An album of chilling brilliance. It’s ten years since they confounded us with ‘Kid A’ and yet they're still capable of pulling off a gearchange like this.
King of Limbs finds one of the greatest bands we have ever known pushing their sound into a new sphere, remaining relevant at the risk of alienating some fans, rather than slipping slowly into the comfortable fog of repetition and compromise.
It’s clear that The King of Limbs requires more patience and concentration than listeners who’ve been eagerly waiting more than three years for new Radiohead material can likely muster in the here and now.
This record is immediate, though not immediate in the “catchy” sense. Rather, Radiohead are not far away anymore. They’re here, intimately with us, in our ears, urging us to dance, urging us to forget we are hearing a Radiohead record.
It’s near-perfect, naturally. Technically, melodically, structurally, it can’t be bettered. But it’s not the eleven/twelve track magnum opus that their fanbase desired.
The material here is as strong as we’ve come to expect from this band, but its pleasures aren’t nearly as surface-level as even Kid A’s. The best way to judge The King of Limbs in the long run may simply be to hope someone spurs Radiohead on in this direction.
While The King Of Limbs always sounds great, the actual songs prove elusive—perhaps too elusive at times.
It is a strange, advanced sort of perfectionism, a persistent dissatisfaction with existence that expresses itself more strongly in The King of Limbs than it has in any of their work in years.
King Of Limbs is a subtle, muti-layered affair - surprisingly low-key in places, and it certainly won't win back any fans who checked out in the late '90s.
The most surprising thing about Limbs isn’t the slight touch of moody dubstep that courses throughout. It’s the throbbing current of Afrobeat that propels more than half the album.
It’s essentially a 37 minute jam session; one where they’re carving out their current sensibilities and seeing where they run.
Limbs keeps the intensity at a low boil, working the body as it follows strange logic down alleys it has no interest in coming out of.
There’s just incredible depth to The King Of Limbs, and if you’re impatient, you’ll miss it.
Listening to it, you're reminded that Radiohead are the only band of their size and status that seem driven by an impulse to twist their music into different shapes.
This is well-worn terrain for Radiohead, and while it continues to yield rewarding results, the band's signature game-changing ambition is missed.
The King of Limbs might not be Radiohead’s best or most revolutionary album, but it’s still adventurous and fresh.
Like all Radiohead records, Limbs mutates and shifts in clever, unexpected ways; somehow, the band makes verse-chorus-verse structures seem embarrassingly outmoded. But it’s also tricky to find (or feel) an emotional center here.
There are no surprises in the floating textures, no delight in the details, no astonishment in how the band navigates intricate turns: this is the sound of Radiohead doing what they do, doing it very well, doing it without flash or pretension, gently easing from the role of pioneers to craftsmen.
The King of Limbs definitely represents new ground for Radiohead in its cohesiveness and its unnerving, stifling mood. For these reasons alone, it is a good album.
On its own merits, this album is a good, occasionally great, piece of work, but the devil is in the details.
A record to respect for its craft, rather than worship for its greatness. Listen to it enough times and you may convince yourself you love it. But let’s not kid ourselves that it’s up there with their best work. It just isn’t.
The King of Limbs is a sparse eight tracks of clicking drumlines, disjointed synth loops, and dour noise, with nary a moment of wallowing melody or even diversionary experimentation filling the ranks.
The King of Limbs isn’t a bad album, and it doesn’t sound tossed off, half-cocked, unimaginative, directionless, antiquated, or derivative, but it doesn’t really land, either.
It’s largely cerebral music to appreciate rather than adore; music for the head rather than for the heart or feet. Sadly, The King of Limbs – while a brave side-step – is a case of style over substance.
Despite Radiohead’s flashes of their usual self throughout The King of Limbs, the album pales in comparison to their previous LPs.
Even if you're not expecting it to blow your mind, it's hard to shake the feeling that the album could have been more adventurous––or failing that, more engrossing.
There are surely treasures to be found in The King of Limbs, as the listens pile up ... However, the initial awe is simply not there, and the love-at-first-listen isn’t either.
|# 23 -||Amazon|
|# 19 -||American Songwriter|
|# 5 -||Clash|
|# 15 -||Consequence of Sound|
|# 32 -||Drowned in Sound|
|# 18 -||FILTER|
|# 12 -||MAGNET|
|# 47 -||MOJO|
|# 12 -||musicOMH|
|# 20 -||NME|
|# 34 -||No Ripcord|
|# 26 -||One Thirty BPM|
|# 13 -||Paste|
|# 33 -||Pazz and Jop|
|# 10 -||PopMatters|
|# 23 -||Prefix|
|# 13 -||Pretty Much Amazing|
|# 32 -||Q Magazine|
|# 5 -||Rolling Stone|
|# 30 -||Stereogum|
|# 12 -||The Fly|
|# 27 -||The Guardian|
|# 7 -||Uncut|
|# 45 -||Under the Radar|
|# 13 -||AoTY 2011|
|# 11 -||AoTY Readers 2011|
|# 5 -||NPR Listeners|
|# 8 -||Old Waver|
|# 7 -||Pitchfork Readers|