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leak of the week

Leaked: Radiohead Stays Succinct with King of Limbs

As previously mentioned, Radiohead's The King of Limbs — an album the world has only known existed since its surprise announcement on Monday — is out now, a day ahead of its scheduled release date. (So, yeah, forgive the headline: It's not so much “leaked” as “officially released,” but there's a template to stick to here.) It is, indubitably, Radiohead-y: Working for the seventh time with producer Nigel Godrich, the band has once again built tight, paranoiac jams out of synth bloops, skittering double-time drum beats, and Thom Yorke's perma-plaintive falsetto. Things slow down nicely on the album's back end, with the spare piano noodlings on “Codex” and the barely there acoustic-guitar pickings on “Give Up the Ghost,” and then, surprisingly, pick up a bit on “Separator,” a nearly hopeful closer with a bubbly little bare-bones bass groove. At least at first, though, Limbs doesn't knock you over. Was that, perhaps, intentional? The fact that Radiohead repeated the In Rainbows surprise-announcement trick knowing it wouldn't have quite the same sting the second time around and the relative skimpiness of the album (it runs 37 minutes over eight tracks) suggests the band might be cool with this being taken as a relatively less ambitious part of the discography. But, please, feel free to angrily disagree! (And also, check back next week for Radio Vulture's review.)