Friday, 18 February 2011

Radiohead - King of Limbs

Radiohead's latest album The King of Limbs, only announced four days ago, has been unleashed today for purchase via the band's official website. Comprising of only eight tracks running under thirty eight minutes long in total, it's their shortest album, and perhaps their most moody. Less melodic and immediate than 2007's In Rainbows, The King of Limbs is characterized by shuffling minimal drum beats, staccato rythms and ghostly echoes. The arrangements are subtly hypnotizing, creating a tense and unnerving atmosphere, and lead singer Thom Yorke seems at times almost to be singing with gritted teeth, particularly on Little By Little as he declares "I'm such a tease and you're such a flirt".

The album builds this tension until we get to Codex and the shuffling is replaced with slow deathly marching accompanied by droning brass sections which are carried over to the beautiful Give Up The Ghost on which Yorke's voice moves more to the forefront. The album arrives perfectly at final track Separator, the culmination of all this tension and build-up; a cathartic release of major key arpeggios and lilting guitar licks riding waves of dense reverb punctuated by Yorke's plea of "wake me up".

The album certainly has a strong dreamlike quality to it, with its heavy utilization of ambient elements, and the track order and production seem carefully chosen to guide the listener from point A to point B. It's meticulously constructed and more rewarding with each listen; an album that slowly draws you in and settles under your skin, pulling you through its dark haunting world before slipping away almost as quietly and mysteriously as it came.
The album is available now from the band's official website. Below you can see the track list as well as the video for lead single Lotus Flower.

The King of Limbs:

01 Bloom
02 Morning Mr Magpie
03 Little by Little
04 Feral
05 Lotus Flower
06 Codex
07 Give Up the Ghost
08 Separator

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