Radiohead needs no introduction; they’ve been one of the most acclaimed bands of the 90’s/00’s since the releases of OK Computer and Kid A, which are often said to be part of the Best Albums of All Time Pantheon™. With each subsequent release, their sound has changed over and over again yet regaining its essence. 2016 brings us here, 5 years after the release of The King of Limbs, heavily influenced by samples and loops, to A Moon Shaped Pool: their 9th full length release.
You can hear by the lyrics and music that this has a raw, emotional feel, with a lot of stuff happening on the background; blending rock, electronic, folk, and orchestral sounds. Track “Desert Island Disk” harkens back that 70’s psychedelic folk sound of artists like Nick Drake while songs “The Numbers” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief” show the best part of the album: the orchestral arrangements, which are very intense and perfectly blended, giving a whole new depth to A Moon Shaped Pool’s already dense, layered sound.
On the other side, “Ful Stop” and “Identikit” (which had been at the time only live performances) get their studio version here and sound incredible, starting off slow but leading up to powerful mid-sections and endings. Finally, “Glass Eyes” and the long-awaited “True Love Waits” are very emotional tracks with Yorke’s vocals and piano at the front.
I gave this album several spins and while there might be some issues with it depending on how you hear it, there is not a single song that I don’t like from this record. Every song has its own twist and feels different from the other. A Moon Shaped Pool is, in my eyes, another triumphant release from this band.
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