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Radiohead Streets

GOING OUT ON A LIMB: Radiohead released their new album, The King of Limbs, as a digital download, moving up the date to last Friday (2/18), and if the set offers more of what the band’s ardent fans have come to expect, it’s also a major advance on the direction they’ve been mining since 2000’s Kid A. An intimate effort, it's a lot like scuba diving upstream, with unexpected bursts of melody like colorful schools of fish along the way, a real headphones disc, just eight songs in 37 minutes. And while critical reaction seems to be muted, the N.Y. TimesJon Pareles weighed in with his observation: “The King of Limbs is Radiohead in its familiar richly depressive mode: full of pained longing and fixated on musical nuance, getting lost in sound and then clawing its way out beautifully. As an album, it’s too brief. But these are songs to dive into.” The Washington Post's Chris Richards also suggests repeat listenings: "The band displays such confidence and grace in its digital-age fussiness, its hard to take your earbuds out after one listen. It all just sounds too luscious. It's not a thriller, but it's an album worth exploring and re-exploring...until the next one drops out of the sky." Esquire's Maura Johnston says: "The King of Limbs is a somber album, full of moments that are trying to out-low-key one another. Even the more movement-filled songs have a slightly melancholy feel to them, as if they were crafted by a bunch of friends trying to figure out how to spend a day after a picnic they'd planned got rained out." (2/21a)

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