The King of Limbs

Radiohead - The King of Limbs
Critic Score
Based on 37 reviews
2011 Ratings: #221 / 990
Year End Rank: #22
User Score
2011 Ratings: #169
Liked by 68 people
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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.

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.


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. 

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.

A.V. Club

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

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.


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.

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.

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.

Alternative Press

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

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.

The Independent

As usual, it bears little direct relation to previous Radiohead albums, but could hardly have been made by any other band, a paradox which could serve as the group's distinctive imprimatur.

‘The King of Limbs’ may use some familiar sounds, Radiohead have nowhere near exhausted their potential.
Q Magazine
Radiohead's ambitions are so modest that it's hard to tell whether this is just creative throat clearing or the quieter path they've settled for. If it's the latter, well, Radiohead sound calmer and more content than ever.

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.

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.

Spectrum Culture

Though bearing many merits, Limbs misses out on any semblance of a climax in its humble demeanor.


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.

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.

FACT Magazine

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.

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.

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.

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.

American Songwriter

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

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.

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.

The Needle Drop

Radiohead's latest LP is a fan-pleasing piece of work. It's loaded with beautiful and well-recorded sounds, and even Thom Yorke's songwriting shows some muscle with moments like "Lotus Flower" and "Separator." But there's something that clicks away and eats away at the first half of this album, in my opinion.

Record Collector
Here then is that rarest of things: a Radiohead album that merely treads water. The water is clear, blue and warm – and you really want to dive in, but it’s not quite deep enough.
Classic Rock
This insubstantial eight-track affair ultimately feels like a minor Radiohead release, one that falls considerably short of the stratospherically high standards they set themselves on previous landmarks.
God Is in the TV

This time it’s mostly just uninviting, hookless and meandering. They can make music however they want – it’s non-unlistenable songs people generally want to hear.

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.

I accidentally listened to this today and it super clicked with me for some reason.
In my opinion, this is the most proper sister album to Kid A in Radiohead's discography. Where Kid A made electronic music sound as human and organic as possible, Radiohead try to reinvent yet again, and make an album sound as electronic as possible using organic instrumentation. Seriously one of their best works, but no one else really agrees. Yeah, it's short, and I wish proper versions of Staircase and The Daily Mail were on here. But I trust Radiohead, and prefer to think they knew what ... read more
This album is worse than Radiohead's fanbase would have you believe it is.
I don't know what's going on with the hate for this album but I think it's great. Okaay I agree that it's far from Ok Computer or Kid A level but I really don't see anything wrong with it either. There is no song here that I wouldn't like. So yeah only bad Radiohead songs was on Pablo Honey and it’s all i can say. Everything that they made after is just brilliant including this album
King of limbs?!?!?! More like king of stupid 😂😂😂😂😂
Radiohead makes good albums but this album is very much bad. Theyre are to many bleep bleep bloop bloop and bad guitar. Very much a stupid album
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