Radiohead has yet again come out of their shell to give us a taste. We got this one straight from the horses mouth, just like we did their previous, and superior effort, 2007’s In Rainbows. It will be conventionally released in May.
Where In Rainbows left me weak in the knees, The King Of Limbs leaves me wanting a bit more. That’s pretty much the short of it, here’s the long of it…
The opening track entitled “Bloom” comes at you with a rhythm that lets the listener know from square one that Radiohead has come to the party with intention to get their groove on. That’s fine. Not really a problem. As “Bloom” turns into “Morning Mr. Magpie” there is no question that this is true. “Little By Little”‘s arrival is where the party really starts. This song is the soul stirring little ditty you were waiting for, brimming with the usual creepy tone that hardcore Radiohead fans have grown to crave. They really are the kings of the depressing, sombre rock song, and this album has at least 6 of ’em on it. The second half of the album is better than the first. Songs like “Lotus Flower”, “Give Up the Ghost” and “Separator” are all great songs that tie the whole package together. That being said, I am still slightly disappointed with the disc as a whole.
There are two main problems that I have with this album. There is no one song on here that made the hairs on my arm stand on end like they usually do at least a handful of times with each RH release. I can’t put my finger on what was missing. Perhaps it felt too much like the Thom Yorke show. That might be it. There are no real feats of instrumentation here. That is apart from the usual fantastic vocals expo Yorke puts on without fail. That’s why I hold him in such high regard in the music world. Anyhow I wish there was more evidence of the Greenwood boys, O’Brien and Selway here. My second problem is not with the album but with everyone having a problem with the length. Running at about 37 minutes, it is quite short. It kinda sucks, but I have a theory. I feel like we haven’t seen the last of Radiohead for the near future. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see a new LP or several EPs in the coming year or year and a half. EPs more likely. I might as well throw a detailed prediction out there. I’ll bet you we see 2 to 3 EPs 5 or 6 songs in length by August of 2012. I like EPs, I think they’re fun. It’s just more music with more opportunity for cool artwork. That’s always been the way I look at them.
Again, put up against anything you may hear on popular radio, this thing is Beethoven’s 5th. Put this against In Rainbows or Kid A and you get something that you wish had a little more of a collaborative jolt to it. Now all we can do is enjoy it while we wait for more, hopefully sooner than later.