When you awoke this morning, Minneapolis, it was unlikely you thought you would have the treat of listening to Radiohead’s new album, “The King of Limbs.” Well, lucky for you, you do. In two words, the album is simply amazing. The band recaptures all the glory of In Rainbows, while simultaneously paying homage to the days of Hail to the Thief and Kid A.
The track-list might be short, at 8, but the album is a refresher for fans who have been missing new material from the English Alt-rock gods. Synthesizers, voice modifications, and guitar effects have taken over, for the most part, for traditional basses, drums, lead vocals and guitar (the ones that made Radiohead famous); but they give some of the tracks on the album an impressively expansive sound.
You can tell Radiohead is looking to experiment more deeply with their music with each new album. I think they are somewhat successful here; the first track is “Bloom,” one of the better songs on the album and perhaps a sign of where the band is heading in the future.
The rest of the album is less experimental in the sense of previous Radiohead albums. In fact, some of the new songs will remind you of previous releases on older LPs. Track #2 on the new album, called “Morning Mr. Magpie,” sounds very reminiscent of track #2 on Hail to the Theif, “Sit Down, Stand Up (Snakes and Ladders),” even for only a moment.
Yet, if the album ever seems to fall flat in places, the band is quick to fill in the gaps with great improvisations and instrumentals. They are determined to keep their sound experimental, yet relevant to broad ranging audiences. What makes Radiohead such a great band, their core appeal, remains the same.
Tracks on the album that are a must listen are #1, “Bloom;” #3, “Little by Little;” #5, “Lotus Flower;” and #8, “Separator.” In the terms of where the music of Radiohead is going, I think their music continues to evolve with the changing alternative rock landscape, particuarly now indie rock. For a band as big as Radiohead, it is brilliant to keep making great records while still pleasing your fans. They are coming off a string of sold out tours across the world.
The album can be purchased for download at their website here. Details of what they are touting as the first “newspaper album” can be found here. Reportedly, the album art for the newspaper album is going to be made entirely of recycled newspaper, and the entire album is said to be biodegradable.
“The King of Limbs” was released one day early this week. The expected release date was to be Saturday, February 18th.
The band currently has no tour dates scheduled, but keep an eye out for any new announcements. While they may not visit our nook of the States, there is always the beauitful Minneapolis/ St. Paul International Airport.