One of the most anticipated reviews was the one from Pitchfork. The number one music blog rated The King Of LImbs with a 7.9: “So: eight tracks, each of them worth your time, and yet The King of Limbs is still likely to go down as Radiohead’s most divisive record.”
Alexis Petridis of The Guardian had 4 out of 5 stars for the album: “Listening to it, you’re reminded that Radiohead are the only band of their size and status that seem driven by an impulse to twist their music into different shapes. As The King of Limbs proves, when it works it’s glorious, but that impulse doesn’t always yield perfect results. Still, listening to Radiohead try is never less than intriguing; after all, their peers aren’t trying at all.”
“As with anything that’s trying to do something bigger and better, lessons of that magnitude can take more time to sink in, definitely longer than the handful of hours we’ve had to absorb what The King of Limbs might be all about. In that sense, the jury is still out on The King of Limbs and that’s because there’s always something more to Radiohead,” wrote Arnold Pan of Popmatters.com: 9/10.
Michael Roffman of Consequence of Sound: “It’s essentially a 37 minute jam session; one where they’re carving out their current sensibilities and seeing where they run. While Yorke sounds front and center, he’s not really alone. Those subtle nuances, the little hums, the clattering beeps, and the scratchy percussion? They’re the sounds of five souls, not just one. And while they might not have crafted their best work this time around, they did assemble one of their most absorbing efforts to date.”
“The King of Limbs is tight and well-produced, but lacks the stark contrasts and sonic journeys that pervade Radiohead’s seven previous studio works — lofty standards to be sure, but ones the band members surely hold themselves to as well. All in all, the album pulses with creativity, while leaving listeners wondering if they got all the tracks during their download.” A 7 out of 10 from Wired.
Spin rates The King Of Limbs with 8 out of 10: “It emphasizes percussion and low end over scrawling guitar and possible singles. The quiet stuff over the loud. More swirl and hum, less grind and growl. Its existence was announced five days before its release, and then it was released a day early. All of the bullet points about the band’s eighth long-player seem designed to minimize it, but a Radiohead record is always an event, and Yorke knows as much. In the barebones video for Limbs’ “Lotus Flower,” he manically boogies to a song that doesn’t seem to warrant it, celebrating.”
Chris Richards of the Washington Post: “But with “The King of Limbs,” 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.”
Over at Drowned In Sound they refuse to post a review of the album so soon after the release. A proper one is expected at the end of March, but the whole DiS staff posted their take on The King Of Limbs. Read it here.
The Chicago Sun-Times had only 2 stars (out of 5?) for The King Of Limbs: “If we were still naming our price, I’d say “Limbs” is worth $5-6, though I think it’s a grower whose value will tick up slightly over time. What will be interesting is how this music will transition to the stage, if it can. Then again, it might not be worth its own tour.” – Thomas Connor
From South Africa; The Times: “While “The King of Limbs” is not Radiohead’s best album, it might be the band’s best “experience.” From it’s guerrilla-style launch (alerting fans to its existence a few days before dropping a digital download) to the breathless anticipation and deconstruction of the album across the Internet (reviews were up within the hour) to the conspiracy theories already spreading (is there a second instalment coming?), Yorke, Jonny and Colin Greenwood, Philip Selway and Ed O’Brien – continues to show it’s the most interesting “rock ‘n’ roll” band in the world.”