Friday, 3 June 2011

Radiohead - The King of Limbs


It's hard to imagine whats going through Thom Yorke's head at the best of times.. but this spooky, Electronic.. Ambient period he's going through may be distorting his vision of Radiohead. We've all seen it.. Starting of as an Alternative Rock band writing self conscious songs for a brief period, before writing and creating the decade definer Kid A. From that, a whole lot of distortion happens to the view of what Radiohead is and what they want themselves to be. Does Thom have overall say? I think he does, but it needs to be mutual doesnt it?

Do they want to be an Alternative Rock band? or an Electronic act? Do they want to start a Krautrock revival??? we have no idea. What we have here in 2011, with one weeks notice.. Is The King of Limbs. I don't think we were prepared for this release, speculation did arise, but when it finally came out it caught people by surprise. I was excited, who wouldn't be? One of my favourite bands releasing another album, still going strong.

The Arpeggio's of In Rainbows make an appearance again, but at a lesser effect. They're hardly noticeable in Morning Mr. Magpie. There is an overwhelming focus on bass with Thom's vocals sounding messy. The beat is fast paced and it's different to what Radiohead fans expect.

Everything is as if they had the general idea and didn't bother to expand on it, such as 'Little By Little'. Take away the jangling percussion and you have a prime Britpop song. None of these songs change drastically between each other. It does have nice guitar work which has been practised to perfection although it's still lacking in character. That's what's missing here.. the style doesn't change, we get the fact they want to experiment, but in this form it's hardly worth it. Don't waste your listening time on 'Feral'... It's basically fast paced looped percussion with effected vocals and some bass and synths featuring for the final third, which add no difference in the sound. They're just purely in place so you don't get bored from repetitiveness.

'Lotus Flower', to some, is the stand out. This is only because it has a verse/chorus/verse structure, nothing more puts it on par with any earlier work. Thom does well with the vocals here, very melancholy. The bass is the focus, again it's overwhelming, but it does the job keeping me interested. I do love the progressions and the video is absolutely amazing, it's totally crazy.

'Codex' is a Thom Yorke song, not a Radiohead song. it could be the alternative take to 'Pyramid Song'. Ignoring this, the song is actually outstanding and melodic, it's one of the few which I can look back on and give huge praise towards. I'm not sure why this is a Radiohead song, I don't think the other members would appear to be doing anything during this track. Thom obviously composed it, with Johnny's help adding some effects and that simple, yet powering beat which keeps the track moving.

'Give Up The Ghost' is my favourite, but it is again.. A Thom Yorke song. The whole album could have been recorded just by Thom, Phil & Johnny, we wouldn't have noticed the difference. The final track Separator is much like Lotus Flower, just with controlled bass, better lyrics and direction. I like the guitar work here, it's soothing. Then suddenly the album ends, with no recollection of what just happened.

They've been lazy, they should have released this as an EP without tracks such as Feral and Bloom. Thom should have released Codex & Give Up The Ghost for his solo work. It's not that I'm disappointed in them for creating this. It's more to do with my own thoughts as to what i want from Radiohead, not what they want from Radiohead.
~Eddie

6.5

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