[ALBUM] Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

New Radiohead album’s out. And all the fuss that goes together with it.

Key questions:

-       Is it any good? Yes.

-       Is it a good Radiohead album? Yes.

-       Is it a great album? No.


There are good songs on the album.

Pretty common ones as well.


What prevent the good songs from being excellent songs? The same reason that makes the bad ones pretty common ones: production.

So, OK, Radiohead is still having the same producer for years: Nigel Godrich. To the point that he is almost a member of the band.

Of course, they master what they are doing.

Of course, Thom Yorke has a great voice.

Of course, all these little noises and string arrangements are wonderful.

But it may be high time for them to choose someone else to challenge them, help them move forward.

Someone who could help them bring madness again in their songs, tear them apart like Paranoid Android at the time, make them roar like 2+2=5.


Here are a few words on the songs I like on the album:


Burn the witch is the first single and is certainly the best song on the album. Catchy strings pattern, strong bassline, incantations by Yorke and a true song dynamic. The masterpiece of the album.


Decks Dark is definitely an end-of-show Encore song. People will sing along, Couple kiss each other, Friends hug. Guitars are brilliant here. Unfortunately, they never reach the level they deserve on the track.


Ful Stop is, to me, a 2016 mix between The National Anthem and 2+2=5. But the 2016 production does not all anymore the craziness reached on these older songs. Too bad.


On Identikit, guitars play a dominant role but are hidden in the background leaving the main playground to keyboards for most of the four and a half minutes. As a revenge, Radiohead offers kind of a solo at the end. The live potential of this song is quite good, I think.


The Numbers starts like a true guitars song. Layers of guitars are only replaced at half song by strings that remain strongly of Gainsbourg’s Melody Melson. The moment at 5:00, on this song, is quite emblematic of how Radiohead is now not capable anymore of climax and just refuse them.


True Love Waits is an old live song from the band. Most of people know it from the live version appearing on the live EP from the early 2000s. It was a nice and simple enough song with Thom Yorke on his own singing and playing the guitar along. The 2016 version of it is more elaborated and thus less direct than the “original” one. Not sure it’s a great song.


One day, Thom Yorke will sing for real again, guitars will make their way back to the top and we will have a great Radiohead album. Meanwhile, we have to observe their technical skills and regret what their albums could have been.

Still, as I said, there are some good songs on this one. Go for it!

Image de prévisualisation YouTube



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