February 20, 2011

Radiohead's "The King of Limbs" reviewed by track:

1 - Radiohead - Bloom by ThePEAK) "Bloom": Quintessential Radiohead. This surprises me though. I would have thought they would have opened up the album with something that wasn't so...predictable? "Everything in it's Right Place" in Kid A is hard to top as an opening track. That album upped the ante. If you look at "15 Step" on In Rainbows and "2+2=5" on Hail to the Thief, they are now "Radiohead type" sounding songs, but they weren't what you would have expected at the time the albums came out. They went in a new direction. The right direction. "Bloom" unfortunately doesn't come out and punch the listener in the face and make them say "wow, I'd better buckle up for this one" like the last few albums they released. Listening to the loops in the track make me think of some old drum 'n bass I used to listen to like Roni Size if you've ever heard of him. I do like the string sections in the track.

2 - Radiohead - Morning Mr Magpie by ThePEAK) "Morning Mr. Magpie": I had to listen to this one a few times, but it certainly grows on you.

"You got some nerve coming here
You got some nerve coming here
You stole it all
Give it back
You stole it all
Give it back"

I hear panic in the vocals and verse. Running from something? Confusion. The tempo sounds like a heart beating fast frantically. Good song. Delivers the total package of music and lyrics.

3 - Radiohead - Little By Little by ThePEAK) "Little by Little": Now I like this. Great melody. As I listen some of the background sounds nag at me like I've heard them before. I believe that it is like the feel of and is reminiscent of "Tomorrow Never Knows" on The Beatles: Revolver. The hook is fantastic.

"Little by little by hook or by crook
I’m such a tease and you’re such a flirt
Once you’ve been around you’ve been around enough;
Little by little by hook or by crook
Never living earnest, never get judged
I don’t know where it is I should look."

The more I listen the more I find myself really liking this song. Best track of the album thus far.

4) - Radiohead - Feral by ThePEAK "Feral": Instrumental. The bass loop sounds great on a good sub-woofer. The drum track and the synth and vocals dubbed over top are nice. Good filler for the album.

5 - Radiohead - Lotus Flower by ThePEAK)"Lotus Flower": Standout. This one will get some airplay on College Radio.

6) Radiohead - Codex by artisporn "Codex": Deep. The music is sad. I can see this song playing in a movie in slow motion as some troubled individual jumps off a cliff to escape it all. I went and found the lyrics:

"Sleight of hand
Jump off the end
Into a clear lake
No one around
Just dragonflies
Flying to our side
No one gets hurt
You’ve done nothing wrong
Slide your hand
Jump off the end
The water’s clear
And innocent
The water’s clear
And innocent"

There is definitely a struggle here between conscious being and what is right and wrong. Taking the easy way out or taking responsibility? Great songwriting. Damn, I feel like I just went through a bout of therapy.

7 - Radiohead - Give Up The Ghost by ThePEAK) "Give up the Ghost": Damn, the more I get into this album, the more I think I'm going to need some anti-depressants.
"Don’t haunt me
Don’t hurt me"

This chorus is like those little voices you hear people cannot get out of their heads.
Thank God this is not the last track on the album. I need a pick me up.

8 - Radiohead - Separator by ThePEAK "Separator": Good sound. Selway is a master drummer. This is exactly the song I needed at this point as the listener. Evocative of the new life and renewal that sprouts with every Spring. (Appropriate after the last two tracks). I think I'm on to something here:

"It’s like I’ve fallen out of bed from a long and vivid dream
Finally I’m free of all the weight I’ve been carrying."

This album is a good album. Not quite the Radiohead album I was hoping for, but damn, most bands would kill for something half as good as this. That's the tough thing about being a band as good as Radiohead, the bar is set so high, and we get spoiled as fans. Will it get better as I listen to it? They usually do. Does this change the landscape of music as we know it? Does it become the album that future bands point to as inspirational? I don't know.
Most Radiohead albums are just what I needed at the time of their release. Masterpieces. They tend to fill a musical void that I didn't consciously know existed until it is filled. Unfortunately, this does not. Very introspective and honest songwriting though. The lyrics do match up as some of their best. I can respect when a songwriter can let those that are willing to look beyond the exterior of the music down below the surface into his vulnerabilities. I'm curious what they were all going through as songwriters as they were composing this album. There certainly seems to be a common theme and story that flows through a few of these songs. All in all, most Radiohead fans will not be disappointed, casual fans though, may be underwhelmed. 7 out of 10.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review! Glad to hear your insight into the lyrics... especially since I can't understand them half the time