The Internets have bestowed a gift upon us, today... Radiohead's newest (and eighth) album. Continuing their tradition of defying the norm when it comes to album releases (remember when In Rainbows came out the band let you pay whatever you wanted for it?), Thom Yorke and Co. have unceremoniously put their latest, The King of Limbs, out on their website today (click here to get it). That may not seem odd, except for the fact that album wasn't meant to be released until tomorrow. If you pre-ordered your copy, you have probably already found download information in your email inbox.
The King of Limbs is available as a digital-only download ($9 or $14 depending on your chosen format), or the digital version can also be purchased with a pricey and extravagant set of extras including tons of art along with both a CD and vinyl copy of the album ($48 or $53, again depending on your chosen format). That's a lot of scratch for an album with only eight tracks that runs just 37 minutes, but I'm sure plenty audiophiles (me) and überfans (also me) will find it hard to resist. Here's a look at the extras that come with "the world's first Newspaper Album" as detailed by the band's website:
- Two clear 10" 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.
- The Newspaper Album comes with a digital download that is compatible with all good digital media players.
- The Newspaper Album will be shipped on Monday 9th May 2011 you can, however, enjoy the download on Saturday 19th February 2011.
- Shipping is included in the prices shown.
- One lucky owner of the digital version of The King of Limbs, purchased from this website, will receive a signed 2 track 12" vinyl.
Clearly that bit about enjoy the download on Saturday... wasn't a hard and fast rule. But what about the fact that it's just 37 minutes and eight tracks long? The last track of the album is a song called "Separator." It includes the line "If you think this is over, you're wrong," repeated several times as a refrain. That's already started the online rumor mill churning with wishful thinking speculation that there could be a second half of the album hot on the heels of today's release.
Along with the album, Radiohead have released the video for the song "Lotus Flower" included here in this post. It features lead singer Thom Yorke all by his lonesome, dancing in a simple space at his herky jerky best. The video is sparse, as is the instrumentation for the song, itself... so the audio and visual work very, very well together. As for the hat on Yorke's head, Esquire is already writing about the fashion statement he may or may not be making (that was quick). Also quick in coming to us, Rolling Stone's track-by-track breakdown of The King of Limbs.
Fridays are always great. But a Friday that Radiohead releases an album... well, that's just magical.
Video for "Lotus Flower" from Radiohead's The King of Limbs