Weekend Radiohead disappointment
Radiohead's new album, The King of Limbs, was released yesterday. At present, it's available only by download from a band-operated website. I listened to it in the car on my way to the day's snowboarding (which was extremely icy and windy, btw -- an unfriendly combination!). My initial reaction was disappointment, I'm sorry to say. King of Limbs is to In Rainbows as Amnesiac was to Kid A: a subdued follow-up that seizes upon the quietest, most experimental elements of its predecessor and creates an entire album out of them. Of course, "entire album" may be something of an overstatement, given that King of Limbs has only eight songs -- at barely 37 minutes long, it's a brief and cryptic effort. With no true standout tracks, the album feels decapitated, as if the real album was supposed to have been 10-12 songs, with at least a few of them memorable. I enjoy moody, melancholy electronica as much as the next listener, but an overdose of it creates the sense of wandering into an obscure movie score, or just a library of outtakes.
PJ Harvey, the greatest female rocker of all time, also released a new album this past week. Having heard a few snatches of it, I don't have high hopes, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised.