So anyone moaning about not wanting to write a knee-jerk review has, one hopes, now got around to penning their own loadsaperspective critique. Me, I don’t think my opinion on it has changed since I wrote my on-the-day piece, albeit after four listens rather than one (ahem, Guardian, ahem).
I love Radiohead. I don’t love this album. Not in the way I do In Rainbows, OK Computer and Hail to the Thief. But it’s very, very, very good all the same. My BBC words…
“Radiohead’s sense of timing is quite something. Just when it looks like Arcade Fire, on a high after victory at the Grammy and Brit awards, are set to become The Biggest Band In The World, the Oxford five-piece confirm that their eighth album isn’t only done, but yours for a few bucks in mere seconds – no need to get dressed, let alone leave the house. When it looks like teenage hip hop crew Odd Future are going to send Twitter into meltdown on the back of an alarming video, these old-timers position their own promo clip online, sit back and watch social networks collapse under the weight of a million thumbs-in-a-frenzy sorts expressing their adoration.
“Their grasp of timing, in an arrangements-versus-attentions sense, is equally remarkable. Just as 2007’s In Rainbows shaved several minutes from the run-time of the preceding Hail to the Thief, so The King of Limbs cuts the(ir) full-length form down to a concise eight tracks and 37 minutes. It’s the band’s shortest-ever album, perfectly tuned to the listener of the 21st century – perhaps more likely to listen to music on the way in or out of work, on a commute, than at their leisure with a nice glass of red. Of course, the digital distribution of the band’s previous LP was so successful that this set was sure to follow a similar release pattern – something tangible will follow in March – but this is a remarkably neat-and-tidy package. Perhaps it wasn’t sequenced with succinctness in mind; but that it does its job in a short space of time is important…”
Here’s that Thom-dancing-like-Thom-dances video. Again. (Just the six million views in two weeks? And rock is dead…)