The King of Limbs.

6 Dec

I don’t know if the album title is a wordplay on the fact that Thom Yorke‘s dancing in the “Lotus Flower” video (at the bottom of this post)  is about the most majestic thing I’ve ever seen, but I think The King of Limbs may  be my favourite new album of the year.

Radiohead is one of those bands that, if enjoyed, is done so on a deep emotional level: in my experiences, either you have moments in which you adore Radiohead with what feels like every fibre of your being, or you just don’t really get what’s so great about them.I don’t think I’d be the first person, either, to remark that for many it takes a while to get into Radiohead: at first it seems bizarre that so many music enthusiasts would dress like the niece and wash the swollen feet of such a whiny-sounding singer, and can completely rock out to music that really isn’t that immediately catchy. Radiohead often play jarring chords and structure their melodies along more obscure scales than most bands, but listen to an album like OK Computer over again enough times and they’ll have seeped into your bones like pesticides into a water source.

The 2007 album In Rainbows – particularly songs like “15 Step” and “Bodysnatchers” – is a lot easier for the first-time listener to latch onto, and the band’s increase in the use of major chords (at least in “Weird Fishes”) seemed to announce a slight veer in their musical direction.

The King of Limbs continues the tighter, more rounded and less full-of-“noise” sound presented in In Rainbows.

The leading bassline in “Lotus Flower” is satisfying to anyone who listens out for bass, and the vocals in the chorus are as bittersweet and captivating as only Thom Yorke singing in falsetto can be. “Morning Mr Magpie” had me the first time I listened to it for its innovative and artful superimposition of drumbeat onto background melody, and “Give up the Ghost” is a beautiful, gentle and comforting song to listen to, especially when trying to study or work late at night.

I won’t bash on much more about Radiohead, because I have a (probably hilarious) belief that they have to be experienced on a personal level rather than written about… so, if you love Radiohead, go and listen to The King of Limbs again for the thousandth time, and if you don’t, listen to “Lotus Flower” on repeat. Give it some time and you’ll get to love them – and in the process, meet many more worthwhile indie kids’ dating prerequisites.



13 Responses to “The King of Limbs.”

  1. Johnny Boy. 7 December 2011 at 4:05 PM #

    Also worth a listen is the TKOL RMX album, which is a whole bunch of King of Limbs remixes, most of them very forward-thinking. Modeselektor’s contribution is particularly fantastic.

    • Michelle Avenant 7 December 2011 at 11:37 PM #

      Awesome! I’ll check it out as soon as I have a free set of moments – could you maybe send me a link to somewhere I could listen to it all in one go?

  2. Thomas James Mathew 8 December 2011 at 12:53 AM #

    “Like pesticides into a water source” – so true. Also, the last sentence HEH

    • Michelle Avenant 9 December 2011 at 11:42 AM #

      …you agree with, me, tho 😀

      • Henry 15 December 2011 at 11:44 PM #

        I heard you people broke up

      • Michelle Avenant 17 December 2011 at 12:15 AM #

        You heard right. We’re, liek, still friends tho. What does this have to do with Radiohead again?

      • Thomas James Mathew 18 December 2011 at 3:41 PM #

        Oh yeah, couldn’t agree more 😛

  3. Henry 17 December 2011 at 2:09 PM #

    why did you people break up?

    • Michelle Avenant 18 December 2011 at 1:58 AM #

      Because we wanted to. Pardon my reflexivity, but am I not a bit not-famous-enough-yet to have my love-life open to public discussion on the interwebzz?

      Radiohead started jamming together when they were teenagers, and originally called themselves “On a Friday”, because they’d play together on Fridays after school. Sweet, right?

    • Thomas James Mathew 18 December 2011 at 3:41 PM #

      Sorry, Henry, do I know you?

      • Henry 19 December 2011 at 3:10 PM #

        I am henry.

      • Michelle Avenant 20 December 2011 at 2:00 AM #



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