New Radiohead album: The King of Limbs

Dead Air Space reports today that Radiohead’s latest effort, The King of Limbs, will be released on February 19.

The album is already up for pre-sale in two formats: digital-only for $9 US and a “newspaper album” version for $48 US that permits digital download on the 19th, and also ships a goodie bag including the album on CD and a two-disc vinyl set, a ton of artwork (including “many” large and “625 small” pieces), and the chance to win “a signed 2 track 12″ vinyl”.  The $48 price tag includes shipping.

According to NME.com, the album title refers to “an oak tree in Wiltshire’s Savernake Forest, thought to be around 1,000 years old. The forest lies around three miles away from Tottenham House, a listed country house where Radiohead recorded part of ‘In Rainbows'”, which was the band’s most recent release in 2007.

Update, Feb. 18, 10 PM ET: so the album was released a day early (the 18th), and I was so wrapped up in work all day that I didn’t even know it until an hour ago.  But I’ve listed to all 37 minutes and eight tracks of it now.  I can say honestly that it certainly wasn’t what I expected. Don’t get me wrong: it’s good; I’m still feeling it out. I can certainly understand if some are underwhelmed by the subtle nature of the music, the apparent lack of actual instruments in many of the tracks, the oncoming claims that this could be labeled as Amnesiac II or a collection of b-sides. But it’s the subtleties and nuances that often distinguish one thing from the next, and that seems to be the case here as well.  The overriding sense is mostly one of respect and admiration of the technical abilities of those who engineered and produced the music, who pieced all these many, many tracks and layers together into something more than simply cohesive.  And the vocals are there: spot-on, layered, measured, thoughtful, enigmatic.  It’s a bit hard not to admit that bit more guitar and other, non-virtual instruments would have been nice, though.

Updated update, Mar. 29: The King of Limbs is now available for purchase and digital download on Amazon.com for just $6, which is about $3 less than the £9 price I’d paid on the official site.  I posted a detailed comment/review of the album on Amazon after finding it there.

Yet another update, Apr. 19, 11:30 AM ET: just received an email from waste.uk.com that informed those who’d purchased The King of Limbs from the official site of a new download for two supplemental tracks: Supercollider (7 minutes) and The Butcher (4:35).  The email includes a few notes from the band about the download and these new tracks:

It’s a thank you for being SO supportive of what we do …

p.s. This is not part of a new loyalty points scheme, a Radiohead clubcard or even an air miles redeemable reward type thing… It is just a big old-fashioned thank you!

Hope your Spring/Autumn is good.

Ed, Colin, Jonny, Philip & Thom
x

FYI… ‘The Butcher’ was recorded and mixed during ‘The King of Limbs’ sessions, but we couldn’t make it work on the album; ‘Supercollider’ was started during those sessions and finished off in March of this year.

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