Ranking The Radiohead Songs – A Moon Shaped Pool!

It was a promising start; interesting singles which indicated a step away from the turgid, uneventful, unimaginative beats and loops and droning dirges of The King Of Limbs, an eleven song track list, and a studio album appearance of one of the band’s finest ever songs in True Love Waits. Sadly the end product is more of the same – an album where the production counts for more than the song writing and where the songs feel like the afterthoughts of Thom’s bewildered ego. The layers peel back to unveil more interesting qualities and sounds versus peeling back King Of Limb’s thin transparent veil to reveal nothing. Unlike King Of Limbs, there are standout songs; more accurately, A Moon Shaped Pool actually contains songs. Daydreaming is the best song they’ve written in years, but it’s a re-tread of songs they’ve done better already.

I appreciate the lovely, otherworldly use of strings throughout and would love to see Radiohead’s next iteration double down on the orchestral side. There are infrequent moments of beauty, harmony, melody, emotion, showing us that somewhere underneath the shell the band has become is a group of artists frustrated in their attempts to exude and recapture a fraction of what made them interesting, special, unique in the first place. I’m hoping one day the album might click with me, but I have neither the time nor the patience to find out. I do enjoy it significantly more now than I did upon release and I have an inkling that I’m simply not in a place to become familiar enough with the songs to fully appreciate them. As such, the ranking below is more arbitrary than most and if I were to do this exercise again tomorrow the whole thing would be ordered differently. Ultimately, unlike in their heyday, there are better and more interesting bands out there making better, more interesting music. One final positive – at least none of the songs are completely skippable, an improvement over The King Of Limbs, though the general crappiness of True Love Waits and how much it strives to stain the ‘true’ version means I can’t listen to this album version.

  1. Daydreaming
  2. Glass Eyes
  3. Decks Dark
  4. Full Stop
  5. Desert Island Disk
  6. Burn The Witch
  7. Present Tense
  8. The Numbers
  9. Identikit
  10. Tinker Tailor
  11. True Love Waits

Let us know in the comments what you think of A Moon Shaped Pool! 

Tell it like it is!

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