The King of Limbs

  • Record Label:
  • Release Date:
The King of Limbs Image
Metascore
80

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

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 557 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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 200
  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 18, 2011
    9
    Radioheads latest album, "The King of Limbs", is similar to their previous ones, in that it takes several listens to fully appreciate. TheRadioheads 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
  4. Feb 22, 2011
    8
    I wasn't really expecting anything, or expecting this to even be, but I am glad it exists... I just wish there was more of it. There isI wasn't really expecting anything, or expecting this to even be, but I am glad it exists... I just wish there was more of it. There is something unique about its tone, it's subdued, sort of molten production, it's almost forgetableness that allows forces repeated listens. Bits and pieces come back to you when you aren't listening but where they actually are on the album can be hard to place. Nothing about this album is immediate but it doesn't seem that much is permanent either, after 15+ listens I'm still left wanting more. It's also hard for me to forget Thom's dominance on this record; it certainly does, as many have pointed out, feel like a Thom Yorke solo album. Which isn't a bad thing but it isn't a great thing either. I have hopes for a part 2 because being a fan for so long I can sense that something is missing but will that happen? I doubt it. All I can really say is I'm glad to have it and also glad I didn't pay 48$ for it. Expand
  5. Feb 19, 2011
    8
    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 andRadiohead 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
  6. Feb 21, 2011
    7
    When you first hear a new Radiohead album, you should expect by now to be thrown for a loop, and this one is no exception. This one hearkensWhen you first hear a new Radiohead album, you should expect by now to be thrown for a loop, and this one is no exception. This one hearkens back to the skittish Kid-A/Amnesiac sound, but probably even more closely resembles Thom Yorke's solo album. As with all of the above, this album takes a few listens to digest. But like Amnesiac and The Eraser, the ultimate reward falls significantly short of Radiohead's best. Many of the songs tend to loop ad nauseum over Yorke's mumbled crooning - namely 'Feral' and 'Give Up The Ghost', while others sound like weaker rewrites of past material - 'Codex', while definitely pretty, feels like another 'Pyramid Song', this time without the wonder and majesty. Considering the album is only 8 tracks long, this tends to leave a slightly empty feeling for fans who have heard everything Radiohead has to offer. But even at that, it's a quality product that fans will not want to avoid, and an enjoyable listen. 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 200 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. February's Best New Music

    February's Best New Music Image
    Published: March 1, 2011
    Music critics were in a mellow mood last month, preferring more minimalist and restrained works, including the latest releases from PJ Harvey and Radiohead. Find out more about February's best-reviewed albums, and listen to full songs from each one.