Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: The King Of Limbs (Latest Radiohead album)

Firstly, let me just point out that with every effort Radiohead has released since their debut Album, Pablo Honey, the sound tends to change dramatically.  They are constantly evolving as musicians, which can make their creative process seem to involve abandoning what they use to do, as well as their fan base. Which is ironic, because that is pretty much a trademark occurrence  with them, yet people will complain that it "just isn't as good" as the former album. Yet as they experience, as I do, the opinion changes once you let yourself become engrossed in their new and interesting sound. As an old fan, you hate the new album, then love it. As a new fan, you don't understand the new album, then, it. The King Of Limbs is no exception. Let us move on.

Radiohead has never been what you could call "heavy", however all their albums have tended to have some songs that could make you move around in a shoving like manner. Doom and gloom, even if in a mellow, laid out approach with the occasional tension then release. This album goes somewhere else.

All the songs are quite obviously influenced by either Jazz(which is a regular for Radiohead) Electronic, or House (not so much, or at least not this blatantly before.) When giving it a go, one could almost be repulsed by the alien-esque soundscapes that protrude in quite a "Hey Fuckers! Listen to me! Woah, woah, wait. You can't leave. We're just getting started" manner. The timings are odder than ever before, and often more then not, all the instruments or produced sounds seem like gibberish on an acid induced march to the desert to begin a heat stroke. Keep listening, because if you stop now, you'll just come back later, you will.

As advanced as their capabilities have become, Radiohead seem to have become more accessible than ever. You start to push out the feeling of dread that a bunch of arrogant, skinny British hipsters have come together yet again to piss on the average and show off their musical cocks. You feel warm. You feel happy. And you can actually dance around without needing a 4 year in jazz tap.

Their influences show more then ever, yet so does their originality. They have never blended everything so tightly before.  It almost seems like one instrument, though the drumming of Phil Selway is so fluid, groovy, and incredibly flowing that you can't help but feel he shines the most on this album.
You will come away feeling that you can dance around to a bizarre but brilliant rock album with a lack of platitudes, feel warm and happy, and not be embarrassed about it. The album is genius. Go buy it. Or steal it. But give it a listen either way.

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