68 Radiohead: Moon Shaped Pool (fine, I’ll do it PROPERLY…)



As you’ve no doubt noticed, Radiohead are not only one of my absolute favourite bands, and have genuine claim to being one of the greatest bands ever to have existed


At last count, they have been responsible for four absolutely scientifically qualified and objectively registered stone cold, genital spasming genius albums, which is more than such feted luminaries as The Beatles, Pixies and Joy Division, and the nations of Russia, Paraguay and Ireland



However, their prior critical success has rendered them untouchable in many eyes, and records chiefly composed of turgid and uninspired water treading are not only excused, but praised. Though the record sounds tedious and repetitive, people assume there must be something that they’re missing


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‘Moon Shaped Pool’ frequently threatens to be such an album: it chooses to deal mainly in circular and repetitive droning that’s not only such a failure to further their sound that it’s practically a step backwards, but far too many of the songs are just dull, and the record suffers from a chronic lack of direction


It’s not an ‘experimental’ album at all, it generally eschews any real exploration in favour of songs quickly falling into a groove and drilling themselves into nothingness



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Yeah, I said it! That Lambchop album was mainly tedious and inert, but at least it was fully committed to challenging the listener and exploring new sounds that the band were previously unaccustomed to. Is that what ‘Moon…’ aims to do? Or is it an attempted experimental expedition into the sonic potential of new rock sounds, like was once their forte? Because if it is:


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Yeah, I said it! Placing ‘Moon…’ next to the seriously mind-blowing effort by Bon Iver

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makes it sound even more pedestrian and plodding in comparison, like the band are in serious danger of spending the remainder of their career resting on their laurels


Christ, this review makes no sense at all if you haven’t read the last 50 entries…

The version of True Love Waits that closes the album is the record’s problem in a nutshell: the song was perfectly poignant and affecting when performed solely on piano coupled with Yorke’s gorgeous voice, but here they infuse it with endless and pointless samples in the belief that such overegging will somehow lend the song a more ‘experimental’ edge, rather than turning it into an ostentatious mess





The first track being Burn the Witch only makes it worst, as it is one of the band’s greatest ever songs, hitting all of the tropes from angular-anthem to perverse-pop that the band can do better than anyone else, and frustratingly proving that they can be amazing when they want to be


Which means, unfortunately, that one of the biggest releases from 2016 is a


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I know! What am I like!? The last time the band put their names to a couple of albums that failed to inspire in a similar way to this record and 2011’s ‘King of Limbs’- which though underwhelming is roughly five times better than this lacklustre effort- they responded with ‘In Rainbows’, so despite ‘Moon…’ being such a disappointment there’s still hope that it’s a slide the band can arrest



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This album should probably be lower, below Bankso’s Bar* anyway, but there must be something here… +0


Honestly though, Burn the Witch is amazing and wins them

5 Guns ‘n’ Roses Points

Metacritic: +88

That may be the highest score yet, wake up sheeple!!!

Length: 50 minutes -4

Best Lyric:

Yeah, I keep forgetting this one. Shut up

‘By the time you read it, I’ll be far away/I’m far away/But I ain’t fucking with nobody/Let’s have a toast to the good life/Suicide before you see this tear fall down my eyes/Me and my baby, we gon’ be alright/We gon’ live a good life’ +1

Number of AMAZING songs: 1 (+10)

Is the last song just the first track but played on Ukulele? No -1

Total 137


*’Bankso’s Bar’ refers to Banks’s album ‘Altar’ being the point on this list where decent albums become amazing. But you already knew that

3 thoughts on “68 Radiohead: Moon Shaped Pool (fine, I’ll do it PROPERLY…)

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