The album is a dead art form. In a world dominated by digital downloads, shortened attention spans and an industry with a fetish for singles and airplay, music has lost it’s artistry. Gone are the days of spending an hour immersed in the sonic world of its creators, of carefully constructed LPs where every song serves a purpose and flows into the next creating a narrative quality to rival that of a novel.
Thank God for Radiohead, who have always been musicians who have prided themselves on creating uncompromising and intricate works of art, of waving a big middle finger to the record companies and creating music on their own wondrous, strange, terms.
"Burn the Witch"
...off of Radiohead's latest, A moon Shaped Pool
Their new album, A Moon Shaped Pool, is their first since 2007’s In Rainbows and was unexpectedly released for digital download on May 8 through the album’s website, amoonshapedpool.com (with pre-orders of physical formats such as vinyl and CD shipping in June and a deluxe special edition shipping in September). The album comes after a spate of odd promotion with the release of two singles just days from each other, complete with intricately vague music videos, and deleting all of the content from their respective social media and website and replacing them with blank images.
Suffice it to say, A Moon Shaped Pool was worth the nine-year wait. From the opening fever-dream track “Burn the Witch,” to the somber piano ballad closer “True Love Waits,” the record is packed with rich, densely layered textures. Yet it’s also an album full of contradictions; it’s haunting yet dreamlike, surreal yet familiar, dystopian yet beautiful. Standouts include the aptly titled “Daydreaming,” the cinematic “Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief,” the electronically driven “Identikit,” and the frantic “Ful Stop.”
Each of the band’s members give it their all, but particular recognition is deserved for singer Thom Yorke’s hypnotizing falsetto and Jonny Greenwood’s sparse and evocative keyboards and guitar.
One doesn’t merely listen to a Radiohead album, one experiences it, and the beautifully destructive Moon Shaped Pool is an album that needs to be experienced more than once.
- Album: A Moon Shaped Pool
- Artist: Radiohead
- Label: XL
- Songs: (1) Burn the Witch (2) Daydreaming (3) Decks Dark (4) Desert Island Disk (5) Ful Stop (6) Glass Eyes (7) Identikit (8) The Numbers (9) Present Tense (10) Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief (11) True Love Waits