What is this man thinking?
Radiohead’s The King of Limbs ranks up there with some of the biggest “how to mess up a great album so that it's only a good album” examples of all time for me. First, the album is short, eight songs. Second, the first few songs are exercises in song deconstruction, which is fine, and I like them, but they are wearisome compared to the second half of the album, which contains some very fine songs: “Lotus Flower,” “Codex,” “Give Up the Ghost,” and “Separator” are top-shelf Radiohead.
These two things are not deal breakers, it’s still a good album and all, but once they started shelling out more songs, the songs that didn’t, I suppose, make the cut, I really had to wonder what they were possibly thinking. What was it that kept “Supercollider,” “The Butcher,” “Staircase,” and “The Daily Mail” from the album (all of which are better songs than the opening four tracks of the official album, in fact, “The Daily Mail” is one of their finest of all time, in my opinion), and had them put “Feral” on?
So, as a 12 song album, this is one of Radiohead’s finest, but it’s officially an eight-song album. I have the twelve songs on my media player, and I’ve called them The King of Limbs. I’m happy now, but still with a shake of the head at what it could have been if they’d’ve just gone ahead and put it all out as a regular album and not had me go through all this trouble.
And then now, as it always is with me and Radiohead, all is forgiven, as I’ll be seeing them perform some new songs this spring when their tour stops in Kansas City:
Radiohead plan to preview some fresh material on their upcoming tour. "We've been rehearsing about four or five new songs this week," guitarist Ed O'Brien told XFM's Mary Anne Hobbs today (via Consequence of Sound). "So we're going to try to take those on the road."
O'Brien offered additional details in an interview with BBC 6, and hinted at a potential 2012 studio release. "We haven't got anymore stuff left over but we are rehearsing at the moment and we are rehearsing new songs because we want the tour to be creative," he said. "So if that means at the end of the year we might have nipped into the studio for a couple of weeks and done an EP or something else then it could be, but the thing is to keep it as fluid and flexible as possible." Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has previously said the band would hit the studio this month and next.
The U.S. portion of the tour kicks off on February 27 in Miami and is currently scheduled through March 15 in the Phoenix area, after which Radiohead will head to Mexico City and then Europe. In the BBC interview, O'Brien acknowledged the band will also be playing some British dates but said he couldn't share the details just yet. He did say the band would prefer to play arenas rather than festivals, citing the "quite detailed" sonics of The King of Limbs.
In the meantime, Radiohead will release a pair of outtakes from Limbs, "The Daily Mail" and "Staircase," as a digital single on December 19. That's also the digital release date for the band's The King of Limbs: Live From the Basement performance video, which will also be out on DVD and Blu-Ray.