Sunday, 20 February 2011

Radiohead - The King of Limbs


Well a Radiohead album release it’s always an exciting moment for me. I’m a huge fan of the Oxford based band and their first albums (The Bends, Ok computer) largely contributed to my desire to form a rock band and write my own songs.

 “I wanna be in a band when I get to heaven
 Anyone can play guitar
 And they won't be a nothing anymore”

When Kid A and Amnesiac were released the band gained a new status as avant garde musicians who weren’t afraid to explore distant musical landscapes regardless of the success of their previous “rock” albums. The result was amazing, innovative and exiting.
Hail to the Thief was the link between Kid A and Ok computer, a great mix of electronica and killing guitars riffs, with memorable songs like 2+2+5 and There There.
In Rainbows was a pretty album with beautiful soundscapes and melodies but the actual album release business model was much more innovative than the music.

The King of Limbs: Sunday morning (2pm), sitting in my kitchen with a cup of tea and a pint of Alka Seltzer in each hand… bring it on. Found this a great video on you tube where you can listen to the full album:



Posted by: thelilbearbeeny 

Might have been the hangover but the first listen wasn’t easy. Is it because we always expect too much from the bands we love?

You can hear the Tom York influence over this album (yeah; he’s the lead singer daa!) but seriously it does sound a lot like an improved version of the Eraser. I do miss Johnny Greenwood’s blissfully tortured electric guitars but that’s just me and musicians evolve.

Second, Third listen, a fried egg and a cigarette later things make a little more sense.
The texture, arrangements are beautiful and delicate and two tracks really stand out of the pack:

Little by Little :

“Turn to nasty now
The dark cell
The pit of my soul
The last one out of the box
The one who broke this spell

Little by little by hook or by crook
I'm such a tease
And you're such a flirt
Once you've been hurt
You've been around enough

Little by little by hook or by crook
Never get nervous
Never get judged
I'm no idiot
I should look

Your clue on hold, snapped up
Crawling with my love
The last one out of the box
The one that broke the seal
Obligation
Complication
Routines and schedules
Drug and kill you
Kill you

Little by little by hook or by crook
Never get nervous
Never get judged
I'm no idiot
I should look”

The electro rock spaghetti western vibe of the song is quite similar to Go to Sleep on Hail to the Thief  but it’s a really cool song. Laid back and sexy.

The other song I really dig is Separator:

“It's like I'm falling out of bed
From a long, weary dream
The sweetest flowers and fruits hang from trees
Falling off the giant bird that's been carrying me
It's like I'm falling out of bed
From a long and weary dream
Just exactly as I remember
Every root
Every gesture

I'm a heart in cold ground
Like I'm falling out of bed
From a long and weary dream
Finally I'm free of all the weight I've been carrying

As my woman blows her cover
In the eye of the beholder
I'm a fish now out of water
Falling off a giant bird that's been carrying me

I fell open
I laid under
At the tip count
I was just a number
I wanna tip it over
And lay back under

And if you think this is over
Then you're wrong
If you think this is over
Then you're wrong
If you think this is over
Then you're wrong

(Wake me up, wake me up)
If you think this is over
Then you're wrong
(Wake me up, wake me up)
Like I'm falling out of bed
From a long, weary dream
The sweetest flowers and fruits hang from trees

When I ask you again
When I ask you again
Wake me up
Wake me up
Wake me up
Wake me up
Wake me up
Wake me up
Wake me up
Wake me up “

The song takes a few minutes to kick in but when the delicate subtle lead guitar starts the pieces of the puzzle come together. It’s got a little Indian electro vibe to it, very chilled out and appeasing.

I’m not going to go through all the songs but the two previously mentioned ones are really worth it. I hear a lot of recycling on the record:   Codex =  Pyramid Song (Amnesiac) , Little by Little = go to Sleep (Hail to the Thief), Morning Mr. Magpie =  a Prozac(ed) version of Bodysnatchers( In Rainbows) ,…

I still love the band and respect their work. We can’t expect to be blown away with every new album. Bands change as people change.

The king of Limbs isn’t a great album but Radiohead is still a massive band and I can’t wait to see them live is Paris!

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