New Radiohead albums are hard to judge upon initial listening, and their latest album, “The King of Limbs,” is no exception. It was announced a mere five days before its planned online release on Feb. 19, but then the band further surprised fans by releasing it on Feb. 18.
But that’s Radiohead for you, always trying to mess with the media.
It’s a decent tune though, with a driving beat that every fan has come to expect from Radiohead. The bass is poppy and spastic against synth keys and hardcore vocal echoes.
One of the funniest reactions to the album was from the music editor of SPIN, Charles Aaron, who said, “‘Give Up the Ghost’ does remind me of that time I wanted to kill myself while having runny eggs at Johnie’s Coffee Shop in Los Angeles. Something about that snipping-scissors sound at track’s end reminds me of a woman who cruelly patronized my mix-tape affections for the better part of the ‘90s.”
And sure enough, this track, along with “Feral,” “Codex” and “Separator,” do tend to drone on in a depressingly introspective way that I imagine could spark an existential crisis in almost anyone with a long enough exposure.
The album seems to be lacking a song that exhibits Radiohead’s ability to rock out, such as “Paranoid Android.”
“Morning Mr. Magpie” and “Little by Little” have that uplifting quality almost reaching the levels of excitement from previous endeavors, but never quite get there, with the tempo slowing down instead of breaking down during the climax of the songs.
“The King of Limbs” is certainly no “In Rainbows,” but still distinctly Radiohead. And I am still astounded by the amount of mixing and re-mixing they must have to do in the studio to get such weird robotic rhythms and effects.
In summary, “The King of Limbs” failed to bring anything new to the scene, but is still worth listening to — because it’s Radiohead.