[28 March 2011]
Radiohead actually released their latest, much-lauded new album, The King of Limbs to the masses digitally back in February via their own website, but this week brings the physical product—yes, that still exists. That must still mean something because “The King of Limbs” is sitting pretty at #2 in Amazon presales ahead of the new Britney Spears album and, this from a record where the music has already been widely available for a month. Our two reviewers loved the album as you can see from the quotes below. We’ll have this stream available until Friday… enjoy.
While The King of Limbs reveals more of the band’s influences than ever before—early reviews have cited affinities with the work of young gun experimentalists Burial, James Blake, and Yorke collaborator Flying Lotus, while there are more than a few traces of the signature moves from those in its original peer group, including Bjork’s pop electronics, Tortoise’s post-rock, and the space-rock transmissions of mid-1990s Too Pure acts Laika and Moonshake—Radiohead has remained first among equals for the longest time because everything from the finest musical details to the most sweeping technical innovations are at the service of a larger mission the band has never lost sight of. As with anything that’s trying to do something bigger and better, lessons of that magnitude can take more time to sink in, definitely longer than the handful of hours we’ve had to absorb what The King of Limbs might be all about. In that sense, the jury is still out on The King of Limbs and that’s because there’s always something more to Radiohead.
—Arnold Pan, PopMatters, 21 February 2011, 9 out of 10
The King of Limbs is a beautiful record, one that begs more of a conscious listen than its predecessor, but one that provides equal—if different—thrills in doing so. Though it seems strange and restrained on the first several spins, there are signs apparent that Radiohead do not record in an isometric chamber, sealed vacuum-tight. Elements crop up in all corners that set The King of Limbs at least partially into a narrative of popular turn-of-the-decade sounds. Touches of the woozy beats of Flying Lotus (though less frenetic) and the cyborg R&B of James Blake (though, well, more frenetic) come to mind right away, hinting at Radiohead’s comfortable place on the edges of contemporary electronic music. Of course, the most apt reference point for a Radiohead album always seems to be, yes, Radiohead. The King of Limbs has the band reinvestigating their love of computer-driven music, but it never sounds stale or reheated.
—Corey Beasley, PopMatters, 22 February 2011, 9 out of 10