The King of Limbs

Studio Album by released in 2011
The King of Limbs's tracklist:
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Morning Mr Magpie
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Little by Little
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Lotus Flower
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Give Up the Ghost
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The King of Limbs review


Each time we have another new album from Radiohead, there is a conflict of feelings inside. There is a bright feeling of excitement, sweet expectation of having something completely unprecedented on the new record, something you have never heard from anybody else, and the awareness that this release is truly a big event you want to be a part of by listening to it at least. However, you can not resist the fear and the question if these are still those very guys from Radiohead; what if now, that they have that genius preceding record, they would simply fill in the vacancy in their discography with this release, that complacency have finally got to them too? But here you are listening to these new songs and you understand that although they are different, not comprehended yet, still strange and even alien, they are still Radiohead songs; and the band itself has not let you down, as well as millions of other fans just like you all around the world. And we have seen lots of years passing by and heard so many times somebody saying they can’t make the same success, they can’t follow one genius album with another just as genius; but Radiohead still do. And you start to pay no attention to what number this album is, and what there was before it. Radiohead are just the same unpredictable, indescribably enthusiastic and endlessly talented. They are Radiohead.

The King Of Limbs

The King Of Limbs is ancient, could be mythical or could be folk, name for a huge tree, a thousand-year oak in Wiltshire in the Northern England. This is what the eighth album of the heroes of Radiohead is called. Only eight songs lasting less than forty minutes will be another life lived with the legendary band, another path through the Radiohead world. Unlike the majority of the English outfit’s catalogue, this CD starts drawing you right from the start. Preparing yourself to take time and struggle to get into the core of these songs, to get the real taste of them, you, to your own great surprise, find out that one listen is quite enough to get lost within this music. This time, the musicians take us into the woods. High up above our heads, there hangs Yorke’s voice, traditionally full of its own tunes, shedding splinters of images and fragments of emotions. In between Yorke and us, there is a forest of sounds and piano falling like a rain. Like ghosts or wild animals, guitars come and go, hiding behind the straight rows of drums and bass. Right, the rhythm section here is powerful and steady, yet you do not want to dance to this kind of rhythms. You rather feel anxiety and a sensation of something bad getting nearer. The rest of the music material has no structure and can not be predicted. In fact, one should not try to predict Radiohead at all.

Music and nothing else

The King Of Limbs is good as it is served. It is strongly recommended to listen to the tracks in the order they are placed in the album’s set. Otherwise, the record loses its power, and its message is going to be misinterpreted. Of course, there is no unneeded song here, nor is there even one bad or unnecessary sound in any of them. Forget the titles of the tracks and how long they play. Forget the names of the musicians playing this music. The only thing you need is the music itself, while everything else is pieces of wrapping. The bewildering keys of Bloom, the irritated voice in Morning Mr. Magpie, the shaman’s rhythms in Lotus Flower and the instruments rustling like leafs in Give Up The Ghost: whatever song you take, it’s got its own flavor, its own strength. The music of The King Of Limbs does exactly what that old oak tree does. It grows deep into you, bringing its roots inside you faster than you understand what is going on. Radiohead has not outdone themselves, nor have they revolutionized anything, nor have they proclaimed the dawn of the new ear. They have just made another album. Another Radiohead album.

Alex Bartholomew (22.02.2011)
Rate review4.91
Total votes - 2025