Radiohead Releases The King of Limbs a Day EarlyPosted: February 18, 2011
Radiohead released their 8th album, The King of Limbs, a day early this morning. What an awesome surprise to come across after stumbling into work at noon today.
The album is heavily characterized by its cohesive and constant sound, heavy reverb, generous use of digital elements, and Yorke’s abstract falsettos. It can easily be described as a combination of the arena grandeur of earlier Radiohead, and the electronic experimentation of Thom Yorke’s solo effort, The Eraser. The dreamy, underwater sound created by the overdosage of reverb creates a subdued tone throughout the album.
The album opens with Bloom and then slowly builds up to the third track, and one of the better songs, Little by Little. Before Little by Little though, is the funk tinged, fast moving Morning Mr. Magpie. The song is built around quick palm muted, thin guitars. Little by Little heavily flirts with electronics and is powered through by Yorke’s falsetto and spastic electronic drums. Little by Little is followed by Feral, which seems like an experimental cut and paste, glitchy kind of track. An interesting song, but the pace doesn’t flow all that well into the next track, Lotus Flower, the album’s first single. This creates a kind of stagnant section in the flow of the album, a slow moving reverb heavy drone. Codex quickly pulls the album out of its hole though. The brilliant piano ballad consists of modulated piano flowing like water over a soft, monotonous pulsing kick, meshed with brass flirtations at times. Codex is followed by another, ballad-like type track, this time acoustic-guitar based, called Give Up the Ghost. Give Up the Ghost recalls some of Radiohead’s older stuff due to the way the guitar plays out in relation to the rest of the track. The production values seem to recall Radiohead of old much more heavily then the rest of the album. Seperator closes the album. Towards the middle of the song bright sounding guitars enter the soundscape, and as the song progresses Yorke begins to sing “Wake me up, wake me up.”
Overall the album seems quickly made, kind of thrown together, but still contains the usual Radiohead moments of brilliance. It seems as if from the the album remains buried, deep and subdued in some dark place, and as it progresses it gets in touch with the sunlight little by little. By the end the process of crawling out of the dark, out of this dream has finally begun as Yorke strives to wake, back out of his subdued, glitchy electronic and cavernous dreamworld, back to life.