Hello Mr. Blog, it’s been a while. While I was gone, Radiohead decided they would announce the release of their new record The King of Limbs much in the same vein of their In Rainbows release. Again they’re releasing independently, but without the pay-what-you-want scheme of In Rainbows. Digital downloads are priced at $9 for MP3 and $14 for lossless WAV files. There is also the fancy vinyl package for $48.
The price point is very interesting to me, as retail CD’s don’t go for much more than the $9 or even $14 they want for the download. Especially since they are releasing this independently as a download and distribution costs are virtually zero, they stand to make lots and lots of money.
Well enough about that. After In Rainbows seemed to be a combination of their previous records, I was interested to see where Radiohead would go with this one. They had released a couple of singular songs in the past year or so, none of which I was really a fan of.
The King of Limbs is short. 8 songs, 37.5 minutes. Radiohead had previously said that they would like to move away from full-length albums and more toward an EP-based approach, so maybe that’s why TKOL is at a kind of in-between length. So for a minimum of $9 you get 8 songs. I think that’s roughly what an album costs on iTunes, though I haven’t bought music from there in a long time. Apple takes something like 30% of all sales on iTunes, which means Radiohead is making more per-sale than they would on iTunes. Which is a long cry from the pay-what-you-want model of In Rainbows. HAHA OKAY REALLY DONE TALKING ABOUT MONEY NOW.
As for the music, the album is a lot more stripped-down than anything else from Radiohead. Stylistically I’d say it’s somewhere in between Amnesiac and In Rainbows. It’s more percussive and a lot less melody-centric than I’m used to from them. It’s certainly a long way away from the triple-guitar driven days of the late nineties.
I guess everyone should stop being surprised when new Radiohead sounds completely different than old Radiohead, seeing as this is the band that has released Pablo Honey and Amnesiac without skipping a beat.
I’ve been discussing this with one Rajib K. Mitra, and we both agree that if you’re looking for serious catchy guitar riffs, you’re going to be disappointed. Fortunately, Radiohead does downtempo sad songs as well as anybody. The King of Limbs is not something you’re going to want to listen to when you want to rock out and pep up your day.
There are some rumors going around that the band is going to release more songs at some point, as the album currently is quite short, and there are many other songs known to be recorded that are not present in the track listing. There’s also something in the lyrics for “Separator” (the last song) about ‘If you think this is over/Then you’re wrong.’ Radiohead have been known to put little hidden things (the presence of the number 10 in In Rainbows, Kid 17) within their albums, so I guess nothing’s out of the question. I would think this would be the last release for at least 6 months though.
So, watch this:
The jury is out on whether this is a legitimate artistic dance interpretation of “Lotus Flower” or whether Thom is snickering at everyone taking this seriously. It’s certainly a change of image for a man seemingly irked by the spotlight throughout his career. As happens with an video of something dancing goofily on the internet, people have taken Thom’s dance and set it to a variety of hilarious soundtracks, this being the best I’ve seen so far:
via Dumb-Bee Elkins
Regardless of your enjoyment of the album, I hope you can agree that Thom dancing to Beyoncé is hilariously awesome.