[ALBUM REVIEW] Radiohead – The King of Limbs

It’s finally here. Radiohead’s follow up to their “you pay your own price” album, In Rainbows. After the past few years of selling massive amounts of copies and a tour of sold out shows the band went back home and announced no more albums. This lead to thoughts about EPs being put out. The they announce a new album was in the works. There was no date. There was no information. Then on Monday they announced the King of Limbs was to drop on their website on Saturday. Well there was going to a crap load of traffic on the site that day so they put it out a day early. Wow. So here we have it. The review for one of the most anticipated albums of…well the week. How does Radiohead’s latest stack up with their previous?

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. “Bloom” 5:15
2. “Morning Mr Magpie” 4:41
3. “Little by Little” 4:27
4. “Feral” 3:13
5. “Lotus Flower” 5:01
6. “Codex” 4:47
7. “Give Up the Ghost” 4:50
8. “Separator” 5:20

The first track here is called Bloom. Nice electronic drum beat. It’s got this vibe to it that I just want to bob my head around to. Thom Yorke still has that talent where you can barely make out what he’s saying but it’s more clear now with this mix on this song in particular. The first track cuts in at over 5 minutes and is a nicely paced opening track. The problem though is there is only 7 more tracks left and you begin to wonder how much the band crams into the rest of the album.

Morning Mr. Magpie has a nice electronic start to it. I’m really digging the vibe that this song is giving off. The electronic sound is something I really enjoy especially when Radiohead does it. Yorke’s vocals soar and are totally audible and if it weren’t for his way of pronouncing things I would totally understand all of the lyrics. The instrumental break down in the middle of the song featuring Yorke oooohing is pretty neat actually. So far this album feels like a throwback to Amnesiac which was a damn good album in it’s own right. Yorke delivers a powerful vocal drive on this one track here.

Little By Little follows up the strong electronic song with an acoustic sounding track. Yorke comes in and overpowers the instrumentals but they still remain strong. The mix is superb and it has this feel to it that I think some might not enjoy. Of course as we move further into the song it becomes more and more evident that it feels and almost is an older Radiohead track, prior to In Rainbows. The strings are well placed throughout the track, referring to the guitars etc… and Yorkes cooing of the lines add to the power of this track. I don’t think I’m good at reviewing Radiohead at this point because it’s hard to explain.

Feral is exactly how it sounds a feral track with a strange and unique sound. The electronic ways are back from the band and they resonate all throughout as Yorke’s voice is fooled around with via editing techniques and what not. The sad part is we have reached the half way point of the record and that means it’s going to close out soon and this track, this is a damn good one, so why only 8 songs on this album. As the song kicks out with the electronic beat the thought is still in our head as to why the album is so short.

Lotus Flower, the first single, is the fifth song. It’s a great tune. I really don’t have much to say about it. I was absorbed by the music itself. The beat is impressive. The sound is just mind blowing. This song clocks in at exactly five minutes and not a second is wasted on it at all. This is one track that I think will become a huge hit in the Radiohead circle. At least that’s my opinion. The beat, the electronic sound drives this song. It’s Yorke’s vocals that run support for it. The song once again after another listen I seem to find myself lost in it’s trance, it’s power. Dammit. Yorke’s vocals and the synthesizers work perfectly together to form some form of mental rape combination that I can’t get away from.

Codex continues the synth oriented sound. The shame is that there have been little to no instrumental tracks, I mean ones that show off their talent with the axes and the basses and the drums. This would make an upcoming Radiohead tour kind of…well just Thom Yorke. But I’m sure if a tour happened there would be more than just this album. Yorke’s vocals raise up to the challenge of outdoing the piano that starts off this song. The shame about this track though is it is almost solely Yorke doing the work, piano and vocals, the rest of the band doesn’t get a chance to shine through.

The following track is called Give Up The Ghost. Sounds familiar. Yorkes voice resonates in the background with a steady beat for a few moments then in comes the acoustic guitar. Surely this isn’t all that the song is as Yorke begins to sing the actual song. His voice higher pitched than usual. The song sounded cool at first but it feels like it drags on, but for any other band this would be an awful problem but for Radiohead this works to their advantage. Giving that eerie sound to the album that they tend to do makes this possibly a weaker track in the term of lyrically but it is a great ambient sound to it that I’m sure a large number of Radiohead fans will eventually say was superior to the other tracks due to their popularity.

Seperator is the final track. Sad. Very sad. So sad I might shed a few tears. The song starts off nice and electronicy. That is a real word right. Yorke’s voice kicks in and we get yet another synth song. This album feels more like a Thom Yorke solo album than a Radiohead album. That’s a thought that you should think about briefly. Is this really Radiohead or is this Thom Yorke fooking with us. My thoughts are this on this track, much like with Lotus I am lost and compelled and yet at the same time I feel a sense of urgency but safety at the same time. Only Radiohead.

Final thoughts are this. I love this album. It’s genius to the core. From start to finish there really isn’t an awful song like most albums have. Sure there is one weak song compared to the others but what Radiohead does here is craft eight tracks so elegantly performed and conducted that you don’t notice what is wrong or anything like that. The album is sure to become an internet hit and rightfully so. The album receives a nice 9.5/10 for how can you hate Radiohead?


About Angerbanjo

As passionate as one can be about certain topics it is hard to make a living with that passion, that being said my passion for nerd culture, modern music and video gaming has yet to translate into anything moderately successful, that and my degree in electronic media, but hey at least I can use that journalism minor. View all posts by Angerbanjo

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