The Record Lounge: Review 02/28/11 – Radiohead – The King of Limbs

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I decided to give this a few days to simmer, allowing the excitement to die down. And through careful thought and consideration I have arrived to a conclusion: I just do not like Radiohead as much as I feel I should. This is one of those bands that music people are supposed to fawn all over with each release, touting them as simply brilliant and discredit anyone who thinks otherwise. I get it. I guess I just don’t enjoy “IT”.

As the world knows, Radiohead released their 8th full length album, The King of Limbs digitally, a day early, and with about 4 days notice on Feb. 18th. Now this is the part about Radiohead that absolutely excites me. Since taking control of their own destiny, the band is free to do as they please. And they certainly exercise that right. Through the use of technology, innovators Radiohead (and Nine Inch Nails) have broken new ground in how a record can be released. Therefore I love the CONCEPT of Radiohead and their business practices, solidifying that I will support them at all times. I will buy a physical copy of The King of Limbs to further the cause, and each future release as well.

But those physical copies will do no more than sit on a shelf next to their previous releases (minus Pablo Honey – I have only in the past 9 months heard the original version of “Creep”; had no idea there was an f-bomb in place of the radio friendly word “very”) to keep a collection going. Honestly, I find their latest recording cold, and missing everything below the surface of stuttered beats and Thom Yorke’s trademark phrasing, almost an equivalent to modern day R&B/hip-hop minus the hook and groove. And that’s it. That’s all I take away from this record.

Please do not mistake me. I do like Radiohead. I do like some of their records a good bit (Kid A, Amnesiac). And please, do not try to explain to me what I am missing here. What I feel I hear with The King of Limbs is an unfinished product -not only in the actual music but the length and cohesive album form as well. I think their function exceeds the form and output of one of the world’s most “creative” acts. And this disappoints me. I want to LOVE Radiohead like so many of my peers. I really do. But something just doesn’t fully click with me. Almost every time.

The theory of Radiohead and The King of Limbs – A++, the practice of listening to The King of Limbs – C.

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~ by thesynaptic on February 28, 2011.

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