Oh, Thom Yorke et al., you have a crafty public relations manager. Instead of quietly releasing this weekend, Radiohead unleashed their new album The King of Limbs a day ahead of schedule, today (Friday), capturing the most possible eyeballs and completely hijacking the comment threads of every music blog/website on the planet. Bravo.
How does it sound? Meh. With Nigel Godrich steadily at the helm, Radiohead have been mining the same basic noodly-electronic landscape since Kid A in 2001. If you liked In Rainbows, you’ll love Limbs. Lots of haunting, jittery electronica to be found with nary a memorable melody or chorus in sight. They also sound like they may be mired in some of the repetition that’s evident in a lot of Nine Inch Nails’ songs: the same or damn-near-similar chord progessions pop up a lot. I do give a thumbs-up to “Codex,” though, which is a success because it doesn’t sound much like Radiohead: it’s a mournful piano-based ballad punctuated by slight bits of horn & strings. More of this, please, and less of Godrich’s fauxtronic grooves.
More important than what the album sounds like, tho, is what is accomplishes: it gets most of the music community, journalists and fans alike, to talk about the same thing all at once. How often does that happen? Bravo, boomboxcabeza. If only the topic of discussion were more interesting.