arcade fire’s only legitimate competition for “greatest band in the world,” radiohead, is back at it again. after much speculation about a possible new radiohead album some time in 2011, the band shocked the world this past monday by announcing that the king of limbs would be released, in true radiohead fashion, the following saturday (today). further adding to the mystique, the band actually released the album yesterday through their own webstore.
early reviews have been generally positive (duh), and mine is no different (again, duh). i will say that the first half of the uncharacteristically short album (8 tracks, just under 38 minutes) plays much better than the second half, with “morning mr. magpie” and “little by little” as the standout tracks. the first single, “lotus flower,” is accompanied by a video that’s been quickly making its rounds, and is very reminiscent of thom yorke’s solo work from 2006’s the eraser. “give up the ghost” is my early favorite for this album’s dark horse - the kind of song that could make or break itself when re-created live.
all in all, this is the kind of album that i think radiohead fans will enjoy, and put it somewhere near the middle of the rankings when comparing to previous works. that said, i don’t think it has the crossover appeal of in rainbows or even ok computer, although it does its job of quenching a three and a half year thirst for new radiohead tunes.
buy, download, enjoy and watch for summer tour dates - these guys are even more of a treat live than you might expect.