The King Of Limbs Review

artist: Radiohead date: 03/19/2012 category: compact discs
Radiohead: The King Of Limbs
Released: Feb 18, 2011
Genre: Alternative rock
Label: Self-released
Number Of Tracks: 8
The album features a compressed sound and prominent basslines, resulting in a slightly amateurish sound yet a very groovy, experimental sound.
 Sound: 7.8
 Lyrics: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 8.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) 23 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
The King Of Limbs Reviewed by: jimmyled, on february 24, 2011
7 of 14 people found this review helpful

Sound: This latest Radiohead release, The King of Limbs, hasn't even technically been released in stores yet, but thanks to the internet, it is available to buy on Radiohead's official website, and even to be illegally downloaded. This album takes a step away from the band's more traditional sound, walking the thin line between their classic albums and Thom Yorke's The Eraser, thus achieving a new sound, though still bearing a slight resemblance to Hail to the Thief throughout. The album features a compressed sound and prominent basslines, resulting in a slightly amateurish sound yet a very groovy, experimental sound. The album starts off perfectly with Bloom, a psychedelic, almost hallucinogenic, number, which bears some resemblance to bands such as Portishead with its trippy, slightly electronic sound. The album then seamlessly merges into Good Morning Mr. Magpie, my favourite track off the album, which features heavy, groovy, yet somehow pleasing riffage, unlike anything I've heard before. The album moves on into Little by Little, a more traditional piece bearing a striking resemblance to Optimistic off Kid A, yet still carries with it the innovative spirit of the album, resulting in a very interesting track. In a leap into the experimental, Feral, as its name suggests, has a very primitive, in a good way, sound to it, with a relentless, driving back-beat and melodic chanting, giving it a very romantic quality, yet in a seemingly counter-productive fashion, featuring a very electronic sound, resulting in one of the most interesting tracks on the album. Stepping slightly closer to The Eraser's sound, Lotus Flower, the lead single off the album, features a very prominent bassline and very melodic singing. The track also has a very charming video, featuring Thom Yorke drunkenly dancing along to the music. The album continues into Codex, a quiet, piano driven, piece, resembling tracks such as Videotape off In Rainbows, and in my opinion should have been used to end the album. Segue into Give Up the Ghost, the first track revealed off the album. Played live many times by Thom, who played all of the parts himself, this song really walks the line between their traditional and newer sound. The album ends in what should have been witched, in my opinion, with Codex, Separator. A quiet song too, this song has a more indie sound, resembling bands like Broken Social Scene and Menomena, but leaves the album feeling unfinished, incomplete, though that may be a brilliant marketing ploy to get people to buy the newspaper edition. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics in this album are unclear at best, being at their vaguest in Radiohead history, and Thom's mumbling singing doesn't help that fact. The lyrics give a feeling of belonging when paired with the music, which leads me to think the lyrics were written to compliment the music, and not the other way round. Thom, as usual, displays a wide range of dynamics and tonality, singing perfectly in every song, in a way only an 18 year veteran of the music industry can do. Especially impressive are his vocalisations in Feral. // 9

Overall Impression: All in all, I found The King of Limbs to be a great album, and I was impressed that even after such a long time, the band manages to innovate their music and avoid being repetitive, all the while still catering to their original fanbase, and still staying as popular as ever. I recommend listening to the album as a whole, and several times, as this album takes time to sink in. // 10

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overall: 8
The King Of Limbs Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 24, 2011
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Radiohead manages to keep their distinctive sound while changing things up a bit. The new album is more keyboard oriented than anything. Few guitars are in here, which isn't a bad thing. Massive reverb and catchy drumbeats contribute to Thom's singing. The sound despite being Radiohead's seemed to surprise me. It seems to be like a mix of OK Computer (only to a slight extent) and In_Rainbows. It makes more sense to me that it would be released as a sequel to 'the eraser' a solo album by Thom Yorke. Nevertheless Radiohead has their distinct sound, while changing things up, I was impressed. // 7

Lyrics: Thom's voice remains the same. It fits the vibe very well. This album is more-so laid back and I think his vocals fit in well with the mix. The lyrics really do go with the vibe, I'll admit their not my favorite Radiohead lyrics. But they fit the song, and the whole Radiohead style. Nothing from this album really sticks out, but they aren't bad, just a bit repetitive. // 9

Overall Impression: Don't get me wrong this is a great album for a Radiohead fan. I must say since its been a while since their last album I expected more from an album. But due to the unexpected announcement and release I didn't know what to expect. Overall It's a good album but for a three to four year break for Radiohead I expected a bit more. It's worth the buy, and I highly recommend it. // 8

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overall: 8.3
The King Of Limbs Reviewed by: DickHardwood, on february 25, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Radiohead have always been experimental in their sound, avoiding to fall into one genre of music and give a repetitive sound over and over. In this album, their use of guitars has lessened and altered, leading to a more ambient sound and their rythmic section consists mostly of electronic-like beats and groovy basslines..although it might have bummed out guitar enthusiasts(and this is a guitar site after all), they have managed to make an impressive album that can blow your mind and leave you lying down, unconsciously moving to the rythm of the song if you keep an open mind and give it a proper listen..or many proper listens, it can take a while to kick in. // 8

Lyrics: Thom Yorke has always been writing his lyrics in kind of a cryptic style, they usually don't make much sense as a read but combined with the music they manage to induce emotion and, although it's often like his lyrics contradict the vibe of the music, you can always tell that they really are a vehicle for the music to get to you. The King of Limbs's lyrics are no different than that, with the sole exception that the depression of their previous albums has somehow diminished and the new songs can get you in a positive place of mind, which is something many were really looking forward to experience from Radiohead. Thom's voice is a perfect fit to the music, and he still continues to treat his voice as an instrument instead of something that stands out(like the vocals in Feral), letting it blend in to the music instead of overriding it. // 9

Overall Impression: I wouldn't compare The King of Limbs to their previous albums, it strikes similarities to all of them but it's its own thing..definately their most electronic album yet, it's an amazing listen if you focus on it and play it a few times..the songs that stand out the most are are the last 4 songs on the album, Lotus Flower, Codex, Give Up The Ghost and Separator..overall, I loved their ambient sound and the way they progressed but some of the bits kind of threw me off, and that's the only flaw I can find in this album..definately worth bying, I'm getting the newspaper edition and I would definately replace it if it was stolen/lost. // 8

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overall: 8.7
The King Of Limbs Reviewed by: Trifonas, on may 30, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: A very strange and progressive album with some exceptionally good songs. It can be called electronica and avant garde until you reach the 5th song "Lotus Flower" that goes into a progressive rock style without guitar. Then goes "Codex" a classic piano song that reminds us something like "Sail To The Moon" or something like that and it's a Radiohead type song. A spiritual song "Give Up The Ghost" (At last guitar!) and the album winds up with one more song. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics are of academical level in some songs and they make you think a lot. As soon as you here the music of the songs you expect that lyrics and as soon as you read the lyrics you expect that kind of music. Thom Yorke sings wonderful with tremolo and his tenoro voice. He knows how to sing his songs and his voice is made exactly for them. // 9

Overall Impression: I think that it's the best album of the last 5 years and it will be discusted a lot. My favourite songs are "Lotus Flower" and "Give Up The Ghost". The thing that I love most in this album is it's progressive music and Thom Yorke's vocals. The only thing I don't like is that in some songs after a couple of minutes it gets boring and "Feral" isn't good at all. If I had lost it I would immidiately bought it again. // 9

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overall: 8
The King Of Limbs Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 19, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Radiohead is a very multifaceted and dynamic band, and they continue reinventing themselves on their 8th album. 01. "Bloom" - The highlight of this song is probably Selway's frantic drumming. I also like Colin's clubfooted bass line, it drives the verses well. Yorke's long, drawn-out vocal notes work well with the percussive and murky nature of this track. Not a great song on its own, but it fits in so well with the album and opens it very well. 02. "Morning Mr. Magpie" - A more upbeat song than the first, featuring fast power chords, some nice underlying guitar riffs, and a thudding bassline. Yorke's singing is more restricted in this song than most of the others. 03. "Little By Little" - I like how well the acoustic strums and guitar and bass riffs work together. A relentless drum beat lies underneath, giving the song a very layered feel. During the chorus, the instruments scale back a bit and let Yorke's vocals take over. 04. "Feral" - Very underrated and one a lot of casual listeners skip over. The song is built around Selway's relentless drumming and the weird things they do with Yorke's vocal tapes. I love the little bass snippets as well. 05. "Lotus Flower" - the most well-known song on the album, it received a Grammy nomination. Very percussion heavy, it is built around a drawling bassline and a strong drumbeat. Add in a few guitar parts and Yorke's best singing and lyrical work on the album and it proves itself as a muscular lead song. 06. "Codex" - slowing down after three upbeat songs. A slow piano song, but it distinguishes itself from other songs of like kind because of Yorke's outstanding vocals. But the greatest aspect of this song is the horn. It just adds such a beautiful layer to the song. Amazing. 07. "Give Up The Ghost" - obviously built around Yorke harmonizing over some background vocals. The main guitar provides acoustic strums, and the bassline and drums are a bit buried. Yorke's singing is simply insane on this one. 08. "Separator" - a different way to end the album. Driven by a catchy drumbeat and backed up by ringing guitar with a solid bassline. Probably the best guitar work on this album, especially in the second half of this song. Yorke's echoing vocals are outstanding and are perfect with the guitar. The overall sound of this album was very different than other Radiohead albums. It was much more percussion than guitar heavy, with frantic drums and prominent basslines. More woodsy and indie-geared than other albums, this is no "OK Computer". Nevertheless, it still is quite excellent and welcome by me. // 8

Lyrics: Thom Yorke, as a seasoned music veteran, proves his genius again. What he's willing to do with his voice has expanded so much from "Pablo Honey". He's showcasing his great range a lot more on the album and using the studio to create vocal harmonies and textures. As for lyrics, Radiohead's lyrics are quite vague to me and I can't discern much of a meaning. Anyway, Yorke's voice is amazing on this album. It isn't "Nude" but is still incredible in its own way. // 8

Overall Impression: When I bought this album, I was completely overwhelmed by it and listened to it on repeat. I think the songs on this album fit together better than any other Radiohead album, which, to me, is an amazing quality. However great this album may be, it isn't for everyone. "OK Computer" lovers and fans of the Nineties albums may not be pleased because this album has a more indie flavor. What I do admire, though, is how Radiohead changes their style a lot each album and makes the music THEY want to make instead of all the crap we hear on the radio that SELLS well. An ambitious and overpowering effort from one of music's most outstanding groups. // 8

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