Radiohead: The King of Limbs  

XL

Eight albums in, Radiohead still hasn't made the same album twice, yet each one (save its pedestrian 1993 debut) has been consistently challenging. On first listen, that consistency threatens to tarnish The King of Limbs (it's good, but it's supposed to be). But c'mon, we ought to know one can't judge a Radiohead record based on first listen alone. Like In Rainbows, which still gets better each time through, Limbs is persistent. Opener "Bloom" - horns blaring, piano loops oscillating - calls to mind frontman Thom Yorke's The Eraser, but is much less thin. It's an immediate reminder of how vital a role each band member plays: Every nook and cranny on Limbs is filled with some essential sound, however subtle or seemingly slight. And though they do not singularly define Limbs, the dubstep and dance influences provide yet another reminder that the greatest living rock band is not a rock band at all. (5 out of 5 stars)

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