In reaction to the release of the King of Limbs and What I can only assume was a puzzled reaction the tornado of hype that came with it, a recent article in the New York Magazine’s Vulture blog screeched that Radiohead makes you work hard as a fan. Point taken. But Radiohead is simpler and easier to enjoy than most. Like Cameron Crowe once crowed about his film Vanilla Sky “whereever you wanna meet it, it’ll meet you there.”
For hardcore fans and critical cats there are two decks of Radiohead albums The masterpieces: The Bends, OK Computer,Kid A, and In Rainbows and the lesser siblings. Limbs is a lesser sibling.
Like all Radiohead spare albums Limbs is beautiful, engaging, smart and unique, tracks like the opener Bloom, viral video sensation Lotus Flower, and piano ballad Cotex are all destined for fantastic live tracks for tours to come but
A Radiohead album is like a magic carpet ride that swoops you away spinning you away to parts unknown where every distortion is a twisted sketch of humanity narrated by Thom Yorke’s haunted voice.
Each album even Kid A’s half sibling Amnesiac is a sketch onto itself which is where The King of Limbs falls victim. At first Limbs, feels eerily familiar a cousin to Yorke’s solo album The Eraser but as it washes over you and the record runs down your spine you see a band doing what it always does evolving. Limbs is leaping toward something new but I’m still unsure whether it stuck the landing.
After much steeping Limbs lingers in between gears and may serve as both pallet cleanser and preview of things to come.