Radiohead The King of Limbs

Radiohead The King of Limbs
The fact that Radiohead have spent a solid decade under a proverbial microscope is nothing less than a testament to the transcending respect and popularity the band has amassed post-OK Computer. Considering the South England quintet has yet to release their "disappointment" album, critics and fans are often left searching for trivial faults within a generally faultless discography. Released less than 100 hours after the world knew of its very existence, their eighth LP, The King of Limbs is yet another collection of high-concept beats, staccato-drunk guitars and lazy-eyed lullabies. But this time around, it's actually the microscopic dissimilarities that define the songs. At eight tracks over 37 minutes, The King of Limbs remains the band's shortest album, giving "Feral" and "Codex" ― songs that would have acted as mood-pieces on longer releases ― more weight, leaving them feeling slightly out of turn. The capricious "Bloom" and cavernous "Lotus Flower" could come off sounding unrealized, as the Radiohead-of-old would have twisted them into unfolding epic masterpieces à la "Everything in its Right Place." But of course, there's actually nothing "wrong" with The King of Limbs; in reality, it's a collection of well-conceived, gorgeous and highly-listenable pieces of art. Yes, the album is more downbeat than downstroke. Yes, it plays like a Thom Yorke solo album. Yes, it's slightly similar and slightly different than their other albums. But these are only issues once put into futile context. Pound for pound, The King of Limbs is an achievement. (Independent)