Friday, February 18, 2011

Album Review: Radiohead - The King of Limbs

Radiohead's latest offering is something akin to those days when you have a lot of things you are supposed to do, but you get caught up in a couple of things, do an amazing job on them and then kind of half ass the rest.

King of Limbs is short, 37 minutes total playing time. This is exacerbated by the fact that really this is a 4 song EP, with 4 generic ambient trance* beat tracks they slapped on the beginning to create a full album.

But boy, what a 4 song EP. To be clear, this is a continuation of Radiohead's general trend as these four songs could easily have been fit onto In Rainbows. They would have been amongst the better tracks on that album, which is impressive, since it was a very good album.

Putting 4 complete snorers to open the album would be risky for any band out there besides Radiohead, as I don't even think that Animal Collective would get people to listen to that 5th track if they had put those 4 to start. Yet, with Radiohead it's almost like a sort of joke where Thom is saying "you thought that was going to be what the album was like for a second, didn't you? And you were really worried about how you were going to justify liking this, nah dawg, I'm just playin' here is the real album."

When the actual physical album is released, it's supposed to go on two 10" vinyls, and I'm guessing the songs will be divided up 4 and 4**, which will mean that this really is a 2 EP album, where one EP is terrible and the other is brilliant.

I'd call the last 4 songs a mix of the better parts of Amnesiac and In Rainbows. Give Up The Ghost is ethereal in the best sense. Some breathtakingly beautiful stuff going on here. Because of how short the EP is (yes, I am going to obnoxiously refer to this as an EP), it's not a big deal that the thing is somewhat same-y, as it's hard to get tired of it in 16 minutes. Especially when it's that great.

*Apologies if I used the descriptive terms for that genre incorrectly, its not one that I am familiar with, never having been addicted to ecstasy and all.

** Or, alternatively we may have only heard half the album thus far, as the internet speculation is running. Until we receive something other than these 8 tracks I am going to treat what has been released as the entirety.

1st 4 songs: 58/100
last 4 songs 90/100

1 comment:

  1. It is also quite possible that this is not in fact the whole album. Nobody really knows at this point, so I'll go with the idea that this is it, until something else comes down the pipe and then revise as necessary.