The King of Limbs Image

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

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 512 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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 197
  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 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. 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 25, 2011
    I actually believe this is a complete album, despite the rumors that there's a 'part 2' on the way. Yes, it's short, but it feels complete to me. The first half of the album is dense and complicated, and then it breaks free into a second half that is beautiful and liberating. "Separator" is, in my opinion, the most emotionally satisfying closer Radiohead have pulled off since "The Tourist" from OK Computer. Expand
  5. Feb 22, 2011
    8 songs, 6 of which are good. Not really any TRULY great tracks, but just 4-5 solid ones. Giving up the ghost is quite bad, 'House of Cards bad', and the last song is wishy-washy by radiohead standards. i think with eight songs, it should be tighter to be considered a 9 or 10/10 as some people have reviewed. i haven't decided yet, but this album seems to be on par with In Rainbows. I still consider Ok Computer, Kid A, and Amnesiac their 3 best works. By radiohead standards, this is amongst their weakest efforts, still it is an OK album. Expand
  6. Mar 18, 2011
    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 197 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.