The King of Limbs

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The King of Limbs Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 635 Ratings

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  • Summary: Released a day earlier than expected as a digital download on February 18th, this is the eighth album from the epic, experimental UK five-piece.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. 100
    Like every other album, there are the trademarks we've all come to grow and love from the band and by the end of this, all of the most loving adjectives one could shower on an album will be spread all over The King of Limbs.
  2. Feb 22, 2011
    90
    As with anything that's trying to do something bigger and better, lessons of that magnitude can take more time to sink in, definitely longer than the handful of hours we've had to absorb what The King of Limbs might be all about. In that sense, the jury is still out on The King of Limbs and that's because there's always something more to Radiohead.
  3. Feb 22, 2011
    80
    King Of Limbs is a subtle, muti-layered affair - surprisingly low-key in places, and it certainly won't win back any fans who checked out in the late '90s.
  4. May 24, 2011
    80
    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.
  5. Mar 1, 2011
    70
    Masters of mood that they are, Radiohead digitally weave stuttering, glitchy loops of drums and guitars with real instruments, Thom Yorke's mournful moan and keening falsetto acting as a binding agent, creating an alluringly dour atmosphere.
  6. Mar 8, 2011
    69
    Last time around, on 2007's In Rainbows, the music was just as interesting as all of the hoopla surrounding the album's impromptu, pay-what-you-will release. The King of Limbs cannot boast the same.
  7. Feb 24, 2011
    40
    If this were purely an experimental electronic album, we'd overlook the lack of hooks, but even as such it's not particularly impressive.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 206
  1. Feb 18, 2011
    10
    Radiohead, under the gun of expectation, have not disappointed with their eighth studio album "The King of Limbs." The title itself isRadiohead, 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 20, 2011
    10
    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 inThe 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
  3. Feb 19, 2011
    9
    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
    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.

    BRILLIANT ALBUM 9/10
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  4. Feb 22, 2011
    8
    This is a very solid effort from the greatest band in the world. While it easily pales in comparison to their previous album, In Rainbows,This is a very solid effort from the greatest band in the world. While it easily pales in comparison to their previous album, In Rainbows, it's a nice detour from their normal stuff. An accurate equivalent to this album would probably be Thom Yorke's solo album, or perhaps their Com Lag EP, both ambient and electronic heavy. The biggest problem with King of Limbs is that it feels like an incomplete album, which the number of tracks might suggest. There seems to be a real lack of closure in these songs and none of the songs truly point the album in any sort of direction. Even so, there aren't any true duds on this album and despite a real lack of hooks in these songs, there's an odd catchyness to them. Quite possibly their most enigmatic album to date, if you are a fan of their later works, you will definitely enjoy this one.

    Johnny's songs to not miss: Bloom, Morning Mr Magpie (Best song of the album), Lotus Flower, Separator.

    Johnny's song to skip: Feral
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  5. Apr 17, 2012
    8
    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 meI 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
  6. Feb 22, 2011
    7
    I tried to listen to this album as though it were a band I had never heard before and I felt a 7 would be a fair score. It's good, but it'sI tried to listen to this album as though it were a band I had never heard before and I felt a 7 would be a fair score. It's good, but it's not great. It is thick on electronic experimentation and thin on guitar, some may say similar to Kid A and Amnesiac, but it feels more like a follow up to Eraser than anything. In Rainbows was Radiohead at it's best, King of Limbs is the band deep in experimentation, some of it is good, some of it obscure enough to be listenable but not something you 'need' to listen to. Expand
  7. Mar 18, 2011
    0
    This album is so bad its unlistenable. Once is enough for me and i love Radiohead but then again, i dont listen to KId A either. Crap is crapThis album is so bad its unlistenable. Once is enough for me and i love Radiohead but then again, i dont listen to KId A either. Crap is crap people. If its good i will come back for more. Until then im donating this CD to the salvation army for some poor unsuspecting punter to try and figure out what the hell is going on through his headphones. Expand

See all 206 User Reviews

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