On Valentine's Day, Radiohead announced that their new full-length album will be released for download on Feb. 19 and in physical form on March 28, with an elaborately packaged "newspaper" version coming out on May 9.
Unlike in 2007, when the group allowed fans to pay any amount they wanted for 'In Rainbows,' Radiohead's new album will have a set price -- $9 for the digital version and $48 for the newspaper packaged set.
On the album's official website, the group heralded 'Limbs' as (perhaps) the world's first "newspaper album." The packaged album includes two 10" vinyl records, a CD, large pieces of artwork, and 625 smaller pieces of art -- all of which will be held within a full-color piece of "oxo-degradable" plastic. One lucky owner of the digital version will also receive an autographed, two-track 12" vinyl record, though it's not clear what music will be included on the record.
Though some may interpret this release as a sign that Radiohead has "abandoned" the "pay what you want" model, band manager Chris Hufford told NME that the strategy simply represents a "logical progression" in the group's ongoing experiment with today's shifting corporate landscape.
"Our allegiances are to the band," Hufford said. "We manage Radiohead, we don't manage retail or labels, we just manage the band and are just trying to do the best possible thing to allow another brilliant record to be embraced by the fanbase."
At this point, very little is known about what 'The King of Limbs' will actually sound like. Over the past few years, Radiohead has been particularly ambiguous when discussing the project, and has yet to even release a tracklisting for the new album.
In September, drummer Phil Selway told the Guardian that the group's new album may not even see the light of day. "We might just throw this all out," he said. "It's all up in the air."
According to NME, the band produced the record with Nigel Godrich, and recorded it in Los Angeles and at their studios in Oxford. Radiohead reportedly began writing the album in May 2009, which produced the singles 'Harry Patch (In Memory Of)', and 'These Are My Twisted Words.' NME, however, says that it's "unlikely" that either of these two download-only tracks will be included on the album.
It appears, then, that most fans will have to wait until the album actually comes out to get a taste of Radiohead's latest sound. Fortunately, though, they won't have to wait long. The band is already accepting pre-orders here.
For the latest from Radiohead's new album, 'The King of Limbs,' head to AOL Radio's New Indie First station.