As a fan who’s been listening since “Creep,” fell in love with The Bends and OK Computer, and allowed Kid A and Amnesiac to expand my mind, I’ve spent the past decade or so coming to the following conclusion: Radiohead are just boring now. Hail to the Thief was a letdown, the most exciting thing about In Rainbows was the way the band chose to sell it, and it took me a whole week to sit down and listen to The King of Limbs because I simply couldn’t bring myself to get excited about it.
Radiohead were once among the world’s most innovative rock bands. But by the time they released The King of Limbs, the recipe for a Radiohead (or, for that matter, Thom Yorke) single went something like this: Ominous synths, paranoid guitars, and stuttering drum beats meet the howl/growl of a guy who’s spent too long analyzing the limits of his own personality. Friends, although I’m resigned to being excoriated in the comments for expressing this opinion, know this: I have nothing against this band. I want to love them as much as I used to, but their new track, “Staircase,” only confirms my disillusionment. Radiohead are still talented musicians. I don’t think their career is over. They just need to surprise us again.