Posts Tagged ‘phil selway’

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Radiohead – The King Of Limbs [2011]

February 20, 2011

Post #52.  LP8, though hardly L.  My only disappointment with this album is its length. I want more!!  I’m such a Radiohead glutton that one of the reasons Hail to the Thief is my favorite Radiohead album is its length.  How can you beat 56 and a half minutes of Radiohead?  At 37 and a half minutes across only eight tracks, The King of Limbs is Radiohead‘s shortest album.

Perhaps keeping the album brief is an evil Radiohead trick to get me to listen over and over so I spend more time absorbing the details in each piece.  Well it’s working as I’m on my 25th listen and each track gets better every time through.  Whether this was intentional or not, TKOL needs multiple listens.

TKOL explores elements of psychedelic minimalism, with subtle themes entering and exiting, stream of consciousness lyrics, and droning undertones, which keep the songs from making major transitions as many other Radiohead songs do and give them an inward focus.  Unlike most other psychedelic rock, the droning elements to these songs are interweaving strings and horns orchestrated by Radiohead‘s lead guitarist, Jonny Greenwood.  In some senses the band is lost in this album.  There aren’t any crazy Max/MSP solos and you have to try really hard to hear contributions from Ed O’Brien, the traditional rhythm guitar glue that holds a Radiohead song together.  The band member that stands out most to me is actually Phil Selway, as he takes the wheel for beat-driven tracks 1-5 and 8 and gives the rest of the band room to play and extend the range of their instruments.  The vast sonic landscape explored on this album is also largely facilitated by the work of producer Nigel Godrich who cleverly separates and blends each instrument.  His touch is especially evident on Bloom and Feral.

Here’s the music video for Lotus Flower and a full youtube stream of the album below.

source: deadairspace