Sometimes when you listen to a record you don’t want to make an immediate judgement....Maybe because you think your opinion might change over time or you’ve liked the band’s previous output and want to give them a fair chance.
So with that in mind, I’ve refrained from talking about Radiohead’s newest KING OF LIMBS until now.
Now I am a fan of Radiohead and would like to make an analogy between their career and that of the Beatles in terms of their discography. THE BENDS was their REVOLVER, OK COMPUTER their SGT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, KID A and AMNESIAC their WHITE ALBUM.
HAIL TO THE THIEF while not their last record could also be called their ABBEY ROAD. They seemed very focused there (Next to OK my favorite) and if they had gone out on this high note it would have been perfect
However, they drifted back into KID A territory with their next IN RAINBOWS which was full of gauzy weird semi-songs held aloft by some odd keyboard squiggles or jarring piano lines. The guitar parts were rare and skeletal. It is interesting music but I don’t listen to RAINBOWS much and the same I think will be true with KING OF LIMBS which is basically like leftover tracks from RAINBOWS. It’s almost like another disc from that session.
Truth is, Radiohead’s always had two main things going for it – Thom Yorke’s powerful, hair raising on the back of your neck vocals and the epic soundscapes the band came up with to back him up.
They need to get out of the esoteric dream territory and get back to this. My advice is to copy The Beatles on yet another of their records not in sound but in the recording process....Try something along the lines of LET IT BE-get primitive, get live in the studio, get back to simplicity in arrangements-getting back to basics is sometimes the way to get out of a musical corner you’ve painted yourself into.