The King of Limbs - TBD/TICKER TAPE
FILTER Grade: 85%
By Breanna Murphy on February 24, 2011
Upfront: The most exciting thing about Radiohead’s eighth will probably prove to be its unexpected, sudden arrival. Immediately inside the lines—as with the band’s other post-millennial work (the muted, peaceful roaming of 2003’s Hail to the Thief and 2007’s melodic, beat-laden two-disc extravaganza In Rainbows)—this 37-and-a-half-minute, 8-track player seems to establish the fact that Radiohead’s free-form coloring days are all but over, which is not to suggest in the slightest that they should put away the palette altogether. In sly moves, the band are accomplishing some of their best sounds (Limbs’ skip-and-glitch, beauty-of-an-opener “Bloom” and the concentrated mourning of “Give Up the Ghost,” in particular) and that’s exactly why you ought to always pay attention. Though the sketching is inside boundaries, they’re self-defined ones, the layers and details creating a portrait far more compelling than most. The brevity is a disappointment and the songs at times feel like B-sides of something more un-inked, but Radiohead are (and definitively always will be) musicians capable of emotion at the rawest base and somehow binding it to melody and lyric—forever haunting and influencing future generations too numerous to count or imagine.