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Generally favorable reviews- based on 508 Ratings

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  1. Negative: 38 out of 508

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  1. Feb 18, 2011
    Radiohead, under the gun of expectation, have not disappointed with their eighth studio album "The King of Limbs." The title itself is provocative of something large, and even the album cover hints as well. The King of Limbs is very drum heavy, which is somewhat of a step away from their usual routine, but still manages to resonate the true Radiohead frequencies. One thing that sticks out is the evident direction with which Radiohead seems to be tending. This album leans toward a modern classical direction. This may be due to leader Thom Yorke's infatuation with dubstep and certain electronic music. On the other hand, the band still keeps its grounding, with Johnny Greenwood's haunting keyboards, and Colin's bass driving the beats of Phil Selway's lathered drum section. The King of Limbs is very beat heavy, with Thom using his voice to complement the aura surrounding the left and right that make up the production of Nigel Godrich. There is a different Radiohead in every one of the eight songs on The King of Limbs, with the majority of the tunes relating back to the second set of songs on In Rainbows. Lotus Flower, which has a brilliant video concurrently released today, is the awe-inspiring track to The King of Limbs. It contains hints of dubstep, but also plays fairly close to Idioteque. Thom Yorke's vocals on this album as a whole reach high and low, as expected from Radiohead nearly twenty years now. One prolific aspect of this album is the ability Yorke encompasses during his "sliding" of vocals. Yorke, now in his forties, still has the power he had back in 2000's Kid A, and continues to create new avenues to hone and elaborate his use of vocals. Radiohead never ceases to disappoint, and certainly do not do so here. The album is just under forty minutes in length, which is a true disappointment, but I hope the "Newspaper" edition that comes out will contain bonus songs or something of the sort. Radiohead's eighth album The King of Limbs is a knocker with power, force, and a soul to reckon with, the only inhibition the album may experience is its length-challenged state. But this may also be a strength. It may cause a desire for more! Keep the people guessing. They have been keeping the public guessing since way back in September, why stop now? I would also like to strike a chord with the lyric substance in the album. The album contains parts, in its minute state, with little lyrical substance, which, in my opinion, can be disappointing. I will say it now that, the length and lyrical shortcomings may cause a negative stir among the Radiohead fan base. But if you ask me, this album is In Rainbow's antagonist. It takes In Rainbows, and flips it on its side. A new world of music, but keeps the Radiohead vibrations resonating. This album is brilliant. It is no surprise nor expectation fulfilled. It is Radiohead without being typical or predictable. Expand
  2. Feb 19, 2011
    How far can a great band fall? I must have listened to The Bends hundreds of times and OK Computer, thousands. Since those two strokes of brilliance, Radiohead has slowly descended into a melody-free, experimental, electronic haze that not only fails to rock but fails to amuse. I just looked at how many songs I've kept (did not delete) from their last five albums: 6,5,5,4,3,0). Most of those are tracks I rarely listen to. Well, Thom and company have just notched another zero. This album, like the last few is a lazy, soulless, electronic mess. Buzzes, clicks, digital bass lines and sparse clicks that don't amount to music. If you loved the band I once did, don't listen to this. Save your memories of better times. If you want to hear the mood Radiohead is going for done musically, Listen to PJ Harvey's new album, Let England Shake. I miss you, Radiohead. RIP. Expand
  3. Feb 19, 2011
    I listened to it once. I wasn't convinced.
    I listened to it twice and I got to track 2 "Morning. Mr Magpie" and I played it about 5 times over before I could even change the song and after listening to it over and over, it became clear.
    Radiohead aren't there to please people they're there to challenge you musically, to test you
    and this is where there genius is: Every time it's amazing,
    after OK Computer they bought out KID A and it challenged people, but now its ranked next to OK Computer in greatness.
    The King Of Limbs challenged me, but, in the end it won.

  4. Feb 23, 2011
    To be quite frank, this album doesn't deserve the scores its getting. The only reason it's getting such high scores is because of the name the band has. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the band. My favorite albums easily include OK Computer and The Bends. But honestly, this album is pretty much crap. The first seconds of Bloom was interesting and melodic, but that's where all the good stuff ended. The rest of the album is filled with hipster experimental electronica, and stupidly mumbled vocals such as "Good Morning Mr. Magpie, how are we today." There's no soul, no melody, no groove, no feeling or emotion. Someone hipster might say "you don't get the music man" but trust me: I do. This is easily Radiohead's worst album. If another band besides Radiohead came out with the same exact album, it would get much lower ratings, and thats the truth. Expand
  5. Feb 19, 2011
    This album can be summarised very simply: Thom Yorke decides he's Kieran Hebden, turns the cutoff up to full on every instrument so that its impossible to hear anything except a vague harmony, and spits angry, half-baked lyrics into the left channel of your earphones. I can barely even hear where the rest of the band come in; this seems essentially to be The Eraser part 2, so if you enjoyed that, then maybe you'll be delighted with this. Bloom is a good song, as is Give Up the Ghost, but unfortunately the texture of the album as a whole is repetitive and suffocating, and one gets the impression that it has not been as carefully produced as their other albums. Considering meticulous production and careful texturing has always been a key strength to the radiohead sound, this is a problem. This sounds almost like a bootleg of a radiohead album stolen from the studio months before the actual release date. If only that were the case. Expand
  6. Feb 19, 2011
    Upon my first listen, i was strangely disappointed. I've stayed up all night listening to it over and over again, and i can now say that it is one of my favorite albums I have heard in a few years. Crooning, emotional and utterly brilliant. As always, their soundscape is as large as the solar system, and it is gorgeous. It is short, sweet and satisfying. worth a few dozen listens. its weird, in some ways like kid a, but just like kid a in that its f***ing awesome. Expand
  7. Feb 18, 2011
    Its definitely a grower, like all Radioheads album. I found it to be disappointing at first listen, but maybe i was isnt expecting something else. I kept on listening time and time again, and i found that it had a different feel to it. And to be honest, now i will keep on playing it...I just loved it, Lotus flowers and Thom Yorke's dance was futuristic and loveable
  8. Feb 19, 2011
    When the dust finally settles after the metaphorical whirlwind of its release, the 'King of Limbs' will retroactively rearrange the coordinates by which one will come to judge Radiohead's previous work! Many people are trying to make sense of this quite unique record by comparing it with what has gone before. Some have drawn an analogy with 'Amnesiac' (quite reasonably) or Kid A (understandably), others have seen it as a logical continuation of 'In Rainbows' (a little less understandable) and some others still ( quite inexplicably) have drawn a comparison with 'Hail to the Thief'--quite why, I do not know. This general strategy is an obvious reaction, for it is only through comparing and contrasting what is new against the backdrop of what already circulates that we begin to understand and form opinions. But ultimately, any such endeavour will do violence to what is a quite singular record, with its own peculiar cadence and texture. I advise anyone approaching this record to erase all memory of what has passed and encounter 'The King of Limbs' on its own terms, in the hic et nunc. Once one has allowed each syncopated beat, every pulsating bass note to permeate deep in the consciousness, perhaps then one might, a little more judiciously, be able to evaluate how this record relates to its predecessors. For what it's worth (and I am only on my 7th listen), I think that in the cases of 'Lotus Flower', 'Codex', 'Feral' and 'Separator', we have four songs, for which others exist already within the band's existing corpus, but none of which are as beautifully rendered as on this record. To give two examples. Personally, 'Codex' supplants 'Pyramid Song', 'Sail to the Moon', 'How to Disappear Completely', 'Nude', 'Exit Music (From a Film) as the most achingly gorgeous composition the band has ever put to Stanza. In the example of 'Feral' we have a song which, musically, is far more poised and, existentially, more neurotically charged than say 'Climbing up the Walls', 'The Gloaming' or 'Idioteque'.

    All things considered, 'The King of Limbs', in a subtle and understated way, is a work of refinement, and in this lies its revolutionary appeal. Extraordinary stuff.
  9. Feb 19, 2011
    Since user " football !=! " has already said it all I'll just make this short. This is a perfect album coming from a perfect band (in my opinion). I think that Radiohead outdone themselves and the album confirms it. All the songs are brilliantly peaced together, containing brilliant lyrics , and the album itself is just one of the best albums you'll hear in this year (I hope). To finish this rather short review I say this: "Listen to this album and if you don't like what you're hearing,.... you my son are either deaf, or you've gone completely insane (in a bad way). ;) Expand
  10. Feb 20, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Although it feels more like an experiment than an album, it's still Radiohead. Which means it is still made by one of the best bands around. This album just makes me more excited for the next one while being an interesting experiment and a great album all at the same some. In short, Thom Yorke, Johnny Greenwood, and the rest have knocked it out of the park again. Expand
  11. Feb 18, 2011
    Upon listening to the album in its entirety 6-7 times now, i can place my hand on my heart and say that this album is now worse than Pablo Honey. Too short, too one dimensional and tedious. Its fine to have this sound for a couple of tracks but 8 tracks, too much. I lost interest in the album by the time it ended. I feel ripped off with this album. Just hoping there's a Part 2.
  12. Feb 19, 2011
    There's NO hint of underlying melody buried beneath the rubble of inanimate production behind, in front, and to the sides of "The King of Limbs": it's an aimless series of soulless, tacky, lounge ambience - at it's best, recalling ambient-era Moby ("Bloom"). The rhythm section cannot be the combined effort and participation of humans - it sounds way too stupid and clunky - there are steady, obvious climbs and falls in the bass and drums, and African beats; resonating nothing. The only songs worth mention, "Little by Little," "Codex," and "Give Up the Ghost," are slight, near good accomplishments of some structured fashion. "Give Up the Ghost" is warm - tinged with a subtle 70's AM pop easiness - almost folky. "Codex" is the nicely written, if not the best song here - invoking some pleasant imagery, and a dynamic mood, with the slight bit of melancholy. "Codex" could serve easily as a b-side to "Pyramid Song." "In Rainbows" was the embodiment of Radiohead's pursuit of cerebral alternative rock in a minimalist, hyper-melodic, 3-minute structure.They've depreciated since, if not forever. I've listened to this album intimately - in my room, for six hours straight - hoping to God I hear it - I've yet to register a thing. Expand
  13. Feb 18, 2011
    Radioheads latest album, "The King of Limbs", is similar to their previous ones, in that it takes several listens to fully appreciate. The first listen reveals that the album, while still quite experimental, isn't the genre redefining "The Bends", "OK Computer", or "Kid A". They instead continue to explore their own musical niche, as they had on their previous two albums, "Hail to the Thief" and "In Rainbows". The album only contains eight tracks, far less music than fans were hoping for after a four year drought. Yet all of the songs are superbly written, and while some don't strike as all that great at first, they each sound better with each additional listen. In the end, "The King of Limbs" is an excellent addition to the Radiohead canon, but eight tracks doesn't quite quench the thirst of their devoted fans. Expand
  14. Feb 21, 2011
    I honestly can't believe what I'm hearing here. This album is so strange! How far can you take minimalism before you're listening to empty space. Radiohead are know for bombastic and complicated cerebral climactic music. In Rainbows was toned down, and had quite a few "slow" songs, but they were at least interesting. It wasn't my favorite, but I was willing to accept that this is just a direction the band wanted to explore. With this album, I fear they've gotten completely lost on their exploration. This feels like a soundtrack to a video montage. What the hell is this album? I'm a DIE HARD fan, as my username would suggest. I've listened to this album over an over looking for the brilliance that I've come to expect. It's not there guys. At least not as far as I'm concerned. Expand
  15. Feb 24, 2011
    Slightly melancholy and insightful with interesting hooks (yes, I think there are hooks). If you aren't into melancholy/interesting, you will be disappointed. You'll also be disappointed if you expect Radiohead to make your favorite Radiohead album again. Their albums each have a distinct personality, and this is no exception; in this case, the personality might rub you the wrong way, and that's okay. The more I listen carefully to the tracks the more I appreciate this album's personality. Collapse
  16. Feb 18, 2011
    It covers familiar ground, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing at all. One of people's major complaints with The King of Limbs is the length, but that's probably my favorite part. By the looks of things, I'm the only person who thinks this, but albums that are more than 45 minutes generally lose my attention, so this 37 minute album keeps me enthralled.
  17. Feb 18, 2011
    While this album did not wow me after a long break the way Kid A did, it had brilliant moments. Codex took my breath away and the rhythmic structure of Lotus is just fun. This album feels like a less melodic continuation of In Rainbows in the same way Amnesiac felt like (and in many senses actually was) a continuation of Kid A. It felt to me, also sort of like Amnesiac, like a transitional album. Here, we are moving from the narcotized dreamscapes of In Rainbows to something with a little more bite and muscle. If we can use the history of the band as a guide, these sorts of transitional albums lead to brilliant synthesis albums like Hail to the Thief. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a new album in the next two years that, like Hail to the Thief, smoothly blended the plethora of sounds. I'm betting that that will be the album that changes music in a substantial way. I'm only sorry it wasn't this one. Expand
  18. Feb 19, 2011
    Couldn't have at all predicted how this was going to sound, but it sounds beautiful. Strangely organic and electronic. The level of music tech brilliance that's been put into this record is astounding. On a badass pair of speakers it sounds blissful. I've listened to it only a handful of times, but by the second listen through I always already in love. The first song sets the mood for a beautiful trip of an album. The last four tracks are pretty amazing, at the moment I can't choose between Codex and Give up the Ghost as my favourite. They never fail to surprise me. If I'm honest I can't see me loving this record (or any other record) as much as In Rainbows, but this is still a great work. Hopefully the fact that this record is so short will mean that another release might not be far off. Could this be a Kid A- Amnesiac type affair? I hope so. When I heard it was only 8 tracks I was a bit disappointed. Nevertheless, it's a very good album. Colin Greenwood seems to be one of the standout features of the album, which is something that hasn't been the case in any of the other albums :L Expand
  19. Feb 19, 2011
    It's like Radiohead, but with none of the catchy parts.
  20. Feb 22, 2011
    this album is what being old probably feels like. it's so void of any signs of vitality, that it literally drained all energy out of me. endless loops with little to no variation, Yorke's dispassionate singing, lack of melody, harmony, and lyrics that develop and tell a story. that's not to say that the album doesn't have any positive sides to it. there are some beautiful moments with horns and strings and what not, but again, it's such cold dispassionate beauty void of any powerful human emotion. plus, it only takes one listen to anything from OK Computer to Hail to the Thief to demonstrate why the King of Limbs doesn't stand a chance in comparison. but it's not a bad album. it's just a disappointing radiohead album. Expand
  21. Feb 19, 2011
    Radiohead have done it again, just like with Kid A, they have managed to piss off a a lot of fans and extend their music to a new sound and almost a new genre. Their new album is dominated by Thom's lyrics and Phil's heavy drum beats and varying electronic effects, with almost no dominant guitar. It sounds much more modern, much more bleak than their other music. But, like all of Radiohead's music, its incredibly complex and beautiful. Its a completely new style that you'll be hard pressed to classify but its no worse than their other albums, just different. Expand
  22. Feb 18, 2011
    Basic Short sentence summary: 3rd best album behind ok computer and the bends. Best album to wander to around a city park, forest, in seclusion, mind, etc. It feels nearly a shame not to give this album a perfect score. The only nagging point being a strange almost lack of structure of the first half of the album. But to everyone out there who has seen a mixed or negative review of this album is incorrect. Every song is both a look back at one of the past 4 albums (and Thom Yorke's solo work to include) and at the same time a whole new original piece of Art from the greatest band of all time. Yorke, O'Brien, Selway, and the greenwood's release a great use of all their talents and skills to combine into the shortest, but maybe the best "modern" (Post Ok computer work) Album.
    I believe the best songs would have to be the 2nd half of the Album. Especially Lotus F Lower and Give up the ghost, I cant decide your opinion for you, but its worth listening to the whole thing over and over and over until your heart stops beating. But by then, These geniuses would have released in a lifetime more of masterpieces.
  23. Feb 18, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It doesn't sound like a Radiohead album it sounds more like Thom Yorke as soloist, the result is boring, predictable, their weakest album since Pablo Honey Expand
  24. Feb 18, 2011
    While it is easy compare Radiohead's recent album with OK Computer (which like trying to make a sequel to the Shawshank Redemption), The King of Limbs is still superbly well done and much better than the majority of released music. It isn't a revelation but a reassurance that Radiohead's still got the touch to create unique songs and mesh sounds into beautiful rhythm. Every Radiohead album has given that one song to say 'wow' to and "Lotus Flower" is that song. It strikes a chord the first time you listen to it and grows into the ranks of distinguished songs that capture you after every listen. I love albums that have beautiful transitions between songs and Radiohead has always been amazing at committing themselves to the flow of their music. The King of Limbs showcases Radiohead's best use of transitions yet (depending on how you interpret the theme of the album). While OK Computer was an album about isolationism and one's place in society, The King of Limbs carries a modern tone to it. It uses an abstract perspective to showcase prevalent issues, or even just feelings about everything concurrent. The King of Limbs is very interpretive and it isn't spelled out so easily. It's Radiohead's most interpretive album since Kid A. All in all, comparing Radiohead to Radiohead is very difficult, as if comparing two languages, but Radiohead has released another masterpiece. It just might take some time for it to sink in. Expand
  25. Feb 19, 2011
    At a short run time and only 8 tracks, Radiohead has found itself on the middle of a tightrope. They're coming off the heels of the remarkably successful "In Rainbows," cryptically revealing new material that hearkens back to albums prior, and having fans just in reach of having any new material at all. Does that mean that by reaching the end of the tightrope they'll be able to achieve the fan base they've created? Absolutely not.

    I seem to recall a similar album that had the challenging job to overcome the hugely successful "OK Computer," and wound up in a place of personal reflection and exploration. It was not an album that achieved notoriety upon release and took a good amount of time to realize the intimacy that was "Kid A." Readers, "The King of Limbs" is in the same vein - more experience than normal listening.

    Like the song titles imply, beginning with the magnificently clouded "Bloom," the album tinkers the idea of growth, as I'm sure the album will likely grow upon the listener. With a first half textured with electronic drum beats and soundscapes that sound oftentimes lonely and lost, Radiohead seems to have aimed in a direction of truly finding oneself within the sounds, that is until reaching "Lotus Flower," which is by far the most accessible song on the album. The groove is representative to efforts on "Hail to the Thief," presenting the last half of the album with a greater sense of being found. I wouldn't necessarily call this a concept album, but if there was any way to discover what it is that Radiohead is driving, they've certainly made me want to spend the time searching.

    Radiohead's latest is one that will most certainly be challenging, considering it has to live up to the remarkably successful "In Rainbows." Yet "The King of Limbs" excels in pursuing intimacy in the vein of "Kid A," another album trying to find its voice amidst the huge success of "OK Computer." I'm certainly "The King of Limbs" will find the limbs it needs to grow and become one of Radiohead's considerably better efforts.
  26. Feb 19, 2011
    This is a really beautiful album. It ebbs and flows with beautiful melodies and intricate counter rhythms. I've listened to the album twice and as a veteran Radiohead fan, it will take me at least 20 more listens to fully grasp this short, but very interested album. I love their use of horns, which I haven't heard so prevalent since Kid A. I guarantee that 8 tracks isn't the end, I'm sure we will hear another 6 to 8 tracks to book-end this well crafted album. To all the quick to judge haters...yes, we know The Bends and OK Computer were AMAZING albums, but they are 17 and 14 years old. Bands change and have to evolve their sounds. Just listen, don't judge. This isn't the **** Rolling Stones, they can't just keep kicking out guitar jams for 40+ years. Expand
  27. Feb 19, 2011
    Great Album, grows on you the more you listen to it. I liked Lotus Flower, Give up the Ghost the most. Has a nice haunting flow about it. Thom Yorke as one of the most distinct voices in rock music
  28. Feb 20, 2011
    Really like the new album. Been listening to it for the last two days. It opens up little secrets every time you listen to it. For a band continuing with this quality i hope they´ll never stop!
  29. Feb 20, 2011
    This album may require a few listens to appreciate, but the fact that it may be an acquired taste does not excuse the lack of effort put into this album. It is beautiful at times but it lacks emotion, rhythm, lyrical significance, and is almost completely devoid of any hooks or medley whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, I love alternative rock and I love Kid A and all other Radiohead albums. I also understand that Radiohead isn't a band that focuses on medley, pop, and hooks. However, there is not a song on here that compels me to listen to it more than a few times.
    I think that rabid Radiohead fans will accept any thing that Yorke comes up with no matter what it sounds like. Being weird for the sake of being weird does not make a good album. It sounds like a fat recluse could have created the majority of this album on his PC in his mom's basement.
    Now that every rabid Radiohead fan hates me I will say this...there are good parts to this album and it is by no means a bad or terrible album. It just needs a little more effort and some more guitar.
  30. Feb 23, 2011
    I have every Radiohead album and this is easily the most disappointing. I guess I'm a fan of their earlier stuff because I miss the sound of Pablo Honey, OK Computer and The Bends. Everything after the first three became very unemotional and lifeless to me. I hate wasting money on music I can't even enjoy listening to.
  31. Feb 19, 2011
    Took 7 listens for me to truly appreciate what Radiohead has done here. At the moments I'm loving it but it took a little while to get their. Standouts for me are Codex, Lotus Flower, Little by Little and Separator. Give it a while, it's still the Radiohead we all know and love.
  32. Feb 19, 2011
    Surprisingly accessible upon first listen, The King of Limbs is another masterpiece from English band Radiohead. The last two tracks close out the album beautifully.
  33. Feb 20, 2011
    Clearly, Radiohead did not try to make their most accessible album. However, this album is absolutely brilliant! Every song is so well orchestrated and seems as it has been pulled apart and put back together again. Throughout the album, I felt the first four tracks ask, "Radiohead, where have you been? Oh! Well, this is terrifying." Then as the album continues into the last half I feel the songs say, "It'll be okay. Wake up." I think this is one of those albums where you'll love it or hate it. If ya hate it... hey! give it a second chance. Expand
  34. Feb 20, 2011
    it's not love @ first sight for sho', but that's aight, i'm not gay anyway... And so isnt that LP.
    Long live the king, parse all of those that stayed 17 years ago, climbing up the walls; well, i guess it takes some time to...
  35. Feb 19, 2011
    This is Radiohead at its best: pushing forward while challenging themselves and listeners. It's groovy yet robotic; personal yet disconnected at times; and it is--at moments--terribly beautiful. They even threw in their first ever 80's-style rock ballad with Codex! One of the most engaging things about Radiohead is their polarizing effect. Only the truly great musicians inspire such conflicting thoughts and discussions about their music. Expand
  36. Feb 19, 2011
    After yet another four year wait between albums Radiohead have released their eighth record, The King of Limbs and it does not disappoint. As with any album by the Oxford group it takes time to come to terms with and at first I thought TKOL was mediocre but after listening to the whole album about six times through i can safely say that this is another fantastic Radiohead release. I would say that it is not as immediate as In Rainbows is but some of the tracks here are among their best such as the groovy Lotus Flower. Overall this is a fantastic record and one any fan should buy. Expand
  37. Feb 19, 2011
    Haunting. Beautiful. Psychedelic. Organic. Soulful. Simple. Intense. Heartbreaking. Triumphant. Wonderful. Fresh. Exotic. Familiar. Focused. Poignant. Thrilling. Fantastic.
  38. Feb 20, 2011
    Great, great album! "The King of Limbs" is unique in comparison with anything else that the band has ever done. The album gets better with every listen, and at this point, is among my favorite Radiohead albums!
  39. Feb 21, 2011
    If this were a Thom Yorke project, I'd say it's his most accomplished work to date. As a Radiohead album, however, it ranks just above "Pablo Honey." Flabby, indulgent stuff.
  40. Apr 17, 2012
    I was originally very disappointed with this but the more I listen to this the more I hear. The TKOL live from the basement recording gave me a different perspective on this record and definitely helped me enjoy it more and has just helped it scrape an 8 instead of a 7. In general, this album suffers a little from the fact that its creators are one of the great bands of the last 20 years and therefore expectations are always high. I still think 8 tracks was too short - but if your going for 8 tracks each one has to be very strong. Here we're looking at 5 top quality tracks, 2 good and 1 filler track (Feral, like Hunting Bears on Amnesiac - wouldn't touch anything else the band have done). In my opinion of course. It would have been nice if we could have got another 2 or 3 tracks, especially as the band have released a handful of other tracks on line since the albums release. The inclusion of those tracks would have made all the difference Expand
  41. Feb 22, 2011
    I'm sorry, Radiohead has had more time to come up with more than 8 semi-ambient and climax-less tracks wrapped up in a pretentious (therefore meaningless) package. Where's "The tourist"? Where's "Pyramid Song?" Usually with difficult-to-listen-to-Radiohead albums, there's something that invites me to come in. Not this time. It was just two years ago when In Rainbows opened up with that crazy beat in 5, and this is a melange of songs in 4 that pass by without being remembered, even on second and third listens. I tried, guys. I just feel sorry for those who're going to pay fifty bucks for the newspaper. Expand
  42. Feb 19, 2011
    One review I read said it'd be interesting to see how many people would care if The King of Limbs were Radiohead's second or third album, but that kind of speculation is kind of pointless (in my mind) as glitch and electronica were barely on Pop's radar in the mid-nineties. With that in mind, if this HAD come after the Bends, it probably would've shocked people in 1997 even more than OK Computer (put down your weapons, Pitchfork drones -- I'm not saying that makes TKOL better -- it's not). But I digress.

    This album was challenging. I kept looking for the "easy" songs -- the ones that get you from the start: the "Idioteque", the "Paranoid Android", the "Bodysnatchers", or "Street Spirit" -- and whether there are any songs in TKOL that can match these in immediacy is debatable. There are moments for sure -- the opening of "Bloom" is gorgeous. The snappy driving beat and synth/bass at the end of "Feral" is thrilling. And the surprising left turn and gentle release of the last three songs -- a sharp contrast to the first five -- beautiful in itself. Someone below compared the sounds of TKOL to Four Tet, but to me the opening moments in "Bloom" and "Little by Little" sound like Flying Lotus more than anything else. I read another comparison to Thom's The Eraser, and while the glitch elements make that an easy comparison, the difference in textures and complexity between TKOL and The Eraser is astronomical -- TKOL has horns, acoustic guitars, polyrhythmic layers, and yes, I believe Johnny's odnes martinet makes some subtle appearances. The big non-surprise is that Radiohead have once again done something different from their previous albums -- there is more glitch and pace in these songs than Kid A, and the textures are warmer and more inviting than most of Amnesiac. I have trouble determining at some points when the beats come from Selway or if they're fantastic samples -- (or perhaps both, a la the drums in "Airbag"). The clean, precise, and prominent guitar work found in "In Rainbows" and earlier albums is few and far between here -- but I have no doubt most of these songs will make for amazing live versions. The album is two or three songs shorter than any of their others, clocking in at a dangerous 37+ minutes... but it matches the tight feel of the album. I just looked and found out that "Amnesiac" is 43 minutes, which seems impossible to me -- I love a lot of that album, but it seems to go on forever! Another surprising stat is that TKOL is also almost twenty minutes shorter than the wandering Hail To The Thief. Radiohead has always been interested in creating albums as a whole entity... clearly they thought adding more songs (which I'm sure are out there, but are tucked away for now) might've detracted from the overall work. From a strictly financial point of view, the common perception is generally more music = better value for your money, but I think Radiohead is just on the cusp of too short. And my mp3 version was only 9 bucks -- and hell, they give you a choice -- try finding that price for any best-selling album at Barnes & Noble. I almost gave this an 8, but I realized that was in comparison to Radiohead's other work. I remembered that Metacritic is comparing this music to the work of all the bands out there -- and Radiohead always have so many expectations heaped upon their work, it's easy to sometimes forget to compare them to everyone else, as opposed to just themselves. TKOL still proves they are among the best artists in any medium. Just like every Beatles album couldn't be Rubber Soul or Sgt. Pepper (in terms of musical innovation and impact) not every Radiohead album will be another OK Computer or Kid A. But this still an awesome, exciting work. A lot of people think the internet is shortening our attention spans, and studies are proving that to be true (I bet half the people who started reading my review didn't finish it ;-). It's the good, consciously designed art out there that makes us slow down, take a breath and dig a little deeper. Radiohead have given us that yet again.
  43. Feb 19, 2011
    I downloaded "The King of Limbs" trying to speculate as to what era of Radiohead's career it would most resemble. Would it be a return to Kid A? Was Thom Yorke no longer "bored of melody"? Perhaps it would be an innovative mesh of all Radiohead's previous styles! Upon my first few listens, however, I felt generally underwhelmed. Why, this sounded like none of my predictions! How rude of Thom and the gang to put out something I couldn't immediately contextualize! Despite my initial disappointment, I continued listening as any diligent Radiohead fan would. Upon writing this review, I am on roughly my eighth tour through the album, and (of course) it has improved markedly with each new iteration. Is it because this album's electronic subtleties are more complex than Kid A, its melodic sensibilities, at times, surpass In Rainbows, or that the album forms a more accessible ambience than Amnesiac? Well, yes, but there's more to the story. While all of the above questions are going to invariably be asked, they're all ultimately irrelevant. This is RADIOHEAD, guys. Comparing their newest release to a previous work is exactly the antithesis of what we should be doing for one of the world's most innovative, dynamic bands. The Flying Lotus/glitch-beat influence is evident on songs like "Bloom" and "Feral"; Yorke's unfailing ability to melt one's heart with his OKC-era melodies manifests itself in songs like "Lotus Flower" and "Separator"; the piano balladry reminiscent of "Pyramid Song" and "Videotape" is well-represented on TKOL by songs like "Codex." However, despite all the external context of Radiohead's contemporary influences and their previous work, this album is very much its own, singularly functioning unit. To me, the strength of this album (like all of Radiohead's work) is its ability to create an overall aesthetic whose whole is great than the sum of its parts. Every song, on the surface, is pleasing to the ear and interesting to listen to, but the real magic is the subtle intricacy that each song offers to a diligent listener. The cool bass on "Lotus Flower," the fragile harmonic backdrop to "Separator," and the gradually devolving piano on "Bloom" are all examples of the lower-level intricacies that truly make this album a heady, thought-provoking listening experience that any fan of Radiohead, or music in general, should be able to at least appreciate. Upon writing, I am giving this album a 9, but I can already see myself regretting that low score in a few days' time. This album is a unique, complex, and downright pretty grower. Buy it. Expand
  44. Feb 19, 2011
    I'll be honest; the first time I listened to this, I was half-asleep. My roommate woke up at 7 am on Friday, somehow discovered that the album had been released a day early and decided to play it in its entirety twice while I vacillated between sleep and excitement. But by my third time through the album, for one of which I was finally wholly awake, something struck me: this Radiohead album seemed too familiar. For a band defined by its redefinition with every album, Radiohead seemed disturbingly reminiscent, pulling far too many elements from previous work. A day later, and I would say that Radiohead has once again done exactly what they are best at: redefinition. For despite all of its reminiscence, â Expand
  45. Feb 19, 2011
    Codex and Lotus are average at best, the rest of the album sounds like filler for a solo album. Musically its a side step for a band capable of offering so much more. This album leaves most fans thirsty and hungry for more. Whilst disappointing to have only 8 tracks Radiohead maybe holding a trick up its sleeve (Part 2???), however, as we are learning Radiohead are wanting to be different. Only for die hard fans who'd think the sound of Thom Yorke blowing his nose would class this offering as a masterpiece. Expand
  46. Web
    Feb 20, 2011
    It's a quality album, but a difficult album to place. In the context of evolution, I don't see it being very far beyond prior albums in a vertical sense, and not so different from prior albums in a horizontal sense. It lacks the emotional range of "In Rainbows," which was a more complete, more diverse album to my ear. "The King of Limbs" is rather an exploration and a refinement of a particular sound: intricate, cut and paste rhythms that mix acoustic and electronic percussion, layers of single note krautrock guitar lines, altered keyboards, crafty string and horn arrangements, bass lines that drift from the tonic note to give a song more motion, all crowned with Yorke's reverb soaked abstractions. It's an inimitable sound, and they seem to use the short space of this album to hone it the best they possibly can. But the majority of it's successes in the evolutionary sense are hidden from the casual listener, who cannot distinguish the subtleties as well as avid Radiohead listeners. Other critics have commented that the band has retreated back into its shell after the success of 'In Rainbows.' There is some truth to that sentiment. It's more introverted, less concerned with connecting us all or showing us something incredible; less triumphant in a word. At the same time, it's more intimate than most reviewers have given it the chance to be. They aren't turning giving us the cold shoulder. Check out the video to 'Lotus Flower.' That's a man bearing himself. Musically, the songs are well-composed, with all of the usual Radiohead trimmings and subtleties, perhaps more subtlety than any other album. Something that cannot be said enough about this band is that they are all fine musicians and that they never become content with being fine musicians only. They strive more than any other band, and it takes a very concentrated listen to glean everything they are offering. To touch on the lyrics, I'd say there is at least something to be desired, particularly after the excellent lyrics of "In Rainbows." I agree with most of the reviews I've read that the latter half of the album is stronger, and that 'Codex' is the finest song on the album, adding that it's, in my opinion, the most controlled song of their catalogue. 'Give Up The Ghost' is a gem as well, one that I predict many people will enjoy more as they hear it more. My main criticism of the album is that it's simply not enough given the four-year gap. I'm privy to the rumor that this may not be the entirety of what's to be released this year, and I can only say that it will elevate my feelings toward this album if I know it's not the complete product. How hard it is to meet expectations when you are the greatest band around I can only imagine, but this album is in no way a failure, if not a mind-blowing success. Expand
  47. Feb 21, 2011
    Like the namesake tree, The King of Limbs slowly reveals its majesty through the twilit fog of layered ambience and funky brambles of rhythmic complexity. This may be their most classically taut collection, less experimental than Kid A and Amnesiac, more layered and subtle than Hail to the Thief and In Rainbows. A deep sense of mystery and even mysticism reigns throughout, a feeling of ancient things struggling to speak. And although dominated more than ever by electronics, Radiohead's sound here feels remarkably organic, earthy, even pagan. The result is the most sonically cohesive collection of songs since Kid A, reaching out of alienation to a sense of connectedness with the world that is nonetheless disorienting for all its prettiness. Expand
  48. Oct 12, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. For most bands, an album like TKOL would be a career high. For Radiohead, it was a friday. It's not an accessible album, like it's predecessor In Rainbows, and is sonically dense. Layers upon layers are carefully peeled back each time you listen through to slowly reveal the true heart of the songs, more of their mystery is unravelled in the accompanying remix album, and even then, months later, some tiny detail that skipped your attention will suddenly become a vital part of the song. I don't expect it to become a general favourite, but for those who are into this kind of thing it is a stunning odyssey through a forest of sonic experimentation, produced carefully enough to hear the individual leaves. Taking that metaphor even further, the album is as varied as the forest itself can be. "Bloom" emerges into a lost world of intricate rhythms and trills of melody, the strange creatures of the woods looking on as you stumble through their world. "Morning Mr Magpie" is a frantic chase through the undergrowth, antagonistic and acussatory. "Little by Little" is far out of sight of civilization, almost leaving behind those "routines and shedules, a drug that kills you" in exchange for the freedom to roam through the ancient trunks and twisted branches of its domain. "Feral" is what trees do at night when you're not looking. As the small hours of the night approach, "Lotus Flower" cavorts in secret glades under moonlight, promising all of nature's secrets. If there is indeed an "empty space inside [your] heart where the weeds take root" then this has the power to "set you free". As the moon sets, the forest lies still and there's "no one around". "Codex" is a slow introspective walk through the trees, reflecting on these secrets. Dawn approaches, and birds in the branches above flit back and forth between branches, oblivious to your presence. Here is where you "Give up the Ghost" and become part of this forest. "Separator" finally burst out from the trunks into full daylight, like waking up from a "long and vivid dream". Retreat into nature is the heart of The King of Limbs and is an interesting counterpoint to earlier albums which dealt with the isolation of life in a high speed urban world. Over the course of their career, they have left this urban paranoia, journeyed through endless suburbia, and finally emerged, free, into the forest. Radiohead sound happy on this album, specifically in closing track "Separator" where Yorke sings "If you think this is over then you're wrong" with guileless joy. Expand
  49. Feb 20, 2011
    Amazing. I love the return to experimentation and beautiful atmospherics. This album tops In Rainbows for me. A multilayered listen which requires the attention of the listener, it is not as immediately accessible as In Rainbows was. But neither was Kid A, an album which has proven over time to be one of Radiohead's, and modern music's, most beloved. Radiohead have clearly, true to form, expanded their influences greatly, with elements of Burial and dubstep in "Feral," further exploration of IDM in most songs, and most strikingly, gorgeous ambient sounds reminiscent of Boards of Canada in album closer "Separator," one of the most beautiful pieces of music of the last few years. This album is Radiohead at their unconventional best; never predictable and ever-changing. Any fan of music must give this a fair listen, and any fan of Radiohead's music will find "The King of Limbs" to be another brilliant foray into new sonic exploration. Highly recommended. Expand
  50. Feb 22, 2011
    Why do they feel the need of constant radical innovation, instead of building upon what they have already achieved and work for perfection, with some gradual incorporation of new ideas? Why not build on the phenomenal OK, Computer and stand tall and strong instead of being shaky and confused in unchartered waters with each new album?

    Experiments in sound-sculpting, texturing,
    sound-scapes, mixing all types of musical styles -- from Penderecki and Terry Reilly to Krautrock to Post-rock and god knows what else -- all that and even more, but no, not much music in this album, nothing expressive (except for endless gloom), nothing that matters. Reminds of Kid A and Amnesiac (which I love) but doesn't even get close to those. A side experiment, a joke maybe, a teaser... No, no, and no. Expand
  51. Feb 22, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Disappointing album, to much influence by flying lotus, where´s the rock? if you have to listen "The Kings Of Limbs" several times to like it, it´s not a very good sign to consider a good album. The same sound of the last couples of radiohead´s albums. Expand
  52. Feb 26, 2011
    If there was ever an album that was created to cure insomnia, this would be it. A soulless effort from a band that has so many talents, too bad it was wasted on incessant beats. A great disappointment.
  53. Feb 25, 2011
    Nausea-inducing trash that people force themselves like just because its radiohead. This is yet another step in the wrong direction for band that was evolving quite well up until the last few albums. I've already seen some people who genuinely hated this album after first listen, but have slowly but surely changed their minds based on critics' overrating of this album.
  54. Mar 3, 2011
    AWFUL Album!!! For a band called by critics revolutionary, Radiohead became very repetitive in the last 4 records. Any review of this new album could be used for the previews ones. The drum-n-beat is the same. The dark mood is the same. The lack of creativity is the same. For a band that gave us "The Bends", "OK Computer" and "Amnesiac", this album is extremely disapointing and must be inserted as a b-sides collection. If a had a chance to tell them I will say "It´s time to renovate or Radiohead will be live in the shadows of the past". Expand
  55. Feb 19, 2011
    Radiohead's 8th album leaves me very satisfied. I'm glad they're trading in conventional guitar hooks, breaking off and making nebulous, groove-laden, eerie music. When I first heard the album, I liked it a lot, and thought "it sounds so cohesive as to be one long song". But I knew the songs would differentiate themselves in time, and after a few listens, the personality of each song revealed itself. This album makes In Rainbows sound like a collection of songs, and a very good collection at that. But this is an artistic statement in the sense that it flows perfectly from beginning to end. Awesome. Expand
  56. Feb 23, 2011
    Probably the bands most elusive record to date. I was not disappointed and find myself strangely drawn to it. I've listened to it more times in the first few days then any other Radiohead album. I found it most similar to Amnesiac, but it really is quite different than anything else they've released. To me the vocals were most interesting and immediately stood out, and Thom dominates on many of the tracks. I can see why people are comparing it to his solo work in that sense, but this album is much better than Eraser.

    The music and vocals are densely layered and the album feels more like a single soundscape rather than a collection of songs. It meanders along, draws you in slowly, and keeps you coming back for more. There is really a lot here to digest and some songs sounded completely different to me after repeated listens. On that note, it's difficult to pick standout tracks. I think I like Morning Mr. Magpie and Give Up the Ghost best, but that could easily change in the next few days.
  57. Feb 19, 2011
    At the moment this is the third review I have written for this album and I can now say that it is definitely not a bad album and eventually grows on you. While there is no doubt that it is not one of Radiohead's best albums it is still a good listen. The main disappointment with this album is how short it is. Only 37 minutes and 8 songs for $14 (I bought WAV version; $9 for lower quality MP3) is borderline $2 a song which is just way too much. I definitely feel like I have been ripped off a little by this album. I recommend getting the $9 MP3 version because I have tested the two versions and found that the audio quality is almost exactly the same, so save yourself the $5 (if you're considering buying the album). So this is my final verdict on The King of Limbs; a good album that doesn't necessarily live up to the Radiohead standard. Who knows, maybe they'll do what they did with Kid A (another short Radiohead album) and release a 19 song album (deluxe version of Amnesiac not including live performances) before the end of next year. Expand
  58. Feb 19, 2011
    Anybody complaining about the sound quality must be listening to the mp3s on crummy headphones. Above all else these songs are richly produced, although maybe a little too doused in reverb. Wish there were some catchier moments, but that totally doesn't hurt the feel of the album as a whole. Do agree that the first part feels a little less structured, but totally sets up well for the mellowness of the second half, which is arguably more like the Radiohead we've come to know. I don't know about these songs being better than anything they've done before... but that's not even the point. Very haunting and beautiful and perfectly constructed, even if it's not the best collection of songs they've ever released. Come on, people. It's Radiohead. They CAN do wrong. And when they do, I can guarantee you people won't just eat it up. This is NOT them doing wrong: more like them testing the waters. Expand
  59. Feb 19, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Who the F**** is Arcade Fire?!!??! Expand
  60. Feb 20, 2011
    Amazing album, Radiohead continue to do what they do best: innovate and pave the way for the rest of the music business. Possibly one of their top three albums
  61. Feb 21, 2011
    After giving a few full listens and discussing this album with a number of friends, all huge Radiohead fans, I am willing to say that this is the World Debut of the Second Mediocre Radiohead Album (Pablo Honey being the first, of course). Of course, a seven would be good for another band, but its sub-par for this band, and this album is just that for me. There are a few good songs, but I don't get a cohesive flow from their selection and placement, and the short tracklist makes literally half the album consist of B-side grade songs. I almost feel like this is a Disc 2 to a full album, a la the In Rainbows extra disc. Or maybe an extension of The Eraser, the style of which this album bears striking resemblance for me. And just like The Eraser, it has some gems but ultimately comes off as far less dynamic than previous Radiohead releases, and almost lifeless by comparison. Something's missing in these songs; some passion hasn't made it to the recording studio, not like the emotion you hear through the middle of Hail, the beginning of In Rainbows, or any of Ok Computer. Even the sometimes-sanitized feel of Amnesiac makes for brilliant (and some of my favorite) moments of emotional outburst. This just feels stale to me. Expand
  62. Feb 26, 2011
    On first listen I quite enjoyed this album. However, it really doesn't hold up well on repeated listens. What i shocking for me that there is really only one track- Codex - that induces or even attempts to induce a strong EMOTIONAL response from the listener. This from the band that gave as the emotional tour de forces of OK Computer, The Bends, and even Kid A/In Rainbows.

    I give it
    four stars as I can appreciate the technical elements of the music. And there are some interesting sounds and rhythmic structures going on in some of the songs. But art such as this, that elicits purely an intellectual response, is not really art at all. I like the Radiohead that writes music that makes you feel alive with anger, sadness or even hope. This doesn't need to "safe" music. No surprises, Paranoid Android, Lucky etc, were not safe, unoriginal songs. But they were great songs. Nothing on here compares. Expand
  63. Mar 4, 2011
    Ok, guys, where's the real album you've kept so many of us waiting for many years??? In a couple of months, you'll release the innovative, mind bending, musical masterpiece and this whole "King of Limbs" business will just be a prank played on devoted listeners, right? Please tell me this underachieving pile of musical and lyrical mediocrity (mediocre for Radiohead) is just a mirage in the shape of a Fourtet of Flying Lotuses. Anyone who rates this a 10 is putting this album up with their best. Please don't do that. Expand
  64. Mar 4, 2011
    I'm surprised so many people like this album. It doesn't sound like it was made or recorded as (or even by) a full band. Fragmented ideas layered together by somewhat interesting rhythms but unfortunately lacking in all other areas, especially in melody. They can't all be gems I suppose.
  65. Mar 10, 2011
    Ok, Look, This record sucks and I love Radiohead, I loved In Rainbows, Kid A, Ok Comp and even Amnesiac & Hail to the thief had it's moments. I didn't care for Pablo Honey but's that's the only one until now. This sounds like a delux edition Amnesiac with 8 bonus never released tracks. I promise & I mean promise 97% of you will NOT be listening to this say 2 or more months from and not a damn one of are going to put this even near the top of your Favorite RH records. This seems like a Thom only record with a few helping hands from the rest of the band. What a shame. Expand
  66. May 14, 2011
    Been a fan for over 15 years now, my favorite albums are Kid A, Hail to the Thief, and I loved The Eraser.
    I had to give this album some points because I love Yorke's voice no matter what music is under it, also there were a few good songs, however, the good songs from this album would be the mediocre songs on any other album in my opinion. For the most part, to me, the album is pretty
    bland... too minimalistic, slow, not much in the way of melodies, and personally I like Radiohead to rock out every once in a while on their albums. I'm a die-hard fan like anyone else, but I have no problem admitting when a worshipped band's new album isn't up to par, even when that bands name is Radiohead, due to Thom Yorke and a few of the songs this album is just barely "ok". Expand
  67. Jun 30, 2011
    The top gets an 8 and the bottom a 10.

    Sorry for the high score, Radiohead.

    Sorry because I'm pretty sure the band is elated. They know they released an excellent record, meanwhile confounding many of their listeners. Thom et al. now get some respite from the artistically dangerous ass-kissing and groveling.

    Thus, sorry. Your latest rocks, Radiohead.
  68. May 5, 2012
    The best album from Radiohead. Simply AMAZING. It gives you such amazing feelings. The album art is the perfect compliment to the music, which is eerie, driving, colorful, diverse, intense, and powerful all at the time. I can't get enough of this. I love it. Believe it or not, this is the album that got me into Radiohead! I love it dearly. A true gift from the best band there has ever been on earth. Expand
  69. Feb 26, 2011
    The King of Limbs is an album in which Radiohead depends on you, the listener, to have followed them down the rabbit hole of sonic experimentation, where they have taken residence ever since the release of Kid A. If you have not kept up with them, or haven't listened to anything other than Ok Computer or The Bends, do not listen to this album. It will not make sense to you. In many ways, this album picks up exactly where they left off. Very similar effect and guitar tones, odd rhythms and nearly impossible to understand lyrics sung from a falsetto Yorke. It is very easy to think that this album, for the first time, is more of the same from Radiohead. But well I don't think it's a complete reinvention of themselves, it certainly is the other side of the sound they created during the In Rainbows sessions.
    Think of it like this: if music is an army, and you, the listener, are a fortress, In Rainbows and The King of Limbs are two different strategies for the same army to take you down. In Rainbows saw the front gates, organized, and charged you down. The King of Limbs, however, surrounds you, cuts off your food supply, and waits for you to go out and attack it.
    Let me explain: In Rainbows was catchy, it had a driving beat, you could hear the guitars front and center doing interesting things. Without trying too hard, even if you just have the CD playing in the background, something will catch your ear, and you will like it. With the King of Limbs, this is not the case at all. If you don't actively engage the music as you're listening to it, you won't like it.
    Radiohead has the spotlight, they are one of the largest and most discussed bands on the planet. They do not need to demand your attention anymore, they have it. They know that no matter what they put out, you will buy it, and listen to it over and over until you've had enough. One way or another, you will get this CD, and you will listen to it, over, and over, and over.

    Before you think it's cold, and heartless music by name only, listen closely. There's beauty there. Find it.
  70. Feb 21, 2011
    King Of Limbs is definitely a grower, that much is for sure, but if you let TKOL grow on you, you will find Radioheads most detailed and complex album yet. TKOL begins with bloom, the bands best opener since well, ever in my opinion. morning mr magpie is tough to get ahold of but when you do it becomes a captivating listen. Little by little is the closest thing to a rock song and i use the term loosely. Little by little is a great song that demands you to move your body. It is followed by their best all electronic song since idioteque, in feral. Feral clicks and whirrs and the vocal effects are completely haunting. Lotus flower, the first single is one of the bands best songs in recent memory, but Codex is the best. Codex is strikingly gorgeous and surpassed my expectations completely. Give up the ghost and separator close out the album beautifully, giving us another perfect 10 radiohead album. its not for everyone, but if you appreciate Radioheads new direction it is in a class of its own Expand
  71. Feb 19, 2011
    The King of Limbs...The King indeed. I was hesitant to listen after waiting for so long, and having my expectations climb. But amazingly, my expectations were met, and then some. "Bloom" set the mood, being a great continuation of In Rainbows. It isn't my favorite song on the album, but I feel that it is the best pick for the opener. "Morning Mr Magpie" was a nice change from Bloom. It is more upbeat, and impossible not to nod your head to. "Feral", the instrumental piece, is my least favorite. It's fine, and I think that it plays an important role in the album, but I won't be listening to it as often as the others. "Lotus Flower" is one of my favorites, with its basic chillness about it. "Codex" is by far the best, in my opinion. Despite the rather depressing lyrics, it's the only song that really captured me out of the whole album. "Give Up The Ghost" is very chill, and gives the listener another break from the usual Radiohead "craziness" per say. "Separator" is a track that easily ends the album, but can also leave the listener ready for more. Eight tracks are not enough for me, but I hope that sooner than not, another album will be released. Radiohead lived up to everything we were hoping for yet again. It is reminiscent of In Rainbows, but a darker version, more of a continuation than another album altogether. This album was worth the wait, completely. I highly recommend it to any Radiohead fan. Expand
  72. Feb 19, 2011
    If only I could afford it, I'd buy hundreds of copies of The KoL.

    It would be the least I could do for what they have gotten me through over the years.
  73. Feb 18, 2011
    It sounds like a DJ remix of the real album, but where is the real album? Radiohead's weakest album, but I'm still giving it a 7 while I wait to see if this really is the real thing.
  74. Feb 20, 2011
    Top album. It's not their upfront classic, but they really pushed themselves for this record. All those different feelings and styles, it's truly unbelievable. Radiohead, the most significant band of the last 2 decades, and maybe even for this decade.
  75. Feb 19, 2011
    this album starts where "push pull revolving door" ends. its a beautiful, complex and, most of all, grown album by a band that does not cease to amaze. it wont fit the "computer fans" - u all can go listen to muse. on the start of "bloom", the albums first track, thom yorke shouts "open your mouth wide" cause this wont be easy to swallow. true, this is not an easy album but thom and co owe nothing to no one...and that's why their music continue to evolve and "push/pull" our minds. this album will grow on u if u like it or not, the beats will eventually be your heart beats, thoms vocals will itch and scratch ur skin and in 8 years u will say its album of the decade. Expand
  76. Feb 19, 2011
    Radiohead mercilessly melt faces again! Each song- Diamonds of the purest quality. Yorke's blistering falsetto glows- tender like great soul singers of past (Sam Cooke, Redding, Brown). Foremost contributer Colin greenwood, Tares silence with chainsaw bass-lines of delicious groove. Selway creates amazing energy and dissonance, stapling each song with jazz blasts and light concussions that would find themselves right at home on some early Brian Eno ( which brings to heart a strong resemlance to the late talking Head masterpiece "Remain In Light") Radiohead strips away the need to create new found territory and relishes in great works from the past; subtly perfecting a formula of creative brilliance! With a sleak runtime of 38 minutes radiohead taps into the psyche of the modern man - a record built for the morning jog, drive to work, late night **** Radiohead repeats on the mysteriously titled SEPARATOR- "If you think this is over, then your wrong". Should they flood us with another release soon-> This listener wouldn't be surprised. Every previous Radiohead release has yielded vast amounts of wonderful material. Lets cross our fingers! ---Music this good doesn't come 'round very often- Go to bed with your unworthy compliments. Radiohead more than any other have earned the right to be completely devoid of **** Let freedom ring. The King of Limbs yearns for a world rid of toxicity- Save the flowers as this record will have it. 10/10 Expand
  77. Feb 20, 2011
    Brilliance never ceases to exist from this band. Anyone who pidgins them into the "irrelevant electronic" genre doesn't listen to their music. They have evolved like no other in terms of studio album growth. Period. I have the highest standards when it comes to tunes, and if for some reason you cannot appreciate Radiohead's genius in the studio, please move on and listen to something catchier...These artists are the BEST that music has to offer, and so much more. This may not supplant "In Rainbows" in its entirety but those expectations are ridiculously high. I love this band and always will, they give me hope of what music can/should be: Creative. Expand
  78. Feb 20, 2011
    The King Of Limbs contains moments of real beauty, it just needs to be given the time and space to really sink in. the last four tracks in particular show a band evolving in a very gentle, natural way, and they're some of the finest songs they've ever produced. the first four tracks are more frantic, but no less brilliant, particularly the busy 'morning mr magpie' and ethereal 'bloom'. seriously, if you're unsure, just give it more time. this is a fantastic radiohead album. this is what a new radiohead album sounds like, and if that's what you want, then you'll adore this record. Expand
  79. Feb 20, 2011
    Radiohead's most consistent effort since OK Computer, The King of Limbs manages to sound manic and mature simultaneously. The grooves rush, layers build only to drop suddenly, melodies anticipate each other. But this time the songs and sounds seem to issue from the same place. The King of Limbs confirms our suspicions: experiments begun on Kid A have taken us somewhere worth going.
  80. Feb 21, 2011
    Radiohead continues to put forth some of the most interesting, multidimensional music out there. This album might take a few listens - but it's definitely worth every minute.
  81. Feb 21, 2011
    Radiohead lost themselves somewhere back around OK Computer. What we've had in their last 4 albums or so is a completely different and lesser band. I really enjoyed a lot their work on Kid A, Amnesiac, etc. In Rainbows took some listening to get used to and eventually I enjoyed it as I'm sure will be the case here. The problem for me is that they keep getting better and better at a style of music I don't much care for. It's too slow, quiet, navel-gazing and minimal. Do they even still have guitars? I like the album as it is, Little by Little is quite good, Bloom has its fun parts, but overall this isn't what I want from them. I rate this a 6 because they've done this album very well (for the style), but it isn't higher because while it is well put together, it is not what I actually want from them. I want some guts, some oomph, some power. What they continue to give us is anemic and tired. Expand
  82. Feb 23, 2011
    first of all, ignore any reviews that were written during within the first few days of its release. it is useless, careless, and offensive of you to think you can digest any radiohead album in such a short span of time as they require many, many listens in a variety of moods, times of day, situations, listening devices, etc. having done that myself, and considering myself a pretty devoted radiohead fan, i have come to the conclusion that, while certainly not their best album, it is a beautiful and unique statement from a band that somehow seems to make beautiful and unique albums every time. it's another radiohead album. Expand
  83. Oct 3, 2011
    I cannot write this review without using the word â
  84. Feb 24, 2013
    I honestly don't understand the people despairing of a lack of musical hooks in this album... it's chock full of rhythm and melody. If you are after the climactic kind of noise they pulled off in earlier work, then maybe I'd understand your disappointment that is, I'd understand it if this wasn't the same band that released Kid A back in 2000. Radiohead have been a much mellower and more experimental band for more than a decade now, and they continue down the same avenue of sonic exploration here and it's awesome. The subtle guitars, the electronic wizardry, the bass, and the layers of vocals all contain a wealth of strong, beautiful intertwining melodies; the rhythm section is frequently wonderfully creative and energetic; and the whole album is brought together with a bunch of weird, schizophrenic sonic oddities which are brilliantly encapsulated by the spectral album art. The album does not feel to short; I'd much rather have an album densely packed with great tracks than something sprawling with filler like Hail to the Thief. "Good Morning Mr. Magpie", "Little By Little", "Lotus Flower", and "Give Up The Ghost" are top notch Radiohead tracks; and "Codex" may be among their very best work. I have honestly never been so moved by a song before. As long as you're not allergic to anything which isn't a rock anthem, you'll love this. Expand
  85. Dec 24, 2012
    I stumbled upon this album by accident. It's not one of my favourite genres, but hell, I love it!
    I don't know, something about it is really dark, which I really enjoy. It's nice and light, what with it being under 40 minutes.
    This album and Biophilia are certainly at the top of the Experimental Rock Albums of 2011.
  86. Nov 14, 2012
    It's one of their best albums to date, as always, they deliver excellent rock music with their alternative and yet unexpected sounds; not as flawed as "In Rainbows" but surely TKOL deserves its place as the best album from the 2011
  87. Feb 19, 2013
    Eerie, dark, and mysterious. This album, as a concept, is fantastic. Picture yourself in a forest, full moon seeping through the tree cover with shadows playing tricks in the corner of your eye. They are still using Pixies influenced loud/quiet dynamics as good as ever, adding layers that you can't hear through a poor quality speaker. You definately need to turn up the volume to understand what they are trying to do with the subtle stabs of jolted sounds and echoed feedback, which accounts for a stunning leveled soundscape. Simply amazing. Expand
  88. Apr 29, 2013
    I'll be honest, I liked The King Of Limbs. It's Radiohead's shortest album to date, and is the least accessible. While The King Of Limbs doesn't tune up at all to "In Rainbows" or "Kid A", it's a great record for dedicated fans. The King Of Limbs is more experimental, and more electronic than it's predecessor. While it doesn't live up to all of it's expectations, The King Of Limbs is still deep, beautiful, and sometimes catchy. Radiohead's new direction in their sound isn't mediocre, but isn't very applicable to newer listeners. Expand
  89. Feb 24, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The King Of Limbs is one of the best albums of radiohead. Better than In Rainbows, and more expermiental than ever, they come back for give us a excellent albums. I can say it without any problems: RADIOHEAD IS BETTER THAN EVER. Expand
  90. Feb 22, 2011
    Radiohead's eighth borrows elements from previous catalog - the abstract electronic found in Kid A, the funky beats from Amnesiac, and the beauty from In Rainbows. It's also influenced by Thomâ
  91. May 2, 2011
    A quirky album, to be sure, more in the vein of "Amnesiac" than "In Rainbows". This isn't "Eraser 2" as many has tried to compare it to: it has much more warmth and you can hear the group dynamic that was almost completely missing from Yorke's solo effort. I was a bit disappointed with the album's brief length, but there still a lot of good music here, particularly "Lotus Flower" "Codex" and "Give Up The Ghost" for me. Those looking for another album like In Rainbows will certainly be disappointed, as we see a return to the more distant and electronic sound of "Hail To The Thief" here. Expand
  92. Jul 8, 2011
    It took some time to get into this album, but wow, just wow. So much brilliance, so much uniqueness, so much Radiohead. It's experimental, it's strange, it's art. Pick this up immediately and you will not be disappointed.
  93. Mar 5, 2011
    It's definitely solid, but I'm afraid King Of Limbs doesn't have the same wow-factor that In Rainbows, Kid A, OK Computer et al brought with them; it's exactly what we've come to expect from Radiohead and, even worse, where once they pioneered new trends and ideas in the music world they seem to have run out of originality here and are instead pillaging the recent dubstep/glitch trends of the likes of FlyLo and Jon Hopkins. However, the songs are very good I have to admit, particularly Lotus Flower; Give Up The Ghost and Separator are both standouts too; and while the first half is easily the more 'difficult', it's also the most profoundly growing (Morning Mr Magpie is becoming a clear favourite for me). But my problem is the lack of that one song that really makes me go, Wow, they've done it again, the one that stays with me for years. Fake Plastic Trees, Exit Music, How To Disappear Completely, Pyramid Song, There There, Nude. King Of Limbs has nothing to follow that string of greats, and for that reason it will always seem a lesser album to me, because even though the overall quality of Hail To The Thief and Amnesiac is less they are at least redeemed by the offerings that really rise above the pack. I love Radiohead, but I wish they'd had the courage to do something more original and less (seemingly) intentionally provocative - maybe next time. Expand
  94. Mar 27, 2012
    It's just ridiculous and pathetic to read comments comparing The King Of Limbs to Pablo Honey, The Bends or OK Computer and if you will not step out of your comfort zone to listen to the tracks then I expect any bad adjectives you will tag with to this album. The Kings Of Limbs is simply groundbreaking, unprecedented and brilliant! The end.
  95. Feb 21, 2011
    Once again, Radiohead have crafted an album that not only satisfies me, but surpasses my lofty expectations. This is the band that all others should aspire to be. Not in sound, but in creative evolution and consistent greatness. Radhiohead have just released their 7th masterpiece in a row, not only according to fans, not only according to critics, but both. I cannot think of another band today (or in the past) that has had such consistent greatness. Each album evolves naturally from the last, and breaks new ground. These guys from Abingdon know what they're doing more than any other artist in music today. Expand
  96. Feb 21, 2011
    My first listen; "Wow, that might be their worst album since Pablo Honey. 'Feral' sucks!"
    My eighth listen; "Wow, that might be their best album since Kid A. 'Feral' is my favourite!"

    It's quiet, dark, and mossy, but it will eventually shine a light back on you.
  97. Feb 22, 2011
    Neither here nor there. Radiohead treading water at the high plateau of their career? A band would be damned lucky to debut with this LP. As it is, Radiohead have had it carte blanche for so long, they scarcely resemble their origins, but their direction hasn't lead them to an evolutionary dead end either. King of Limbs is a highly competent album, born from very very talented musicians, exploring their own curiosities in a very unindulgent and disciplined way. It feels almost calculated. Music and the world have changed dramatically since the Bends and OK Computer, and Radiohead has kept pace, but lost the initiative. They no longer push innovation, but who does in this nebulous industry anymore anyway? Those who miss those particular records will rejoice in the undying banality of acts like Cold Play. Now that I have sufficiently prefaced my unqualified opinion, I will finish by saying this album is just on the high end of okay, neither great nor terrible, and certainly rewarding a little diligence. Expand
  98. Feb 24, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A solid effort, which is weird coming from Radiohead. I'm used to being blown away by this band, and this time it didn't happen. At first, I hated this album. The I've listened to it more, gave it a chance and now I just like it. Lotus Flower is a fantastic song, and so is Morning Mr. Magpie. This isn't a rock album by any means of the word, it's an electronica album, and you can have to accept it, and in my opinion that's what keeps it from becoming a great album. It doesn't seem like a complete effort from the whole album. Seems like it should be York's second solo album. They have 3 great guitarists and there's hardly any guitar used in it. The computerized drumming is just repulsive, and so is some of the other electronic effects used on the album. I wishing for something different, but instead I got this; a so-so album from one of the best bands in the last two decades. Expand
  99. Feb 21, 2011
    Many thoughts rushed through my head upon first hearing this album. Track 1 seemed to be a mess. I found myself wondering "what happened to Jonny!?" and "Where's Phil!?" This album is definitely heavy on the electronic drums and sparse on Greenwood's electrifying riffs. I thought I was disappointed at first, but as many others have said, upon subsequent listening, each track has grown on me. I "get it" now. I didn't wait 3 years for Radiohead to release another "OK Computer" or "Kid A." I waited 3 years for Radiohead to release something DIFFERENT, something CHALLENGING. Something that is going to keep me coming back for more. Like a birthday gift that you have to unwrap one square inch at a time, your appreciation has grown beyond your expectations when you finally "open it up."
    Get it?
    This is not Radiohead's best album. But Radiohead are on a musical plateau so far removed from everything else that it doesn't matter. An '8' for Radiohead is an '800' for any other band. Hopefully that provides some perspective.
    Give it a listen, then listen again. You'll be glad you did.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Dec 14, 2011
    There's just incredible depth to The King Of Limbs, and if you're impatient, you'll miss it.
  2. May 24, 2011
    It's been a long time since Radiohead made records with an eye toward anything more than satisfying the band's own creative impulses, if it ever did. Those who are prepared to stick it out, though, may well find The King of Limbs worth the wait.
  3. May 16, 2011
    They've delivered their biggest surprise to date. A record that falls short for its constituent parts. [May 2011, p.100]