10 Albums That Grew On Us Over Time

Categories: Craig's Hlist

The King of Limbs has now been out less than a week, and Radiohead's latest effort has people torn, even fervent fans who think that Thom Yorke and his crew can do no wrong. Craig's Hlist listened to the half-hour album at least three times last Friday, just hours after it was released, and came forth with this verdict:

The King of Limbs is short, fleeting, and seems to lack a focal point. If anything, at this third or fourth listen we are on now, it's slightly unmemorable, but the thing with Radiohead is that their albums are not always definitive statements. At least not now, with the reduced label pressure.

Older salts may scoff that as the band's output starts coming quicker and more immediate, we may lose quality. But with tinkers like Radiohead, if anything we are getting a play-by-play of a band's evolution at an ever-increasing clip.

We ended up listening to a burned disc of the album Friday night as we drove home, Saturday during errand-running, and Sunday at the house. By Monday night, driving home in the dark and fog from our folks' 30th wedding anniversary dinner, we understood the album, but our original instinctual feelings about it remained.

But we did come away with a new respect for KOL. It's a late-night driving record to us. It's for alone time, you and four wheels on the highway, or on darkened city streets. Listening at our desk Friday morning, facing the sun and daylight bustle, was incongruous.

Funnily enough, a commenter, pitchpatch, had this to say:

Hey Craig, please revisit this review in about a week or so? It's always been the case for me that I really need to get familiar with the songs to get my lasting impression, especially for such an enigmatic band as Radiohead... each group of songs on each new album have been pretty disparate for me right out of the gate, at least until I wore them around a little bit.

I think that might also explain why you're not picking up the focus. To me, it sounds pretty aware of what it's attempting to go for in terms of a conceptual idea and general style. Thoughts?

Agreed, sir or madam. After revisiting KOL, it makes more sense, but it's still a little hazy. It's far from the first album to catch us unawares days, weeks, months, or years after they initially entered our ears. Right about now, Arcade Fire's The Suburbs is starting to seep into our pores, continuing the circle of life.

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The best albums always grow on me over time.I think it’s when I have expectations of what an album is going to be, and it’s not that. Initially, it seems like a disappointment, but SOMETIMES, I realize that what the artist did was way better than what I thought I wanted them to do.

Your phrase “seep into our pores” is just about right for this process…


Damn you, Craig. You're going to make me listen to that awful Ryan Adams album? Fine.

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