50 Best Albums of 2011

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Radiohead, 'The King of Limbs'

5. Radiohead, 'The King of Limbs'

The eighth studio album from rock's most ambitious and confounding band has a misleading restraint: lush electronics, thickets of digitally tweaked percussion and cryptic lyrics, sung in a prayerlike daze. At 38 minutes, it sounds unfinished and quietly perverse, even more anti-rock than Kid A – at first. Repeated immersion, though, reveals a seductive concision and insistent undertow: the space-alien-Beach Boys effect of "Bloom," the dark, muted-treble blues of the guitars in "Little by Little," the nimble charge of "Separator." This was a record that grew all year – in your room, and onstage.

Jon Dolan's Original Review: Radiohead's 'The King of Limbs'
Two Decades of Radiohead: Photos of the Band from 'Pablo Honey' to 'The King of Limbs'

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