The King of Limbs Image
Metascore
80

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

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7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 503 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: 21 out of 196
  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 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 21, 2011
    10
    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. Expand
  3. Feb 18, 2011
    9
    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 Expand
  4. Feb 24, 2011
    8
    It was difficult to see how Radiohead could improve on In Rainbows and they have done the sensible thing and moved in a different direction. Parts feel more experimental and more sparse than previous efforts. Bloom and Feral are for biggest change in the sound and for me the weakest part - layered electronica, looped, tinny, slightly harsh sounding ...this is no doubt the sound they were going for - I don't care for it, the later half of the album is mellower and has more organic sound which I prefer. I hope the later half is the way they move forward with their next offering, I recall Thom once saying OK Computer was their attempt at Endtroducing by DJ SHADOW, this again feels again like an attempt at that. To a Radiohead fan I would recommend this, to a newbie I would recommend the back catalogue. Expand
  5. Feb 18, 2011
    8
    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
  6. Feb 22, 2011
    7
    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
  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 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 196 User Reviews

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