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The King of Limbs

321 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 25, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

1) Bloom
2) Morning Mr Magpie
3) Little By Little
4) Feral
5) Lotus Flower
6) Codex
7) Give Up The Ghost
8) Separator
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 25, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: TBD Records
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,055 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 78 people found the following review helpful By David Lynch on April 14, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Definitely worth the wait!

Whenever I see or hear derisive commentary on Radiohead's latest release it lets me know that all is still well with one of the greatest bands in Rock history. Stravinsky provoked a riot when he premiered The Rite of Spring, in 1913, and we can all be thankful that his monumental work outlasted the collective breath of the naysayers. Be thankful that there are musicians like these today who refuse to conform to an agent, a producer, or even public opinion, as they stay true to themselves and defy all the forces that would work to package their genius into a nice tidy, market-ready box. All the notes were made ready hundreds of years ago, and the lines have been created, worn-out, and recreated time and again. I revel in the fact that this band still has what it takes to shock and stun a world that is largely jaded and programmed to the point of numbness.

So, you say, The King of Limbs is not your Radiohead? (Just like the New Coke wasn't the Old Coke) Well, I hope they will never be anyone's Radiohead.

If this were visual art, I might call it Impressionism, or Post-Impressionism. With those, you don't walk up too close to the canvas, or you'll only see the blobs of paint. Same thing here with KOL. Don't listen too closely at first; you might be turned off! But, give it a chance, and absorb it gradually. It is immensely rich stuff!
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266 of 305 people found the following review helpful By Bardwire777 on February 19, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Yes it is atmospheric. This in no way resembles OK Computer or the Bends or any of their proper "rock" albums - but then Radiohead told us not to expect he same approach after Hail To The Thief. And what is the result of this new phase? I'd say it's better music to paint to than blasting in your car with the windows down (yet I do suggest blasting it loud or with so you can hear all of the subtle shifts and changes - it will kill you with a whisper) Most of these songs are centered around loops like Everything in It's Right Place, and from those initial loops other loops are borne, layers are added, drum loops become live drums, chanting begins and the record indeed ends up sounding both innovative as well as ancient as the King of Limbs' namesake - with different limbs of musical ideas twisting out into different directions. Clearly a bold thrust in a direction that they had only been tinkered with before (except if you don't count Yorke's the Eraser.)

This album feels like the follow up to the Eraser more than In Rainbows. The tracks on this album also has the feel of Radiohead's more interesting B-sides, which usually was the arena where they put their more experimental efforts and let themselves hand loose. In the case of this album, all the tracks feel like honest innovations, like the band is seeking new territory, and so in a way it feels like an album of b-sides which in my book is an excellent thing.

This review was originally written only after a few listens, however, after living with this album for a week here are my *personal* thoughts on the individual tracks;)

Bloom - a sonic welcome mat, with some surprises - the Yes-like synths over-arching like the Northern Lights are a nice effect. These are definitely sounds we've never heard from them.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Bob Maplethorpe on April 19, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Radiohead is my favorite band. Ever. Kid A is my favorite album. Ever. So imagine my surprise that upon first listening to the King of Limbs, my reaction was one of confusion. I was left saying "Huh" instead of "WOW" like I did with In Rainbows. On initial listens, most of the songs sounded the same and the songs themselves just seemed to stay in one place. I thought I was all for Radiohead continuing to change directions and keep mixing things up, but at first I was disappointed with this one.

Today, I can tell you that I am not disappointed with this album and instead, I'm rather fond of it. Perhaps the best thing about Radiohead is how much stuff they have going on in their music. Ever since OK Computer, the band has put in more and more sonic layers, effects and whatever else they could find into their songs. Not to say that they do so randomly or without thought; quite the contrary. All of these things serve the songs and make them better.

I think this is why The King of Limbs was so hard to get into. It is by far the most dense album Radiohead has created. There may only be 8 songs on here, but there's a lot in those songs. At first it can be hard to latch onto something just because it's overwhelming. When I broke all of the elements down and focused, the album made sense.

Even if you don't like The King of Limbs as much as I do, it's more than worth the $6 price tag to check in with the best band working today. Just make sure you give it your time and attention.

EDIT 8/14/12: Bumped to five stars because this is the album I've listened to the most in the last year and a half and I love it more every time I give it a spin.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin K. on November 27, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I got this cd the day it came out, and it's taken me a while to get to a point where I feel I can review it, because it's taken me this long to really get into it. 'The King Of Limbs' is a WEIRD record.

TKOL is a hard album to get into, no doubt about it. The songs are more focused on rhythm and textures than pop hooks, and it shows as soon as you press play. If you're looking for 'In Rainbows 2' or another 'Kid A' you're going to be very disappointed.

That being said, this is not a bad album. It will probably take you several listens to get into it. This is another 'Hail To The Thief' type album- in that it's a transitional record, and obviously so. The next record, if there is one, will probably not sound like this.

I recommend starting with "Little By Little", which sounds almost like it might have been written around the 'In Rainbows' period, in that it has that weird kind of Thom Yorke "seduction song" feel to it. It has one of the few easily accessible hook-y melodies on the album. "Lotus Flower" also has a strong melody floating over a beat-heavy soundscape. "Mr. Magpie" dates from 2000 or 2001 apparently, and its (relatively) more straightforward melody makes it probably the most accessible song on the record.

The only real issue I have with this record is the sequencing. "Bloom" is a good track, but it isn't a strong opener. I feel "Mr. Magpie" should have had that honor, with Bloom being placed somewhere in the middle; maybe before or after the instrumental "Feral".
I've heard a lot of complaints about the packaging, but honestly, I download most of my music from amazon, and when I actually do buy a cd, the case gets tossed in a box in the closet, so it really doesn't matter to me.
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Topic From this Discussion
Looking for dark music
Hmmm...not sure if these are the type of albums you are looking for, but I definitely consider them dark and/or disturbing:

Skinny Puppy "Too Dark Park"
Coil "Horse Rotorvator"
Depeche Mode "Black Celebration"
Bauhaus "Burning from the Inside"
Recoil... Read More
May 1, 2011 by Kevin H Maas |  See all 12 posts
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