CD Review: The King of Limbs [2011]


Band:
Radiohead
Release: 2/2011
Label:
Self-Released

1. “Bloom – B+
2. “Morning Mr. Magpie” – B
3. “Little By Little” – A
4. “Feral” – C
5. “Lotus Flower” – B
6. “Codex” – B
7. “Give Up The Ghost” – B+
8. “Separator” – A

Comments:
A quick examination of message boards and the like will reveal that this album isn’t universally agreed upon as excellent or anything like that. Three years ago, I was quite convinced that In Rainbows was fantastic (and that everyone thought similar), but upon reading plenty of diverse views, a lot of people suggested it was one of the band’s worst efforts. So here we are. From the start, I was struck with a Kid A vibe, something industrial and electronic. The drum beat sounds like machinery running. The bass line is pretty much kind of dub — I’ve seen it ‘post-dubstep’ thrown around, but what? — but that doesn’t really matter. It’s an ethereal song, perhaps best appreciated for what it is, rather than what it isn’t. It improves with listens, as you’ll gain new perspectives on exactly what is going on. Maybe the first time you missed the left panned vocals that precede each line of the last verse. “Morning” continues the tradition of very structured drum and bass and galactic environment. There’s nothing that makes the song a real standout, but it acts a pretty solid follow-up to “Bloom,” instrumentally at least. The rock ‘n’ roll side of Radiohead, which as of late has been accompanied by, at the minimum, a tiny bit of electronica, comes on strong in “Little By Little.” This tune matches up along side the standard fare of In Rainbows…just catchy, bullshit-lacking pieces of work. It’s always humorous how people interpret songs. On Song Meanings, a few people say it’s about corporate evil and greed (this is what we’d expect from Radiohead) while another equates “the one that broke the seal” to a dude who has had a lot to drink and needs to take a piss every ten minutes. As far instrumental, throw-away tracks, “Feral” isn’t too bad. It’s bad in terms of necessity/placement, but in the context of this LP, it somewhat works. We’ll settle for average. “Lotus Flower” and “Codex” are good, but are pretty in-differentiable if I had to say so myself. “Separator” is classic Radiohead, just a beautifully written song. The best on here, for sure. So at the end of this review, I must say a great ending followed an effective (but not the most captivating) mix of seven tunes. Good Radiohead, just not the best.

Grade: B (86)

Thee King of Limbs = Radiohead New Album

Cover art and release dates for an LP typically are announced a good two or three months before one can hear the damn thing so finding out about an (extremely popular band) album’s release five days before the actual day itself is pretty much unheard of. Radiohead has done some pretty unheard of things in the past and so here it is, their newest album coming in digital form on Saturday, February 19.

Matt’s Top Albums from 2000-09

These are some of the my favorite and in my opinion some of the best albums of the first decade in the 21st Century.

5. 19-Adele. This was one of my personal favorites from an amazingly talented girl. The album has everything heart felt ballads galore (Daydreamer, Hometown Glory, First Love among others) giant swelling songs (Chasing Pavements, Right As Rain, Tired) and even a dance track (Cold Shoulder). Written about Adele’s experience leaving her home in London and experience with love, 19 proved to be one of my favorite records of the decade.

Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

4. Funeral-Arcade Fire. The debut from one of the leading bands in indie rock. Funeral, which was named after several of the bandmate’ss relatives passed away, like 19 just has it all. It has your soft personal acoustic (Crown Of Love, Neighbor Hood 4 [7 Kettles], In The Backseat) your thunderous rock songs (Wake Up, Rebellion[Lies], Neighborhood #3[Power Out]) and yet again even kind of a dance track (Neighborhood #1 [Tunnels]). I credit this as the only record to ever make me close to really crying my eyes out. Phenomenal record. Should be in everyone’s collection.

3. The White Stripes-Elephant. Wow. All I can say about this record. What really made this stand out to me was its lack of true production. Jack had this recorded all on tapes and he spliced the tapes together. Some of my favorite songs are Seven Nation Army, Ball And Biscuit, There’s No Home For You Here, Little Acorns and You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket. An amazing outing from arguably my favorite band.

2. Radiohead-In Rainbows. What is a top ten list without Radiohead. And this record in particular is the one that really made me take notice of Radiohead. An album that makes an artist wait to put out the next record so the one before won’t overshadow it is something special. With some of the best production, arrangements and lyrics my old ears have ever heard, In Rainbows is a record not to be fucked with.

1. Radiohead-Kid A. I am speechless when it comes to this record. It’s such a… special record. Defining Radiohead’s sound most likely for the next few records and defining us as people, its just scary good. I frown on anyone who thinks they can do better. I don’t want to say anymore because my words can’t praise it enough

.

Glen’s Top Albums (2000s)

These albums really got me going at one time or another. After #1, the order doesn’t really matter. They’ve all been just about equally inspirational AND they are all pretty damn different.

1. Los Valienteles Del Mundo Nuevo (Black Lips/2007/Punk)
2. Nouns (No Age/2008/Experimental Noise Pop)
3. You and Me (Walkmen/2008/Post-Punk)
4. The King Khan & BBQ Show LP (The King Khan & BBQ Show/2004/Doo-Wop)
5. In Rainbows (Radiohead/2007/Art Rock)

Why They Are My Favorites

Why are my favorite bands my favorite bands? I think a fairly big reason is because I like a very large catalog of songs from them AND their songs tend to never get old or boring (on record and live). I’m interested in finally rationally concluding who my favorite bands are based on the logic of how many songs I truly love from each AND their best live performance rating.

The Top Ten
1. Black Lips – 42 + (10) = 52
2. Jay Reatard 35 + (10) = 45
3. Walkmen – 33 + (10) = 43
4. King Khan & BBQ Show – 30 + (10) – 40
5. No Age – 23 + (10) = 33
6. Radiohead – 23 + (9) = 32
7. Arctic Monkeys – 23 + (9) = 32
8. Animal Collective – 22 + (9)  = 31
9. King Khan and the Shrines – 16 + (10) = 26
10. Editors – 17+ (8) = 25

Not Far Behind:
X. Sunset Rubdown – 14 + (9) = 23
X. The Rifles – 13 + (9) = 22
X. Pains of Being Pure at Heart – 10 + (9) = 19
X. Peter Bjorn and John – 18 + (0) = 18
X. The Lovely Feathers – 10 + (8) = 18
X. The Libertines = 17 + (0) = 17

Glen

Thom Yorke Forms Band

Dead Air Space:

hi
in the past couple of weeks i’ve been getting a band together for fun to play the eraser stuff live and the new songs etc.. to see if it could work!
here’s a photo.. its me, joey waronker, mauro refosco, flea and nigel godrich.

at the beginning of october the 4th and 5th we are going to do a couple of shows at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.
we don’t really have a name and the set will not be very long cuz ..well …we haven’t got that much material yet!
but come and check it out if you are in the area. we’ve also got locals Lucky Dragons playing.
all the best

Cool.

No Radiohead EP…Just “These Are…”

No four track EP. But the leak that was “These Are My Twisted Words” is available from Radiohead’s w.a.s.t.e merchandise shop as a free download.

Click here to download: http://www.waste.uk.com/Store/waste-radiohead-twisted+words.html

Included in the download is the song, artwork, a .pdf about the artwork, and a little document about the song.