Top 25 albums of 2011 #20: Radiohead - The King of Limbs
- By Justine McNamara -
- Nov 28, 2011
‘The King of Limbs’, Radiohead’s eighth studio album shows their diversity and talent as a band. The way they experiment with their music, create new sounds on each album but manage to remain distinctive is fascinating. For this reason, I think The King of Limbs is one of the best albums of 2011.
The opening trills and drum line in ‘Bloom’ immediately set the mood. It’s dark, with haunting melodies and harmonies used in every track. There isn’t much contrast on the album but there doesn’t need to be. It’s consistent, like their others. The songs are all long, ‘Feral’ is the only one shorter than four minutes and with its confusing beat is one of the most complex. With so much happening in each, you barely notice there are only eight songs on the album.
‘Codex’ and ‘Give Up The Ghost’ are the two most similar tracks and placing them together was a great idea. Thom Yorke’s vocals aren’t challenged, since each song stays with in a certain range. There aren’t any anthem-like songs on this album but this isn’t a criticism. If you have not been paying attention, it’s sometimes hard to tell where one song ends and another begins. I love that aspect and the way it flows so seamlessly means there aren’t any clear standouts. Albums, to me, are meant to be complete works with songs that compliment each other and The King of Limbs achieves this.
It’s almost impossible to choose a favourite or a highlight but if I had to pick one, it would be ‘Separator’. I adore the lyrics and love the way the guitar is added after the first chorus. Though it’s played quietly and is mainly there to harmonise the vocals, its addition makes this song a lot more melodic while remaining incredibly melancholy.
The King of Limbs isn’t my favourite Radiohead album to date but it’s definitely my favourite release of 2011.
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