- The King of Limbs

Radiohead - The King of Limbs
CRITIC SCORE
77
Based on 28 reviews
2011 Rank: #135 / 860
USER SCORE
79
Based on
332 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Amazon
iTunes
Apple Music
Spotify

CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Fly

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.

91
Pretty Much Amazing

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.

90
PopMatters

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.

90
Sputnikmusic

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.

90
DIY

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. 

88
Beats Per Minute

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.

83
A.V. Club

While The King Of Limbs always sounds great, the actual songs prove elusive—perhaps too elusive at times.

80
Tiny Mix Tapes

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.

80
musicOMH

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.

80
Spin

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.

80
Consequence of Sound

It’s essentially a 37 minute jam session; one where they’re carving out their current sensibilities and seeing where they run.

80
Rolling Stone

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.

80
Alternative Press

There’s just incredible depth to The King Of Limbs, and if you’re impatient, you’ll miss it.

80
The Guardian

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.

79
Pitchfork

This is well-worn terrain for Radiohead, and while it continues to yield rewarding results, the band's signature game-changing ambition is missed.

78
Paste

The King of Limbs might not be Radiohead’s best or most revolutionary album, but it’s still adventurous and fresh.

75
Entertainment Weekly

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.

70
AllMusic

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.

70
Drowned in Sound

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.

70
FACT Magazine

On its own merits, this album is a good, occasionally great, piece of work, but the devil is in the details.

70
NME

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.

70
Slant Magazine

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.

65
Coke Machine Glow

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.

60
No Ripcord

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.

60
American Songwriter

Despite Radiohead’s flashes of their usual self throughout The King of Limbs, the album pales in comparison to their previous LPs.

60
Resident Advisor

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.

60
Under The Radar

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.

40
NOW Magazine

If this were purely an experimental electronic album, we'd overlook the lack of hooks, but even as such it's not particularly impressive.

SiberianBreaks
84
EDIT: Come to think of it, this is their most cohesive project since Kid A. Every piece fits together perfectly and it just has a lot more lasting appeal than something like A Moon Shaped Pool, honestly.

Unfortunately deemed as their worst since their Nirvana-wannabe debut, The King of Limbs holds up quite well to this day for its cohesive style and subtle beauty - even better than an album like Hail to the Thief. Of course there are the obvious reasons to why it's regarded so lowly in their ... read more
lerkenfeldt
88
I love this album. So many beautifully crafted songs that get better every time you listen. just amazing.
92
not an easy listen but it grows on you and eventually the subtle nuances seep in, some moments of sheer brilliance, Thom's voice is perfect throughout, experimental but mainly pure quality
Raincoat
80
Seen to be their second-worst after "Pablo Honey" but personally I really enjoy it; the instrumentation here is fantastic and it's fascinating how an electronic album can somehow feel strangely natural and warm.

Highlights: "Morning Mr.Magpie", "Lotus Flower", "Codex"
godlevel
83
probably my least favourite radiohead album. i mean its still good but the biggest drawback it that its too short.
More user reviews
Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar

To Pimp a Butterfly

Tame Impala - Lonerism

Tame Impala

Lonerism

Swans - To Be Kind

Swans

To Be Kind

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Arcade Fire

The Suburbs

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

Animal Collective

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

Sufjan Stevens

Carrie & Lowell

Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city

Kendrick Lamar

good kid, m.A.A.d. city

David Bowie - Blackstar

David Bowie

Blackstar

DETAILS

February 19, 2011 / Release Date
LP / Format
XL / Label
radiohead.com / Website
Tags
END OF YEAR LISTS
# 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
Track List
  1. Bloom
  2. Morning Mr Magpie
  3. Little By Little
  4. Feral
  5. Lotus Flower
  6. Codex
  7. Give Up The Ghost
  8. Separator
Contributions By
patton, royalflush, philthy