Radiohead’s taking preorders for their new album The King of Limbs and calling it a “newspaper album.” Which begs the question, what does that mean?
Alex Moore tries with an answer:
Yorke-speak has a poetic, precise quality that’s almost Orwellian in the way it uncovers a whole conversation by what it doesn’t say. What exactly a “newspaper album” is is anyone’s guess, but the packaging and marketing of the album, combined with calling it a “newspaper” album do seem to represent the conundrum newspapers find themselves in in the digital age…
…Like all good art, calling this the “The Newspaper Album” only obliquely recalls the quagmire newspapers find themselves in, but nods to the dilemma in an offhand way that allows the band to create commentary on their own terms. And what “the newspaper album” even means is highly speculative—another hallmark of great art. Remember how many people ruminated over the meaning of Paul’s bare feet on the cover of “Abby Road”?
We don’t have a better answer but unlike a newspaper, we’re betting the album isn’t quite so disposable.