It’s here, it’s finally here. After all the rumours and whisperings, Radiohead’s ninth album is upon us. It’s called ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ (nice), features a beautiful combo of strings, piano, electronic experiments, Jonny Greenwood’s spidery guitar lines and Yorke’s exquisite-as-ever lyrics. Here’s some of the immediate talking points we’ve discovered on the record.
‘True Love Waits’ finally gets a studio version
The band have been playing this fan favourite in their live sets for over 20 years now. It’s been released as a live version in the past, but this is the first time we’ve heard it recorded in a studio. The results? Bloody beautiful, of course. Thom Yorke’s voice is gorgeously mournful as sombre piano lingers behind him. He’s still making the lines “And true love lives/On lollipops and crisps” sound truly devastating so we’re gonna go ahead and call this new recording a success.
‘Identikit’ also crops up finally
Another oldie that’s never had a proper release. This one’s not been around for quite as long as ‘True Love Waits’, but its inclusion here is still a pretty big deal. Featuring the London Contemporary Orchestra choir, it’s a dark and ominous cut with Yorke cooing forebodingly “Broken hearts make it rain”, while Jonny Greenwood puts in a needling guitar line that’ll have you feeling right on edge.
In fact, there’s only three entirely new songs on the whole record
‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ is, essentially, a collection of songs that have previously existed in some form or other, but not had full, official studio releases. Thus, there’s only three entirely new tracks on the whole release – ‘Decks Dark’, ‘Glass Eyes’, ‘Tinker Tailer Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Thief’ (the latter is taken from a 1695 nursery rhyme, of course). Are Radiohead running out of ideas or just trying to please their fans? Either way, all three traverse the spectrum of fragility and resilience, and prove that no matter how few truly fresh songs present, the band still have plenty to offer us.
Is this Radiohead’s swan song?
The fact that they’ve deigned to include the likes of ‘True Love Waits’, ‘Identikit’ and ‘Present Tense’ has got some fans wondering if this is actually going to be the band’s last record. With the album being so geared towards their audience’s favourites, they’re seeing it as a sign that this could be the end. But with Radiohead, who knows? They could easily surprise us in another five years time (or sooner) with another album that’s completely different to ‘AMSP’ or they could bow out on this high and focus on their many other endeavours.
The tracklisting is in alphabetical order
When Google Play prematurely made the album available (and then immediately took it down), some fans questioned the tracklisting’s order. Entirely alphabetical, it was presumed this must be a mistake. But on its official release, it was listed in that same A-Z order. Guess Thom and the band really do like everything in its right place after all…