I’ve been listening to Radiohead’s new album on repeat the past couple days. I think that it’s beautiful, and probably the first album of theirs that I have really enjoyed since Amnesiac. There’s a beautiful mix of both “technical”-feeling songs and slow, heartfelt, Thom Yorke-y tracks. I keep using these fluid terms because Radiohead requires them; I don’t want to fit them into a paradigm that they obviously resent. This is simply new music from a band that sometimes releases new music. The emotive capacity that the music carries, which is really how I evaluate music these days, is superb.
I’ve been avoiding reading reviews of the album. I’ve purposefully cut myself off from most, if not all, of the internet’s review websites. Sometimes that puts me way, way off the grain (I liked Nicki Minaj’s album, and apparently no one else did), but I think that I have some greater appreciation for the music now that it’s not being mediated for me. No more star numerics narrating music to me.
In any case, if you want to hit the highlights of The King of Limbs, listen to “Codex” and “Morning Mr. Magpie.” Both tracks are simply amazing. The former is Yorke at his best emotional crooning; the latter is all the good of Radiohead’s experimental and pop sensibilities put together. They both seem to be pretty political as well; one is about suicide, the other, thieves. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
So listen to it. Be mediated by me.