Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
best thing: the cover artwork
on 19 April 2011
I'm not a "Kid A" or "Amnesiac" hater like some reviewers here obviously are... to me those 2 albums mark one of the most powerful Radiohead periods in their career. A mark they never quite achieved again after Amnesiac.
King of Thieves was unbalanced and predictable in many aspects while "In Rainbows" was a great comeback of the band with great moments of genious here and there.
The band evolved from a "rock/indie with a twist" to exploring feelings, colors, sounds and even smells... music made abstract and getting shape in each owns feelings and emotions, that's the beauty of Radiohead, from "The Bends" to "Amnesiac" they are one of my top 10 choices for the greatest bands of all times.
The King of Limbs is a very strange album, difficult to get into (and that's not bad, on the contrary)... the problem is, when you start getting into it, you come out with the feeling it could be so much better (and even bigger).
My review track by track:
The opening track, setting the mood for the album.... i like to think of this as an intro, no genius here, some interesting voice/sound combos from middle to end.
Morning Mr Magpie:
One of the weakest songs in the album, interesting breath effects and rhythm, but gets tiring early with its weak lyrics and repetitive sounds
Little By Little:
Interesting rythm, again endless repetition.... nothing that stands out either in the lyrics or music variation.
Another "intro" track imo... just like in Amnesiac first track, but a mere shadow in creativity, nothing gained, nothing lost.
The "pearl" of the album, the beginning is simply genius and the one that defines the cover-artwork. The clap variations are priceless, the haunting sounds... underwater/extraterrestrial feeling... pure Radiohead here.
From this track forward the album starts gaining body and grabs my attention.
Another pearl... hair rising track... together with "Lotus" this are the best moments on the album. Tom's voice always worked with the piano... and this melancholic piece of genius is simply marvelous. If you can tame your emotions and exorcise your moments of pain with sad songs... this is one of those you wont forget easily.
Give Up The Ghost:
I love this song... the way the haunting voice gives space to the subtle guitar chords.. and hangs in there while Tom's voice leads the way to another burnt sunset feeling... desolate... sad... and yet so attractively beautiful.
A premature ending imo... nothing new here, most pop track on the album... cutting the tempo of the previous ones and leaving you with that sense of... lacking something.
All in all, if you loved "Kid A" or "Amnesiac" the second half of the album is worth a listen. If you only see "The Bends" or "Ok Computer" in front of you... you will hate this.
Since i like all the four albums (their golden age), its hard for me to see a band so important in my life giving us so little in terms of creativity and even size.
I think listeners deserved more, Radiohead deserves more.... 1 more year in production wouldn't have hurt, with a more elaborate first part and more tracks into it.
As it stands, its kind of a "Amnesiac" leftovers album, with 2-3 outstanding tracks and the rest just... bland... nothing standing out in remembrance (except for those 3 "pearls").
You can do better.... so much better than this.