at once.l

dont do that, save them and submit one a day, max

WashboardSuds
March 2nd 2011



4984 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this review is good, have a pos.
i'm getting used to the abundance of reviews this record has and most likely will continue to get.

KeithStone582
March 2nd 2011



1480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Better late then never I guess.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2011



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

better late than in the middle of the circle-jerk last week

I kind of want to review this but I'm waiting for a long long time before I do.

WashboardSuds
March 2nd 2011



4984 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually have a review for this partially written that I put off seeing the flood of reviews this received, and looking at it now it would be saying most of what these other reviews have already said.

theacademy
March 2nd 2011



28261 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

**** band

Wizard
March 2nd 2011



19244 Comments


*CLEARS THROAT LOUDLY*

PLEASE STOP REVIEWING THIS FUCKING ALBUM.

Thank you.

Digging: Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts

OutOfMyself
March 2nd 2011



688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

OH FUCK YES ANOTHER RADIOHEAD REVIEW NOW I HAVE 17 TO READ MAY GOD BLESS YOUR SOUL

letsgofishing
March 2nd 2011



900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

16 reviews for this album, and you found a fresh perspective. I would rather you described the album itself the album
more, but still I like the angle. It's a good review. So take a POS

And happy listening, when I first got into Radiohead, they were all I listened to for the next 5 months. Hopefully you
don't develop that bad of a fetish.


couldwinarabbit
March 2nd 2011



6996 Comments


how is listening to good music bad?

Wizard
March 2nd 2011



19244 Comments


No such thing as a fresh perspective on Radiohead.

Wizard
March 2nd 2011



19244 Comments


Double post.

letsgofishing
March 2nd 2011



900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Well yeah, obviously.

but how many new listeners have reviewed King Of Limbs on this website. Only this guy so far...

Wizard
March 2nd 2011



19244 Comments


Fair enough.

Pyosisified
March 16th 2011



2450 Comments


bump

EleanorRigby
March 16th 2011



156 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

y

Pyosisified
March 16th 2011



2450 Comments


their best since in rainbows

EleanorRigby
March 16th 2011



156 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

sonic needs to review this



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy