The aim of any piece of art is to create beauty in as true a form as possible. Radiohead have done this with such aplomb in the past that it is difficult to begin listening to any new song or album without a sense of enormous expectancy – you expect it to transform you in some way, to take you somewhere special, to stimulate some strange lobe in your brain to such an extent that it becomes addictive.
King of Limbs lives up to this expectation but at the same time it creates a more natural, familiar beauty than the distorted futuristic dystopia of OK Computer or the angst ridden longing found in In Rainbows. No more is this seen than in the spine-tingling song that is ‘Give up the Ghost’.
The album is not as emphatically different to previous albums – it is not a giant change in sound in the way that Kid A was – but is instead a mature amalgamation of what can be heard in all of their albums since Kid A.
‘Bloom’ carries on where In Rainbows left of, In ‘Little by Little’ you hear a guitar riff that sounds as though it has come straight out of Amnesiac, while ‘Codex’ replicates the emotional experience that is ‘Reckoner’ and it will surely be used in many moving montages to come.
‘Feral’ provides an example of the sound that the likes of James Blake and Pariah have been trying to achieve – but Radiohead have almost perfected it with just one song.
There are many people out there who say that they just don’t get Radiohead. This album offers a decent chance of conversion for many though, for it cannot be accused of the gloominess that has been noted of some of their previous albums.
Unlike Kid A it is not a revolution in style but it is instead a continuation that has enough quirks and innovations to sufficiently intrigue and stimulate. The album is of perfect length and works beautifully as a coherent piece. It is a piece of beauty, a wonderful piece of art.