Radiohead's "King Of Limbs" Falls Short On Listenability
Unlike "OK Computer" (1997), this release is not a crowd pleaser, save for track "Little by Little".
Instead, it is more electronic, lacking the classical rock drum + guitar sounds of "OK Computer," the life and spunk in Kid A (2000) and the depth of "In Rainbows" (2007). The electronic beats that make up "King" are empty and void of durability or intensity.
As to be expected, Thom Yorke's eerie, ethereal voice inundates the sound waves and floats through the speakers. His falsetto permeates each song, transporting the listener to a dream world where vision is hazy and nature surrounds you. In this effect, Yorke's voice is heard less directly, masked by a fog of electronic beats and synth. His words are full of drawn out vowels and run over and into each other.
All tracks are largely composed of background beats that are monotonous, new age and avant-garde at best. "Bloom" sets up the album with just that feeling: opening with piano, it slowly delves into beats and guitar snares that repeat themselves in the background throughout the song, not unlike Garage Band or a child's electronic keyboard.
In "Little by Little," Yorke croons about a girl, "I'm such a tease / And you're such a flirt." Here, we hear more of the electric guitar strums and voice than the rest of the album.
The beats and rhythms in "Feral" are anxiety inducing, as they build faster and louder on a total of five phrases.
"Codex" showcases the vocal and instrumental talents of the group. Yorke's voice sounds clearer here than any other song, and the beauty and brilliance are undeniable. It is enriched by the horns, piano and strings that pervade and mystify the lyrics: "Slight of hand / Jump off the end / Into a clear lake."
After 26 years of ingenious revolutions and producing albums that show they are constantly evolving, Radiohead is without a doubt one of the greatest bands in the music world today. This time around, they are able to do a lot with very little; each song is long, yet has very few lyrics. However, this album has gotten mixed reviews and some critics agree that it is not Radiohead's best work. That said, the songs do grow on you eventually, but unlike previous albums, "King of Limbs" is lacking in overall listenability.
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