Kings of Limbs' is worth a listen: Let's Talk About Rock

Posted by Eli Cohen

On Feb. 18, revolutionary alt-rock band Radiohead released its eighth studio album, "The King of Limbs," and received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics all over the world.

The album was originally scheduled for a Feb. 19 release, but for reasons unknown the band decided to push the drop date forward one day.

The first reactions from many Radiohead fans were uniform. A general satisfaction seemed to be the consensus among fans on campus.

The eight-track album, which wraps up at 37 minutes of total playtime, has already provoked a plethora of wide-ranging conspiracy theories, as only Radiohead has been able to do for years now.

One of the only musicians better at inspiring conspiracy theories is Robert Johnson, the man notorious for allegedly selling his soul to the devil at the Crossroads in exchange for his supernatural guitar-playing ability.

Another musical group that, like Radiohead, rivaled its ability to prompt such theories was The Beatles, the band that managed to convince an entire generation that its bassist, Sir Paul McCartney, was dead.

There are two most agreed-upon (and rational) theories revolving around "King of Limbs": it was either released with the intent that there would be a follow-up album released not far in the future, or that it was released as a remix album.

What exactly is a remix album? This is a good question, especially in the era of dubstep and hip-hop remixes.

No one is suggesting that Kanye is going to be sampling this album. This conspiracy theory directly correlates with another Radiohead conspiracy: the "01-10" theory, which combines their albums "OK, Computer" and "In Rainbows."

The first song from "OK, Computer" is followed by the first song on "In Rainbows" and this pattern continues throughout both albums.

But enough about conspiracies. Let's get to the actual music. Despite the praise given in critics' reviews, many listeners have ended up unimpressed by the album.

Now, there is no way to claim that a band as talented and groundbreaking as Radiohead released a bad album, and one who would say such a thing would be isolated from the world of music.

However, "Kings of Limbs" is a far cry from Radiohead's previous works.

"Kings of Limbs" does not really hit its stride until "Lotus Flower," the album's fifth track that falls past the halfway point of the album.

The opening song, "Bloom," as well as "Feral" are interesting, but they seem almost a little too experimental, although some fans may not agree.

From "Lotus Flower" on, the songs begin to take more of a clear shape, and the album becomes an absolute delight to listen to.

This is especially true for "Codex," the track directly following "Lotus Flower", and "Seperator," the dramatic conclusion to the album.

Radiohead fans will tell anyone who will listen that any of their albums is absolutely worth having, and "King of Limbs" is no exception.

Keeping that in mind, fans should not build this album past its potential. It is a without a doubt a great album, but not one of Radiohead's best.

In the end, whether listeners will enjoy this album depends on how willing they will be to get past the first couple of rough patches. If so, they will find the album intensely gratifying to listen to.

Eli Cohen is a sophomore Music major from Middlebury, Vt.

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