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Radiohead - The King Of Limbs CD (album) cover

THE KING OF LIMBS

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

3.29 | 324 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Full disclosure: I'm not much of a Radiohead fan. In fact, just about the only time I listen to the group is when I'm in the mood for In Rainbows, or if I'm writing reviews for this website. The sound on the band's key albums doesn't resonate with me. That being said, I think that King of Limbs is actually pretty great. It sloughs off some of the "rock" baggage in Radiohead's sound that never really worked for me in favor of ambient textures, bass grooves, and a more open-ended experience that is an easier listen and seems to fit the group well.

The first half of King of Limbs strongly incorporates elements of electronica into the the band's trademark sound of guitar textures and Thom Yorke droning. "Bloom" starts us off with drum, horn, and keyboard effect samples, creating a directionless ambiance that is sophisticated and dense. The next two tracks have scattershot drumming and gentle guitar riffing that continue this electronica experimentation. Yorke uses his voice as a instrument, which I think is great because I've never cared for his lyrics or phrasing as a singer; here, he sings long sustains and tones that drift into the overall tapestry of the songs.

The second half is the stronger side; things become more subtle. The songs slow down are densely layered and emotional. "Codex" features wonderful piano work played over a gentle electronic throb and haunting vocals. Probably the highlight of the album for me. "Seperator" is a great, dreamy and optimistic feeling close to the album.

This release will probably turn off fans of Radiohead's earlier and more critically acclaimed works, but King of Limbs is, ironically, more approachable because of its gentle mood and deviation from the band's noisier art-rock offerings.

An enjoyable, moody combination of tones and sounds to drift off to.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |

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