Ticker Tape Ltd., XL Recordings, TBD Records, Hostess Entertainment Unlimited – TICK001LP
Evaluated by Claude Lemaire
Rating: 8.0/ A (WAV FILE)
Rating: 8.3/ A (VINYL LP)
Category: Experimental Electronica-Rock
Format: Downloaded WAV file transferred to CD-R at 8x writing speed
Format: Vinyl (180g at 33 1/3 rpm)
- Radiohead are:
- Colin Greenwood
- Jonny Greenwood
- Ed O'Brien
- Phil Selway
- Thom Yorke (also credited as "Zachariah Wildwood" for cover art and packaging)
- Additional personnel:
- Yazz Ahmed – flugelhorn on "Bloom" and "Codex"
- Drew Brown – additional engineering
- Bryan Cooke – additional assistance
- Stanley Donwood – cover art and packaging (credited as "Donald Twain")
- Nigel Godrich – production, engineering
- Noel Langley – flugelhorn on "Bloom" and "Codex"
- Robert C. Ludwig – mastering
- Darrell Thorp – additional assistance
- The London Telefilmonic Orchestra, led by Levine Andrade and conducted by Robert Ziegler – strings on "Codex"
- Chris Bellman – lacquer cutting
Radiohead's eight album The King of Limbs continues the experimental path the Abington band took on starting with 2000's Kid A and 2001's Amnesiac. In that sense those still hoping for a return to the OK Computer days of yore will be left brooding.
The 37 minute album, their shortest yet and a trend we are seeing more and more as ironically the pendulum is swinging back to the original LP's recommended limits, has no 'filler up' material. All eight tracks can be considered small gems in compositional style as well as exploring new boundaries in sonic soundscapes through the clever use of voice inflections, intonations and sound delay. On this front alone, singer Thom Yorke along with producer/engineer Nigel Godrich, have outdone themselves. The latter justly called the "sixth member" of the group just as George Martin was oftentimes considered the "fifth Beatles" especially during the Fab Four's most experimental period.
Radiohead's The King of Limbs receives high praise for combining the best of both worlds — experimental structured rhythms and dreamy ethereal sounding landscapes — with decent and at times excellent sound, surpassing many of today's discouraging low quality standards. It will be interesting to find out if the double 10-inch vinyl edition will improve on certain aspects of the sound.
Postscript: A few years later, I finally got the vinyl version–though not the 45 rpm double ten-inch UK edition but rather a single twelve-inch 180g US pressing cut at 33 1/3 rpm by Chris Bellman and pressed by Rainbow in California.
Donald Twain and Zachariah Wildwood aka Tom York's front cover artwork is visually 'spooky' and there is an elegant semi-gloss added to the front and back that elevates a bit from the normal non-deluxe fare.
I did not redo a 'A/B comparison' with my original CD-R copy but found the sound quite close–to memory and revisiting my original evaluation notes–with a slight improvement mainly in added warmth and palpability or body to the sound with the vinyl, typical of having a physical/mechanical reproduction instead of an optical/converted one, plus what I would expect from Bellman's touch. So without being drastic, it was still worth buying it anyway.