Radiohead has demonstrated their ability to deliver the highest quality music by continuously reinventing themselves and never settling for good enough. With string sections arranged by Johnny Greenwood and played by the London Contemporary Orchestra, A Moon Shaped Pool injects 20 cc’s of serotonin straight into the listener’s visual cortex.
Most of the songs on this album have been played live at some point since as early as 1995, but this isn’t a compilation of songs that couldn’t fit into other albums. A Moon Shaped Pool is marble sculpture that was chiseled away at for two decades until it was good enough to be unveiled.
From: “Burn the Witch”
“Decks Dark” is by far my favorite new song of 2016. You could strip every single word out of that song and still picture someone slowly rising into an alien ship through a tractor beam. The choir in the background is absolutely beautiful. The piano in the first half of the song makes you feel like it’s ok to step in that green light, but when that guitar starts to kick in you know you’re done for. I’ll need to come back to this song a few months from now, but I have a feeling it could be one of Radiohead’s best songs to date.
I’m having a hard time trying to think of an album that better utilized the combination of pianos, violins, and guitars. In “Ful Stop” Thom even does a great job of turning his yelling into his very own instrument.
The last song on the album, “True Love Waits” couldn’t have a more fitting name considering it was first performed back in 1995 and it took 21 years of waiting for this masterpiece to be officially released. The seemingly random higher registry piano keys that play in the back of the forward lower tones serve as a perfect juxtaposition to show the madness swelling up inside this man. This was certainly worth the wait and serves as a perfect ending to an incredibly well made album.
The album’s dark undertones can be summed up using the band’s own words. The first sentence of the first song on the album says, “Stay in the shadows.” While the last sentence of the last song of the album says, “Don’t leave.”
Thom, I never left.
Art Rock / Alternative | XL Recordings