Giving their fans just days notice before landing their eighth studio album upon them, 'The King of Limbs' has created almost as large a media frenzy as the 'pay what you want' scheme of its predecessor 'In Rainbows'. With Thom Yorke's characteristic incoherent whine circling around ambient guitars and electronic loops, there's no huge departure from the experimental sound they've become known for. Yet with each repeated listen, 'The King of Limbs' becomes a little more engrossing - the sort of album you fall gradually into.
Though Radiohead albums are often a challenging listen, The King of Limbs floats by with relatively little struggle. Perhaps that's down to its running time, bearing just eight tracks in total. Of the eight, only 'Feral' really delves into the severely inaccessible terrain Radiohead have become so comfortable in over the last decade. Becoming progressively more enigmatic over the years, even though it's often difficult to decipher the melody among the whirls of atmospherics, The King of Limbs has a certain hypnotic rhythm about it. 'Morning Mr Magpie', in particular, draws you in with its light, clattering drums and rhythmic guitar.
The album's piece de resistance is the fragile and beautiful 'Codex', which takes advantage of orchestral instrumentation, horns and strings filling out a murmuring piano backdrop that sounds as if it's almost drowning. Elsewhere, the minor melody of 'Little By Little' hints at Radiohead's more conventional yet still undeniably creepy origins, and even while completely ignoring rumours that there's still a part two to come, closer 'Separator' seems strangely unfinished.
'The King of Limbs' may not take Radiohead to any new heights, but it perfectly demonstrates why they're one of the few bands capable of creating such a stir about an album in a mere matter of days.