Radiohead announces “Newspaper Album” to be released Saturday

Earlier this week, Radiohead announced their first album since 2007's In Rainbows. The album, called The King of Limbs, drops digitally on Saturday; so far, there's really not much information available about it (tracklist, etc).

What we do know:

  • The album will be available for download through Radiohead's website, rather than iTunes or Amazon. You can preorder it for $9 or $14, depending upon whether you want .mp3 or better-quality .wav files.
  • There will also be a physical package, which they're calling (mysteriously) “the world's first Newspaper Album.” That will include two vinyl discs, a CD, a bunch of art, and a digital download. That package ships out on May 9.
  • The album art, characteristically for Radiohead, is quite spooky and odd.

Radiohead has long been known for their global (somewhat pessimistic) awareness. Their music has often reflected this, especially since Kid A (choice lyrics from “Idioteque” off that album: “Ice age coming, ice age coming / let me hear both sides”; “We're not scaremongering / this is really happening”).

The prospect of a “newspaper album” leaves us wondering what issues they'll tackle on TKOL. Lately, Thom Yorke has been especially outspoken in his critique of the way governments have handled global environmental issues. They also raised more than half a million dollars this past year for Oxfam's work in Haiti. Will they use this album as a soapbox? At this point it's all just speculation, of course – we'll have to wait until Saturday to know.

In the meantime, whet your appetite by watching Thom Yorke go bonkers on this live version of “Idioteque”: