Radiohead
The King of Limbs


3.5
great

Review

by Alex Getter USER (13 Reviews)
August 28th, 2011 | 56 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Radiohead doesn't reinvent the wheel again, but should we still be expecting them to?

It has often confused me the amount of controversy and hype that surrounds every Radiohead release. Ever since the days of OK Computer and Kid A, people been longing for the next masterpiece the band would release. Everyone has over-praised the possibility of Radiohead releasing another genre defining album, but the chances of this are slim-to-none. The bands biggest creative phases and stylistic leaps were all made during the time between 1995's Brit-rock influenced "The Bends" and 2000's apocalyptic "Kid A". All albums post Kid A have been strangely too familiar in terms of "redefining" anything. "Amnesiac" consisted of a majority of songs that did not make Kid A and "Hail To The Thief" seemed like it lacked the focus and consistency that their earlier albums held. "In Rainbows" was a fresh breath of air as the band learned to mix their electronic elements while leaving room for plenty of guitars. Fast forward four years and only eight songs later, and we see Radiohead treading familiar ground yet again.

Attempting to avoid any pre-release hype, Radiohead revealed The King Of Limbs just days before it would drop and then releasing it one day earlier than that, leaving little time for fan-boys to banter about what direction the band would take this time. Unfortunately it has since been victim of criticisms of being too short, too abstract, rumors of not even being the "real" new album and even only being half of a finished product. Not to discredit "The King Of Limbs" so early in the game already though, it isn't deserving of all the rants of how it doesn't live up to earlier releases because in reality, it isn't suppose to.

Once again Radiohead have let sampling and electronics take the lead role on most songs. Surprisingly most of the new songs are danceable ("Lotus Flower", "Separator"). Not to say that guitars aren't present. Guitars appear on five out of the eight songs, but mostly lay low in the mix and are only that prominent on "Morning Mr. Magpie" and select parts of "Separator". "Codex makes for a nice piano ballad, but bares many resemblances to Amnesiacs "Pyramid Song". The minimalist "Give Up The Ghost" consist of various repeated samples of Thom Yorke's singing "Don't Hurt Me" over a lone acoustic guitar. The previously mentioned "Lotus Flower" and "Separator" serve as the albums best tracks, both containing Thom's signature goose bump-inducing falsetto's quietly floating over Phil Selway's grooving beats and are sadly over before you know it.

Unfortunately, the first half of the album doesn't quite make the great impression that the last half does. Many of the songs consist of the same beats or riffs for the entire song, occasionally introducing various horns and strings throughout. Opener "Bloom" is a perfect example of this. Based off a looping piano line and chopped up clips of Phil Selways drums, the song moves along with little to no interruption of these elements. "Morning Mr. Magpie" and "Little By Little" both fall to this use of repetition, dragging down the reply value of The King Of Limbs. "Feral" is a strange experimental track consisting of only beats and Thom Yorke's voice chopped up and randomly placed throughout, but ultimately comes off as filler. The King Of Limbs is nowhere near a bad album, it consist of some of Radioheads best tracks they have released post-Kid A. However, the dragging first half of the album is not anywhere near the quality of the last half and will leave many fans longing for more. The King Of Limbs is not Radiohead trying to reinvent the wheel, it is just them playing the music they want to; nothing more, nothing less.

Reccommended Tracks:
Lotus Flower
Codex
Give Up The Ghost
Separator



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user ratings (2589)
Chart.
3.5
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2011


7312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I would read this...if I hadn't already perused the other fifty or so incarnations already present on this site.

aok
August 28th 2011


4440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

don't exaggerate irving, there's only 21 others. and you carefully proofread at least half of them ;]

problematic stuff around incl:

1st paragraph you kinda contradict yourself about post kid a radiohead (+ sentences should read 'of OK Computer and Kid A, people have been' , 'band's biggest creative phases').
2nd paragraph is mostly unnecessary
3rd paragraph 1st sentence is a runon. and then i got bored of reading.

keep plugging away at reviewing, but try reviewing albums that haven't already been reviewed 21 over and over again so you can actually convey your own opinions and not say essentially what's already been said before

aok
August 28th 2011


4440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

sorry if that was harsh, but i was just hoping for some new light to be shed on things

gotsthedewsdood
August 28th 2011


624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ouch, i just felt like reviewing it.


aok
August 28th 2011


4440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yea sorry that's not what i meant. mostly i'm a fanboy who's upset cause you said All albums post Kid A have been strangely too familiar in terms of "redefining" anything, but i guess there's a point to be made there.

once over this thing and it won't be bad

gotsthedewsdood
August 28th 2011


624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

with the exception of In Rainbows,
it was awesome.

GunzAndAlcohol
August 28th 2011


23 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with you on the first half being a lot less than the second, which is pretty damn awesome.

coneren
August 28th 2011


11111 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I try to like this but oh man, it doe nothing for this fellerino

SleepyJack
August 28th 2011


198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I disagree, I think that stylistically there's a bigger difference between IR and this than there was between Amnesiac, HTTT and IR. I don't think that this album has been received badly (compared to other Radiohead releases) due to the band's failure to continue to evolve musically, but due to a lack of interest in the style of this record or simply because it has weaker material.

Drsmith4
August 28th 2011


1715 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've always considered In Rainbows and this to be complimentary.

Obfuscation24
August 28th 2011


3939 Comments


YES! ANOTHER KOL REVIEW!

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2011


7026 Comments


I find this album catchier/more memorable than In Rainbows.

Drsmith4
August 28th 2011


1715 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Greetings, Lucidity.

eyehategod
August 28th 2011


1005 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

lmao

jefflebowski
August 28th 2011


8253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The summary is basically my complete thoughts on this album.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2011


7026 Comments


ohai drsmith

letsgofishing
August 28th 2011


903 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Not a bad review by any means, but nothing exciting or memorable about it. Could use a little pizazz. Especially when trying to stand out from 21 other reviews. Keep writing though, you ain't half bad.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2011


16455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

this album is still overrated as fuck

Digging: Zella Day - Zella Day

aok
August 28th 2011


4440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

sputnik wayy underrates this thing. There's no way this is not one of the 100 best things released this year (in my biased radiohead-fanboy opinion)

wabbit
August 28th 2011


7010 Comments


"Radiohead doesn't reinvent the wheel again, but should we still be expecting them to?"

I disagree with 100% of that. This is there biggest change since like OKC



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