Radiohead – The King of Limbs
by Alyssa Mastrocco (English), published February 21st 2011
Moldy | Stale | Edible | Fresh | Tasty!
Most fans know that there are three kinds of Radiohead. They’ve released straight rock albums, straight electronica albums and a few that fall between. The King of Limbs presents itself as a return to the Radiohead of OK Computer and Kid A. Influences from In Rainbows can still be heard, but now they’re mixed with the band’s roots in electronica.
The first two tracks, ‘Bloom’ and ‘Morning Mr. Magpie’ reintroduce us to the Radiohead of old, harkening back to Kid A with the electronic sounds that can be heard underneath the instrumentation. Much of the rest of the album follows suit, but mellows out toward the end. Track six, ‘Codex’ is an ethereal song with a beautiful horn and string section that fills out the ending. The vocal track is mixed at the same level as the instrumentation, adding to the delicate sound of the song.
Since last summer when we began hearing much of this material in its infancy, the songs have developed nicely, especially ‘Give Up the Ghost’ and ‘Separator.’ ‘Give Up the Ghost’ was one of the songs Thom introduced in his solo festival appearances. When playing it live, he began with a vocal loop, creating a layered harmony that his guitar soon followed. The band kept this same basic structure for the studio version, adding to it only minimally to clean it up. ’Separator’ closes the album on a strong note, returning to the upbeat electronica that the album began with and closing the circle.
At eight tracks, they still manage to make it sound complete. The King of Limbs is yet another Radiohead triumph.
Recommended Tracks: Morning, Mr. Magpie, Codex