The King of Limbs (XL / TBD)
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., March 4, 2011
RadioheadThe King of Limbs (XL/TBD)
Radiohead accomplishes a rare feat with The King of Limbs: a digital release that defies instant gratification. The pioneering UK quintet's eighth and shortest studio album presents a challenging, beatific assemblage of grayscale electronica and glass-house frailty that, like 2003's Hail to the Thief in the wake of Kid A's digital awakening, offers more of a ripple effect than a sonic sea change from predecessor In Rainbows. "Bloom" awakens in a dream sequence, a lone piano circuit warped and cast off to a tectonic beatscape of flinching, symphonic effects anchored by Phil Selway's fluttering percussion and the heavy swoon of Colin Greenwood's bass. Thom Yorke works wonders in such ambient realms, his serene melodies a constant buoy above the tonal wash. In the vindictive throb and purposeful truncation of "Morning Mr. Magpie," cobweb-cluttering "Little by Little," and headphone rave "Feral," the first half of Limbs could pass as a more fully realized version of the singer's solo reboot, The Eraser. The only obvious single aside from final bow "Separator," "Lotus Flower" marks a subtle shift in focus and structure, a commanding piece of modern electro-pop that gives way to the sublime "Codex," a piano ballad of near-lunar isolation that ranks among the band's finest work. "Give Up the Ghost" is a song shadowed by itself, an acoustic reverie set atop a looped backdrop of Yorke alternately crooning "don't hurt me" and "in your arms." Such moments of unnerving beauty make The King of Limbs, despite its complete lack of guitar-rock grandeur, worth revisiting time and again.
Kevin Curtin, Fri., May 3, 2013
Richard Whittaker, Fri., March 22, 2013
Doug Freeman, Fri., Feb. 22, 2013
Michael Toland, Fri., Jan. 18, 2013
Austin Powell, Fri., Jan. 11, 2013
at Austin Music Hall
Vinyl Hunt: A Record Nerd's Swap Meet at The North Door
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty at Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz
Film Review Misses Mark Please make a note not to print any more movie reviews of big action movies by Kimberley Jones. She gets ...
What's the Big Deal? I'm baffled by this obsession with Mueller. I drove through it out of curiosity and it's a suburban nightmare that ...
No Mystery in School Bond Failures How out of touch has the Chronicle become with the voting populace of this city? From the article “Bonds: Death ...
Program Is Vital Resource I am responding to your article on ACCESS News, the program by and for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. The ...
Finding Rail Route Complicated Michael King, in “The Reading Railroad”, while making valuable points, seems to state that finding an initial route for urban ...
- Follow us@AustinChronicle