Friday, February 18, 2011

The King of Limbs

Gonna try an experiment here. I'll listen to the new Radiohead album King of Limbs and give a stream of consciousness review as I hear each track. No editing, no spelling corrections so beware: 
1. Bloom: tinkly piano sounds good...oh no bleeps and snare repeating Kid A fashion. Bleeps going on and on. Thom Yorke begins to sing: "open your mouth wide" he seems to say. Doctor heal thyself, Yorkie, I can't really understand what you're saying. Something about an ocean. Violins kicking in - they sound a bit Eygptian. Organ now. A bit Day in the Life here as everything builds to a crescendo...Back to the bleeping again...this is getting tiresome. Yorke likes to hear himself howl (like a girl I used to know but that's another story). Merciful heaven track 1 is over. Nope. More ticking noises now. Finally. 
2. Morning Mr Magpie: nice jaunty start...Yorke singing "you've got some nerve, coming in here, you've got some nerve, coming here, you stole an ox?! give it back. you stole an ox? give it back. good morning mister magpie how are we today..."[he stole an ox? thats one powerful magpie]. Yorke howling again. Its more of a low key moan like he scuffed his knee or something. OK Computer like ambience for a second there. More singing "you know you shouldn't pull your pants down?" Certainly not. Even magpies must respect the social niceties. I understand why Yorke is depressed, he only saw one magpie and its one for sorrow, isn't it?
3. Little By Little: Ok, I like this. Greenwood's guitars and a frisky samba beat. Yorke "you're such a flirt, little by little," something something. Hints of oh Jesus whats the name of that big Indian guitar? Nora Jones's father plays it? Come on. George Harrison played it. Ravi Shankar whats the instrument? I'm blanking...Sitar! Yes, sitar on this one.
4. Feral: more bleeps and sample repeats. Heavy breathing. Wow this is really crap. Fragments of music and disjointed sounds. Like that Roger Waters album Music From The Body. Yorke determined to prove that he doesnt do "tunes" or "dad rock". Point proven Thom, you're way cooler than Oasis or U2. Ok this one wont be going on the iPod.
5. Lotus Flower: Shite, more of this. I don't who the drummer is in Radiohead(that bald guy) but he doesnt get much of a work out with this material. Yorke singing in a high register "I'll set you free..." Perhaps this will be a song about Abraham Lincoln the Great Emancipator....Something about pirates? the moon...Nope this isn't a Lincoln song. Where are you Wilkes Booth? Ah, the words Lotus and Flower get a mention. Ok I get it, I think, its a song about the Buddha. Right? The Buddha sets us free from earthly desire.
6. Codex: A piano! Slightly out of tune of course. Weird jangly noises. Yorke howling softly. "Jump off the edge into a clearing...oh...just drive very far?...Fanta is my favourite drink. Dont doze off. [none of this can be right]" Howling. "The water's clear" I think he's saying. I don't really believe him though, not with all that Fanta in it. Nice piano bit at the end...
7. Give Up The Ghost: Birdsong. A tennis match? "Gather up the lasting song. Gimme a rock. Gather up the pebbles? Gimme a rock? Gimme me a rock. Gimme a rock." This is a plantive cry about the lonely lives of geologists I think. Jesus it goes on. Gloomy, naval gazing, spoiled, boring tosh.
8. Separator: another snary little backbeat. Can't understand a word which is ok, but boy this is dismal dreary stuff. Tight repetitive guitar riff. This is music for men of a certain age to read the Guardian Saturday Magazine to. "Wake me up, wake me up, wake me up" Yorke cries. Ah, he has not got much of a sense of humor but he understands irony I think for surely we'll all be saying the same thing soon...WAIT A MINUTE, this is more like it. This is great! This is...oh wait hold on. No the CD ended and iTuens is playing Good Times Bad Times from Led Zeppelin I.