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Radiohead - The Kings Of Limbs - Live From The Basement CD (album) cover

THE KINGS OF LIMBS - LIVE FROM THE BASEMENT

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

4.10 | 23 ratings

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CassandraLeo
5 stars The King of Limbs has received a somewhat mixed reception when compared to Radiohead's previous albums since The Bends. In truth, the songs on it are all quite good, but it's the sort of album that requires repeated listening to unpack, since it's rather unlike anything the band or (for that matter) anyone else has done previously, and it has a rather significant problem in that nearly every song is better live than it was in the studio.

Hence, this live release. The band is joined by extra percussionist Clive Deaver (also known for his work with Portishead) and several wind instrument players. The benefit to the band's sound is substantial. "Bloom" is a case in point; while the studio version was an endearing composition already, the expanded sound just adds to the song's effect. The majority of songs here are vastly superior to their studio counterparts.

This live collection also benefits over the studio release in another important manner: it has more songs. The King of Limbs has often been criticised for being too short, especially since the band had several other excellent songs from the sessions that were released on singles shortly after the album's release. Three of those songs are included here, and they're worthy additions to the corpus of the album, making listeners wonder why they were left off the album in the first place. (The band claims that they didn't flow right with the rest of the material, but given the fact that no song on the album sounds like any other song on the album, listeners will probably not find this to be a satisfactory explanation).

My only complaint is with the terrible mastering, but unfortunately that's been a problem with nearly all of Radiohead's material going back to Amnesiac (including most of these songs' studio counterparts), so nothing new here.

In any case, this live release is strongly recommended, and should convince sceptical listeners that this period in Radiohead's career was just as worthwhile as any of the others.

CassandraLeo | 5/5 |

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