The King of Limbs, Radiohead

Radiohead unveiled their new album last week; “The King of Limbs” consists of 8 hauntingly beautiful tracks. The melodies stripped bare and yet layered so well, Radiohead continues to astound. While each Radiohead album continually differs from each other, the perfection I appreciate them for is omnipresent.

Distinct but never unnatural or forced, their specific sound has always been one to be reckoned with. It’s much too easy to lose yourself in the structure, unaware of what instrument is making what melody, only aware of how sweeping these songs are. Truly the work of seasoned artists that never did stagnate.

Here is the first video clip of the album, “Lotus Flower”

Since the release, this is the only album that’s been continuously ringing through my ears. I urge you to give this album a listen or two.

Hail to The King of Limbs,

Posted Thursday, February 24th, 2011 under Music, Sketchbook.



  1. definitely heading into kazuma kaneko territory.
    such a poisoned lotus flower… the desires of one’s self are not so easily detached.
    you’ve done not only a great job of capturing the theme of the song, but also the tone of the entire album.
    great analysis as well, its easy to glaze over the songs if you’re not letting yourself sit back and enjoy its sublime harmonies sink in.

  2. Beautiful. Really captures the mood of this song. It’s great that I can tell this is your work, even without a face in the whole image. I’m glad you didn’t draw a face in the first place. It’s a good decision for representing this song which I interpret to be about exploring your feelings. Not just letting your emotions take over, but to really examine them, where are they coming from, where can you go with them? Faces are beautiful, but often times they’re a narrative shortcut. These arms exude a calm release of tension without a mask forcing the feeling on me. It’s much more powerful and interesting this way. I’m betting you just put on the song and let your hands do the thinking.

    I did the same thing the other night, and come to think of it I drew some figures with their backs turned to the viewer, so no faces either.

    Great song. Great company to share it with!

  3. I just wanted to add that within Buddhism the Lotus is a famous symbol of enlightenment, the act of freeing yourself from all attachments and desires. The Lotus takes root in the mud, rises up through murky waters and blooms in the sun. I think both the song and your illustration convey the feeling of this process very well.

  4. I think Richmond summed up how I felt about this better than I could have! I really do like that you drew just arms as well–and on top of that, arms are FUN to draw! What a interesting group of muscles with various purpose. Good job man!

  5. The image gives me a strong feeling of hunger. I equate grasping hands and reaching arms with that feeling. Kinetic hunger, touching and grabbing. Half of eating is with the hands y’know? Manipulate the food to your mouth. This figure has no mouth though.

    The very first idea I got looking at this was “devouring its own arms”, the arms reaching out from the neck.

    It has a gravity to itself, normally such a composition may be called ‘weightless’, as if floating but this there is weight to it, the body has weight and its gravity acts on those dripping black swirls. The moon figure above feels like it’s being repelled, riding on top of that invisible force.
    Even the lotus has an anxious feeling to it, like it’s erupting into wings that collapse on itself, like waves falling on waves

    It has the presence of an SNES boss monster, the kind that inflicts a “reduce you to 1 hp” bomb that makes your blood heat up

  6. the gravity feels like it originates from the lotus, but then the limbs also have this consuming feeling too. I guess… the lotus feels like growth and stability while the limbs feel like… like waves crashing into itself.

    I’m going to change that analogy, the lotus is more like ice shedding crystals

  7. The way the lyrics are written, sung and the melodies, I love all of it. I just had to draw something to it, even if not a grandiose finished piece. I thought, the emotions were best felt and that translated to the hands. The title of the album helped precipitate this too, I’m sure.

    Thanks for the appreciation, guys. I’ll be revisiting this piece some time to turn it into a complete painting.

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