Saturday, February 19, 2011

The King Of Limbs

It's been four years since In Rainbows (which I remembered paying 1 pd for), and Radiohead surprised the music world by announcing five days ago that they were releasing a new album today. This time it has only eight songs, and it'll leave you wanting more. I think you gotta be in the right frame of mind to listen to this cause it's so melancholic and moody. But this one's a real grower, along the same lines as The National's High Violet. For me it always takes time to appreciate Radiohead. I'm not so sure about a song like Feral though; may be a bit too 'avant garde' for my taste (but the drumming is sick). But musically, the whole album's stunning. You can hear lots of intricate jazz-like melodies. And there's also this chill-out lounge vibe to the whole thing.

I think the album really hits its stride halfway through. Lotus Flower is driven by infectious drumming and bass, and has singer Thom Yorke doing his signature falsettos over a weirdly catchy synth chord progression in the chorus. Speaking of which, check out the video for the song; Yorke's dancing is just jaw-dropping awesome. My current favorite is Codex, a devastating piano piece -- the funny thing is that it sounds so familiar like you've heard it before, then the music just turns on you unexpectedly and you're presented with a very unique sonic experience (after that it segues nicely into Give Up The Ghost, which is plainly put, a mysteriously calming tune) . And that goes the same for the rest of the songs too. Like it or not, you can always count on Radiohead to be a few steps ahead of every other band of their generation. No doubt the best album of the year yet.