There is not much else that can be said about the genius of Radiohead. They came out roaring on their debut Pablo Honey and have since taken the rock aesthetic, and the notion of that term, and forged a new definition for themselves. Their pinnacle albums OK Computer, Kid A, and In Rainbows are all rooted in progressive rock and provide plenty of nooks and crannies to unpack and explore. Radiohead’s ninth studio effort, A Moon Shaped Pool, pushes their paranoid and frenetic journey with the confidence of elder-statesmen that continue to be relevant in the music world.
First single “Burn the Witch” is a jittery and haunting song with vocals from Thom Yorke and string arrangement from guitarist Jonny Greenwood in taut conversation. “Daydreaming” is Radiohead’s master class in sonic tension with notable and lonely piano. “Ful Stop” builds off an incessant beat and a landscape of minimalist sound before finding home, and “Present Tense” is a tight, latin-inspired, semi-danceable beauty. Fan favorite and nominee for best song on the record, “True Love Waits”, was written in the 90’s and has been showcased in their live shows for years. On this record the song is given a minimalist overhaul with a hard focus on Yorke’s still fresh and soaring vocals.
A Moon Shaped Pool is a triumphant return for an important band, and a reminder of why Radiohead is just so damn good. It has forced some of us to go back and listen to the rest of their catalog in full with this record fitting in very nicely.
The Radiohead catalog is available to order on vinyl here.