So we assume that by now you’ve all either heard The King Of Limbs or decided that you don’t care enough to bother with it. Either way, it’s unlikely that you’ve managed to make it through the last week without noticing that it was released.
Excuse us for pointing out the obvious, but these days the release of a new Radiohead album is a massive event. When In Rainbows was released in 2007 - which, as a sidenote, Team MusicRadar generally agree is the band’s best album - it was almost over-shadowed by the pay-what-you-like business model that the band used to put it out.
While The King Of Limbs comes with a set price, it’s also self-released and Radiohead are still being creative with their digital distribution. This time around they opted to announce the album via Twitter and Facebook, and then made it available a day earlier than promised seemingly just because they could.
So, what about The King Of Limbs itself? The name comes from an old oak tree in Savernake Forest, near the studio where the album was recorded. Supposedly said tree ties in with the themes of the record somehow… We'll leave you to work that one out.
The album is Radiohead’s shortest ever, clocking in at less than 40 minutes, and once again long-time collaborator Nigel Godrich has returned to co-produce.
If past Radiohead albums have been categorised as either ‘guitar’ or ‘electronic’ albums (or as various mixes of the two), then The King Of Limbs feels like it should be seen as their percussive record.
As on In Rainbows, the band have found a nice mix between their traditional instrument set up and the synthesised, sampled and manipulated sound that they introduced around the time of Kid A. Yet this time around it seems like their songwriting is very much focused on rhythm, with many of the instruments taking an almost entirely percussive role for much of the album.
To explain what we mean, let’s take a track-by-track look at The King Of Limbs.