Right now, as I am typing I am listening to some brand new Radiohead and all is good in the world! King of Limbs made every Radiohead fans Valentines Day a little sweeter by announcing its release will be in Saturday the 19th. Radiohead gave fans a very happy Friday by releasing it a day early. So not only do I have the day off, but I get some sweet new tunes for its soundtrack. I must also add that today is a particularly beautiful, warm day out on Long Island..Coincidence?
King of Limbs has 8 tracks total. 2 of which I had heard previously while Thom Yorke was on tour with Atoms for Peace. On one had, its nice to heard a great studio version of these songs, but on the other, the selfish fan wishes for more! Now this is a strictly listening as I go review. No other opinions have sunk in and the song analyzing will be brief, because I have a really busy day ahead of me! If it hasn't already been established, I am a huge fan, so really this band can never do wrong by me. So with that,lets breakdown the track list, shall we?
Off to a good start is Bloom. Lots of clicks and snare, Thom comes in with the lyrics "Open your mouth wide," and we fans take in what makes Radiohead pioneers in a pretty recycled industry that is music. A nice built up of sounds, like strings and maybe an ebow, with horns and even birds chime in throughout.
Morning Mr Magpie has a familiar sound, like a b side Hail to the Thief. The thumps and clicks continue, almost like a heart beat. Thom moans ghostlike throughout and the song ends with quieter then it came in and ends with what sounds like bugs hissing.
Little By Little is next. Wood block claps in right off the bat. Some backwards guitar is looped in. This, for Radiohead that is, a very danceable song. Holds my favorite lyric of the album with Thom telling someone how he's such a tease and you're such a flirt.
Feral: This song upholds the pattern of this whole album. Lots of mixing and production work. Sounds like the band had to really just play small parts and the rest was a looped frenzy. Feral seems the most played around with. Frenzy is just about right for the description. It's also the shortest of the songs.
Lotus Flower starts off with trippy bass and hands clapping. I just saw the video for this and I'm still smiling from it. Its a basic black and white shot of Thom dancing himself silly and singing along. Love the hat, kinda Clockwork Orange! See the video below.
Codex breaks the tempo mold the album had been establishing with a slow piano and another ghostly howl in the background. A nice standout/highlight. Heavenly horns, strings and piano keys twinkle in the background. A nice change up and it ends with birds and bleeds into...
Giving Up the Ghost. Previously on this blog I posted a super sweet video of Thom doing Give up the Ghost live in California. Here the finished version is spot on from what we saw live, making that extra amazing. Just a touch of re verb on background vocals is all that separates the two. Haunting, acoustic, and lovely all at the same time it makes it the initial favorite of the album. Here's the video again for you!
Separator brings back what King of Limbs has established. A ray of sunshine made into sounds, including Thom asking for it to wake him up...
And that ends the listening experience. Went fast, right? Radiohead knew the fans were missing them and threw us a bone. There is something about this album that seems a bit incomplete. Radiohead have always been a more conceptual band, and I can see that in King of Limbs, but it seems the story isn't over yet. With the shocking release of this album coming out of no where, I would say that Radiohead hasn't let us in on all of it..But we shall see.