Radiohead. You never know what you’re going to get, but you can always expect a collection of tracks that will first leave you puzzled, and then blown away. The group released their eighth album, The King of Limbs, online a day ahead of schedule on February 18th, and it does not disappoint or skew away from their usual theme. Like most Radiohead, The King of Limbs requires a listen or two to fully appreciate and understand everything that is happening.
The distinct feature of the album (besides Thom Yorke’s ridiculous vocal range and stability) is the inclusion of rapid, calculated drum beats. About half the album is carried by these beat sequences, which are mainly electronic. It is this feature that gives The King of Limbs more of a “Thom Yorke solo album feel” rather than the rock-driven group collaboration heard in previous albums like The Bends. However, this is neither a new or negative quality by any means, as Radiohead has proved time and time again.
Other songs like “Codex,” and “Give Up The Ghost,” which are In Rainbows-esque, display more simplistic uses of piano, vocals, and acoustic guitar. The last song on the album, “Separator,” is marked by a good combination of vocals, heavy bass, electric guitar, and drums (an actual set). To reiterate, The King of Limbs is a very complete album that may take multiple listens to fully understand and enjoy, but it is this diversity that listeners have come to love and expect of Radiohead that makes them so great.