Oh to be Radiohead...the once mighty rock band turned "art project." Every few years we are graced with a new album, one that rabid music-critics claim is a grand "return to form" (whatever that means...). After naming the new Radiohead record the "release of the decade" (prior to it even coming out), or the "most important record of all time" (forget about The Beatles, "Pet Sounds", etc...), we are then inundated with hype...hype...and more hype than one could humanly digest in a lifetime. Countless articles, press-releases, rave reviews, and bed-wetting all come down the industry pipeline, ready to cloud the good sense and/or judgment of the music buying populace. So here we are again, awaiting the new Radiohead album with baited breath...getting to listen to a new song ("lotus flower") that sounds an awful lot like every other song they've put out since releasing "KidA." Is this a joke? Secretly I think Yorke & Co. sit around and have a good laugh with each new release. They could realistically put out a record with crickets chirping to some weak sounding drum loop and still sell thousands of copies. If that happened, Pitchfork (and other music-oriented sites) would first soil themselves...and then probably end up calling it "the future of rock." I'm not just being a drama-queen in regards to the ridiculous critical acclaim that is poured onto them. People really write that kind of nonsense...seriously!
I don't buy it...but then again I am the first to admit that I don't "get" anything they have put out after the perfection of "Ok Computer." I'm one of those Radiohead fans...give me a copy of "The Bends" and "OKC" and I'm as happy as a clam. I've purchased every release of theirs since "KidA"...and with each release I am disappointed. I'll probably be buying this new record as well, secretly hoping that it will be awesome, but I'll more than likely be content to keep Radiohead stuck in the 90's. All we (music fans) can do is wait (for the physical release)...and while we are biting our nails with anticipation we get to read post after post on how awesome "The King Of Limbs" is, and how it is going to "revolutionize rock". Maybe it will do that...maybe music, as we know it, will be turned upside down because of it. Maybe it will be one of those records that defines a generation...the heavens will part and all of us will "get it"...
Until then I won't be holding my breath...and based on the first single maybe you shouldn't either.
Note: A) The piece above is my opinion. B) The band is talented...I don't doubt that...I'm just not fond of how they've used their talents the last 11 years.