Monday, November 14, 2011

Review of “The King of Limbs” by Radiohead

(This article was featured in the most recent issue of the Shawnee State University Chronicle)

Something for the diehard fans to get excited about and something the casual Radiohead listener can enjoy.

                Although “The King of Limbs” by Radiohead came out in late February earlier this year many people are just now hearing about its release.   If you are a diehard Radiohead fan you probably have been chilling to this album for a couple months and are already patiently awaiting the release of their upcoming album “TKOL RMX 1234567” which is slated to be released on October 11th, 2011.  For those of us that were oblivious to all this and the sudden wave of promotion have caught our attention, this album is definitely worth buying!  

                At first I felt really bad for not noticing that one of the bestselling and innovative  bands in the last 20 years had released a new album but when Guy Raz of NPR sat down to talk with the guys I realized I wasn’t the only one who missed it.  Guitarist for the band Ed O’Brien and singer Thom York said this to Guy in response to the question of why there was such little fanfare with their last album; “We didn’t feel like it… we didn’t want to explain it.”  Radiohead released this album entirely on their own; there was no concert or interviews promoting the album.  I personally was first made aware of the album when “The Colbert Report” aired an hour long episode featuring Radiohead on Sept. 26th and I strongly recommend everyone to check it out online.

                Now that we got the back story down, let’s get to the album!  I am honestly not a huge Radiohead fan, I don’t hate them it’s just I find them as more of a mood band (when the mood hits me.)  I also feel like putting a letter grade on an album is ridiculous; we all have different tastes in music, ergo ratings are flawed.  If you like Radiohead, buy it; if you are a fan of Alternative Rock it is a must have for the collection.  I don’t think this is an album that will bridge the divide between the Rock and Bluegrass scenes so if you prefer a banjo over a Gibson SG this might not be an album for you.  I will say that although there are some great songs on this album it is an album in the truest sense.  To fully grasp and appreciate Radiohead’s new work you need to buy this album and listen to it in its entirety.  

                Radiohead I feel channels other great “album” writers like Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan.  I have a greater respect for bands that write great albums as opposed to those that write a couple good songs and put a bunch of filler on an album.  “The King of Limbs” is filler free, very eclectic, innovating to listen to, and one hell of an album to chill too.  In the movie “The Big Lebowski, The Dude got high listening to whale songs; if they made that move tomorrow he would be listening to this album!
William R. Balzer  

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