The King of Limbs

Radiohead

The King of Limbs

Self-released

Radiohead has been a staple of alternative music for over two decades.  Since their inception in 1985, Thom Yorke and his accompanying band mates have again and again shattered molds and pushed boundaries.  Their previous release, In Rainbows, pioneered the “pay-what-you-will” business model, allowing customers to download for whatever price they found reasonable (including $0), to great success.  With The King of Limbs, Radiohead has returned to the old model of distribution, but that may be the only step back the band takes with the new record.  With it they somewhat return the their roots, shying away from the mellow, laid-back styles of In Rainbows in favor for that creeping, insidious-sounding  influence that so invaded the band’s earliest singles.  The sound is tuned perfectly to Thom Yorke’s melancholic, eerie, drawn out vocals.  The King of Limbs holds the band’s records for longest time between studio albums and shortest length.  The 37 minute playtime may be another shortcoming, but the precision and fine-tuning it allowed for more than make up for any perceived negatives.  The sense of completion present in their latest release measures up to any past record.  The band also sounds more complete than ever before, now that Thom Yorke has his own solo output for his electronic different-than-normal-Radiohead to premiere on, which makes for one eclectic, established sound present throughout, which is almost a first for the act.  The King of Limbs is first and foremost a fan-pleaser, and it’s still another standout release from alternative music’s favorite band.

 

Released: February 18, 2011

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