Radiohead: King of Limbs

Environmentally friendly? Radiohead seem to be the opposite this week.  
Not only did the shock announcement of their album release destroy the internet but it managed to create mass security panics in Tokyo like some sort of impending Godzilla attack.
It’s a short album at eight tracks long but it’s unsurprising considering Radiohead’s style. Always sticking two fingers at “The Man”, Radiohead have never been conventional. They progress so quickly that be the time you read this, it’ll turn out that none of this is real and they’ve actually invaded our dreams putting some shock revelation in our heads.
Musically it’s a desolate terrain. The first half unravels and disperses its seeds in a frenzied haze of scattered percussion skips (“Bloom”, “Feral”,) whilst pertaining a deep sense of brooding malignancy through Yorke’s anguished cries: “You’ve got some nerve coming here,” and the disturbing death rattles of “Little by Little”.
But this half isn’t where they end but, rather begin. “Lotus Flower,”, triggers the trademark epiphanies of In Rainbows whilst there’s a gentle sense of the natural as “Codex”, and “Give Up the Ghost”  are the more beautifully melodic tracks as their reverberant echoes ensure that they are the most down to earth tracks yet being the most phantomely distant at the same time.
“Separator” is an optimistic closing, the “House of Cards” of King of Limbs as the trickling guitars flow down into a bright pool.
It’s an album that is an ode to the likes of Kid A, In Rainbows, Hail to the Thief and OK Computer with Captain Thom’s Amnesiac leading the charge. It doesn’t really break new boundaries as Radiohead are often known for but even so, were you disappointed in the first place?
Sat down or stood up, this album deserves applause.
Alex Yau


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