On Monday the 14th, the British alt-rock band Radiohead announced unexpectedly that their eighth studio album, The King of Limbs, would be released digitally the following Saturday. Billing it cryptically as “the world’s first newspaper album,” the band announced that a special edition of the album would be available in May, containing “two clear 10-inch vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve, a compact disc, many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together.”
According to the Radiohead website, a team of fair-trade sherpas will then transport the album from a warehouse in Oxfordshire, England, to the Central American wildlife reserve of your choice, where it will be tied with organic hemp twine to the delicate talons of a well-trained Burmese rescue pigeon who will proceed to carry it the remainder of the distance to your local microbrewery and/or Urban Outfitters, to which you may ride your fixed-gear bicycle for pickup during normal business hours. One lucky purchaser who preorders this limited-edition package will also receive a signed copy of lead singer Thom Yorke.
To the squealing delight of fans the world over, the band released the album Friday instead, giving this reviewer a chance to listen to the album several times through. At the time of this article’s writing, however, the musicoblogosphere region of the hipsterverse had yet to officially review The King of Limbs. Since neither Paste nor Pitchfork has posted a review, I’m not sure what I think of it yet. I think it’s probably good. It does have eight songs, and the album art is pretty cool. I’d just hate to start liking it as a result of listening, only to find out that it got poor reviews from actual websites. I’d feel silly at that point, so if it’s OK with you all, I’ll hold off making any judgments until they’ve been made for me. In the meantime, you can watch a neat video of Thom Yorke sort-of-dancing on YouTube.
In other news, analysts are expecting Pitchfork’s review of the new Radiohead album to give Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy another perfect 10.0 rating.