TBD Records, 2011
By Emily Pfeffer
“Open your mouth wiiiiiiiiiide,” lead singer Thom Yorke lulls his first words in “Bloom,” the opening track off Radiohead’s new album King of Limbs. In fact, the whole album, which had an early release on the band’s website last Friday, is one big lull of jittery beats. From the soft trills of piano in “Codex” to Yorke’s hypnotizing falsetto in “Lotus Flower” and “Give Up the Ghost,” it’s as if each track tries to out-chill the last. Minus the inclusion of “Feral,” which seems to be Radiohead’s stab at dub-step. I can’t say I’ve completely jumped on that bandwagon, so drummer Phil Selway’s head-snapping drum beats and Yorke’s over-mixed moaning didn’t quite do it for me.
The track following “Feral” is the one getting all the hype. “Lotus Flower” already has a video featuring York spastically dancing to the twitchy rhythm, but it won’t be long into listenin’ before people start to admire other beats such as the Arabian mix in “Little by Little” and the hush of “Codex.”
It can’t go without saying that Yorke sang it right in “Little by Little,” slurring, “I’m such a tease and you’re such a flirt.”
This album feels somewhat incomplete and anti-climatic. At just barely 38 minutes, fans are left feeling teased.
Nonetheless, Selway wraps up the 8-track album with a little bit of funk in “Separator.” The constant beat sounds right with the haunting plucks of guitar and Yorke’s echoing voice. The busy song has lyrics that instill hope in Radiohead fans for their future: “If you think this is over, then you’re wrong.” Perhaps this brief album has more limbs to come.