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Review

‘The King of Limbs’ demonstrates musical finesse

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March 3, 2011

Just recently, the musical masterminds called Radiohead released their latest album, simply known as “The King of Limbs.” Prior to its release, I really didn’t hear much advertisement or promotion and, honestly, hadn’t even known they were back in the studio working on an album. But I must say I’m glad to have stumbled upon this fantastic release.

Radiohead has been on the music scene for nearly two decades now and are undoubtedly worldwide rockstars. With their last album release of “In Rainbows” several years ago, I had the good fortune of seeing them while doing a quite rare Midwestern performance as they played live at the Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago. Nearly 100,000 plus ecstatic Radiohead fans were there in the crowd and created a musical experience unlike anything I have ever witnessed. Any way you look at it, that’s one hell of an audience for any band, especially for Midwestern venue.

Yet frankly speaking, that’s the norm for Radiohead. These guys are rockstars in every single essence of the word and constantly sellout venues as large or even larger than that. Every fan was fixated upon watching these guys and the three-hour performance went by as if only minutes had passed.

Needless to say, after this experience, I had very high expectations for this new album and to no ones surprise, they were completely fulfilled. “The King of Limbs” seems to build where Radiohead had left off with “In Rainbows” and looks as if it attempts to transition this group from its earlier works to something entirely new.

The days of “Pablo Honey” and “The Bends” are long in Radiohead’s past, and with this album, it seems they have gotten farther away from their original heady guitar-based masterpieces and changed focus to more percussion based very chill and distant songs. Don’t get me wrong, Radiohead has always utilized a chill aspect to their music, but never before has it been as predominant as it is with this new album.

Throughout Radiohead’s existence, Thom Yorke has been known for having a very unique voice as the lead singer, and portrays it in a shrill, distanced and soothing tone very well. In my mind, his vocals are fantastically brilliant and seem to linger so perfectly within a listeners head, one can’t help but to find themselves singing along.

On this new album, Radiohead has several tracks destined for the charts and honestly, an album capable of winning a few awards. Despite this album only being eight tracks long, songs such as “Lotus Flower” and “Codex” almost certainly are awaiting a long radio prowess. “Lotus Flower” is a lively percussion and synth-based song which easily entrances a listener towards just flowing with the jam. On the other hand, “Codex” is nothing short of an emotional symphony and will likely make your hair stand on end due to its powerful vibes. 

Simply put, my words cannot do this band or this album any true justice, yet I hope those of you reading take advantage of my praise to these men, and listen to this album. Even if its just one song that catches your attention, you must realize that music of this matter really does not come along very often.

Radiohead is an extremely talented unique group of musicians, with the capability of entrancing an nation if only given the chance. These men speak through their music and their message couldn’t be more beautiful to one’s ears.

Ryen Kleiser is a laid back biology student at UW-River Falls. He is hoping to become a well-known marine biologist and teacher.