Radiohead
The King of Limbs


2.5
average

Review

by fireaboveicebelow USER (108 Reviews)
December 18th, 2011 | 59 replies | 3,602 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


5 of 6 thought this review was well written

Rather than a silly interpretation of this album seeing the alternative “gods” Radiohead come to our level, they’ve merely just made a simpler album, and the first in their career that doesn’t sound that fresh, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Radiohead have dabbled in left-field electronica many times, and King of Limbs is just a further embellishment, reversing the presence of the electronica and alternative in their composition. Behind the glitches and “elusive” catchiness, it’s still the same band, just smaller.

At first listen the album will give the wrong impression to new listeners of the band’s reputation, with the polyrhythms of “Bloom”, the sterile production of “Morning Mr. Magpie”, or the Bon Iver-esque “Give Up The Ghost”, though at second or fifth listen that doesn’t change the impression that the eclecticism that makes up the rest of their albums was traded here for a rather good caricature of spiraling, contemporary electro-rock, for “Feral” being nothing more than an exercise in rhythmic rudiments and the cracked, sleepy aimlessness of “Separator” being a red herring of the fact that the band seemingly has no idea what else to do with themselves, which is fine because it allows for the band to stretch out, take from their contemporaries, and showcasing samples and loops. The funny part is that, even though the album isn’t as expansive as their other records, it’s easily just as good as them, which is to say it’s about decent.

That said, the album has a few notable moments, the most notable being in the middle. Both “Lotus Flower” and “Codex” meld the electronic overhaul and the atmosphere evenly, resulting in the former being a surprisingly brighter moment on the damp record, and the first time in my life where Thom’s vocals were actually bearable. “Codex” is a bit of a revert to their past in a minimalistic way, with virtually one chord progression with layers of swirling synths and flugelhorn coming and going as they please, which is to say the track is perfectly mixed for headphones. Unfortunately these two songs constitute an atmosphere the rest of the album never amounts to, no matter how many times you hear it.

Radiohead at least enjoy themselves with how they choose to unleash their albums to the public, well-knowing much of the world will scramble to follow any hint they drop, but the joke is on the world for turning the band into fetishes rather than level-headed artists, for the ambiguity in their music seems to stem from their reception rather than something organic, and thus comes off as purposeless. King of Limbs is a different beat, but nothing to write home about, not even for die-hards, regardless of how many pedestals they push. Maybe getting this album out of their system is what Radiohead needs to find whatever it is they’ve been looking for, unless they are unaware that they are in search.



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user ratings (2486)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
December 18th 2011



15162 Comments


YES!

fireaboveicebelow
December 18th 2011



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Making it over 100 just for you Matt, merry non-god christmas

Axel
December 18th 2011



189 Comments


2009

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2011



49736 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah

Digging: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Pikapika Fantajin

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2011



7018 Comments


Most of your reviews are 2.5 haha. I'm curious as to why you choose that rating for dismissing albums (as opposed to just flat out claiming that they are 'poor').

Digging: Braid - No Coast

Acanthus
December 18th 2011



9535 Comments


This review is really really well written.

Digging: Die Sektor - Applied Structure In A Void

fireaboveicebelow
December 18th 2011



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm curious as to why you choose that rating for dismissing albums (as opposed to just flat out claiming that they
are 'poor').
It's a happy medium for albums I don't really dislike but wouldn't want to give a positive rating either
this review is really really stupid
I know it's no smooth sheets of dark weather but I do what I can
This review is really really well written.
thank you



Relinquished
December 18th 2011



24373 Comments


HOLY SHIT SUP BRO

Drsmith4
December 18th 2011



1710 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree that Separator is kind of eh.


Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2011



15724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

wrongo

Digging: A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Sea When Absent

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2011



14982 Comments


album's pretty bad

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2011



15724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

see what i mean man

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2011



14982 Comments


i don't understand how someone listens to this and is like "yeah! what a great album". it all sounds so lethargic, as if radiohead just don't really care (which would make sense, considering it's an 8-track album that they just sort of threw out there)

"little by little"? "feral"? "morning mr. magpie"? shit's super boring, man

wabbit
December 18th 2011



6975 Comments


not sure if robby is trolling or serious

Nomad
December 18th 2011



247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still wished they re-recorded Bloom to have the same arrangement as the Basement version. Basement version is my SOTY.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2011



14982 Comments


i know saying stuff like this is silly but i do NOT get how you could five this, ever

wabbit
December 18th 2011



6975 Comments


I like this more than Ok Computer (it obviously is a more important album to me) and In Rainbows. It's just so perfect

Nomad
December 18th 2011



247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kinda agree with roberstona about the first half - Little By Little is still meh to me, and the Basement version of Morning Mr Magpie is literally about 10 times better than the studio cut.

Romulus
December 18th 2011



8409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this aged so well. it's so cozy

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2011



14982 Comments


gross uninteresting backwash of some talented people; thom yorke's kicking it in Apathetic Toward Your Audience heaven with james blake and das racist[i love comparing these]



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