AOTY 2017
A Moon Shaped Pool
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
Critic Score
Based on 34 reviews
2016 Ratings: #5 / 721
Year End Rank: #5
User Score
2016 Ratings: #1
Your Review

CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Pretty Much Amazing

A Moon Shaped Pool is the best album we could expect from a rock outfit already into its third decade of existence, and a superb work from the last important band left in the universe.

100
Entertainment Weekly

By nature, Radiohead albums will always be somewhat epic, but this one is more consistently grandiose than any of the band’s releases since 2000’s masterpiece Kid A.

100
DIY

Beyond anything, ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ feels like the beginning of a new chapter - the first time these five have merged their own idiosyncrasies without compromising or crossing wires.

100
No Ripcord

With A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead didn't reinvent the wheel, but instead crafted an emotionally resonant, musically unexpected and richly rewarding album.

100
The Telegraph

The melodic sweetness and sometimes gentle ambience of Moon Shaped Pool may represent Radiohead at their least bloodthirsty and most accessible, but there are depths and riches here to suggest a work of total self-assurance.

95
The Line of Best Fit

A Moon Shaped Pool stems from such a vital and private place that its quiet cohesion yields some devastatingly beautiful results.

92
Paste

With A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead have resumed the greatest winning streak in modern popular music. Not by flaunting any new tricks—just by delivering their normal quota of catharsis.

91
Pitchfork

It’s a sound that Radiohead has spent the last decade honing, but the payoff here is deeper and more gratifying than it has been in a while. The added dimension comes from Yorke, who pumps fresh oxygen into these songs, many of which have existed in sketch-like forms for years.

91
Consequence of Sound

Only now does it seem like Radiohead, a group too big to break up, could call it quits after pouring everything into their music, ending with a record of personal exhaust examined through leisurely means.

90
Rolling Stone

If Radiohead have made the dehumanizing effects of technology their great theme, A Moon Shaped Pool is the first record in which, musically, they kick their way out of the machine, or at least make their cyborg soul more vestigial.

90
Under The Radar

Where the band's ninth studio album differs from its predecessor, The King of Limbs, is that it's entirely possible—no, recommended—to simply sit back and appreciate its sheer magisterial beauty.

90
Spin
Radiohead — a quintet made up of the same five musicians through a long, accomplished career — truly feel like equals here, during what history may validate as one of the band’s finest hours.
90
PopMatters

Although it’s recognizably Radiohead, the album is quite different from anything they’ve ever done. It’s also breathtaking from start to finish, a triumphant return after the longest gap between studio albums in the band’s career.

90
musicOMH

This is as compelling and coherent a collection as they have ever made. It’s a record that you can delve deep into and really inhabit; everything’s in its right place.

90
Slant Magazine

While A Moon Shaped Pool offers little in the way of new sonic territory, its newly naked and incisive portrayal of emotional vulnerability remains a resoundingly major achievement.

90
American Songwriter

For a long time now, Radiohead has been achieving mesmerizing results by blazing the trail for synthetic sounds in rock and roll. But it’s the humanity, oh, the humanity, that makes A Moon Shaped Pool so moving.

90
The 405

When one wades into their first listens of A Moon Shaped Pool, they may feel as though they've entered this dreamy, somewhat surreal state of being as Radiohead's ninth studio album creates a powerful sensory experience across its 52-minute runtime. But make no mistake, the dreams conjured up by Radiohead on this record are not the type most would like to be having.

90
Crack Magazine

Radiohead are lost in their own wonderful world of sonics while things tumble around them, and this juxtaposition has made for a record that leaves A Moon Shaped Pool sat alongside some of their finest work.

84
Northern Transmissions

No doubt, A Moon Shaped Pool is still streaming jittery clicks and filtered synths our way, but there’s a more pronounced organic element to the record.

80
The Guardian

You’d hesitate to call it more poppy – this is still an album on which standard verse-chorus structures are very much subject to subsidence, and on which the instruments buried deep in the mix frequently seem to be playing an entirely different song to those in the foreground – but it’s certainly sharper and more focused.

80
NME

Thom Yorke and co remain reluctant saviours of rock, and 'A Moon Shaped Pool' doesn’t so much grab you by the throat as creep into your house in the night and paint your walls an enigmatic shade of blue.

80
Drowned in Sound

It is a formidably layered, beautiful record that largely lacks big hooks or aggressive bite, and yet conspires to be endlessly satisfying on a micro level, a clutch of ballads that represent the band's most intricate musical trip.

80
Exclaim!

A Moon Shaped Pool is a gorgeous, sweeping record whose best moments ... find Radiohead at their dazzling best, reflecting something of their past while stretching forward, too.

80
AllMusic
For the first time Radiohead feels comfortable in their own skin.
80
The Skinny

It’s the soundtrack to our most outlandish dreams, perhaps the exit music to the unmade film of our most romantic lives. If you're still to discover Radiohead, listen to this, for it's the perfect way in.

80
Clash

This is an emotionally brittle and dazzling collection that improves with each enthralling listen.

80
God Is in the TV

The content within Radiohead‘s ninth album A Moon Shaped Pool is a balance of welcoming familiarity and measured surprise tactics.

80
The Independent
Drawing on the embattled, hopeful possibilities of early Seventies soul, rock and folk, its chamber-classical and folk instrumentation allows for pleasure as well as despair. This is a Radiohead album to make you feel, better.
80
The Needle Drop
Radiohead's new album is easy on the ears, but heavy on the heart.
78
Resident Advisor

It's hard to say whether the heartbreak gives Radiohead's music a fresh power, or whether the band happens to have found a new creative energy that amplifies the heartbreak.

75
A.V. Club

A Moon Shaped Pool is the sound of Radiohead trying to imbue personal attachment to a world that feels as though it’s lost such connections.

70
Sputnikmusic

A Moon Shaped Pool sees Thom Yorke gazing into his own reflection. It makes for one of Radiohead's most personal efforts, but also an elusive one. Yorke often loses himself to the point of losing others.

70
Tiny Mix Tapes

The attempts at transcendence in Radiohead’s past make this album full with potential for retroactive catharsis due to its normality and lack, a sort of vernacular normcore presentation that delivers strands of Radiohead’s past in a utilitarian and casual manner.

60
NOW Magazine
It’s not as though Radiohead need to hang onto crashing drum crescendos and unruly guitar solos (although there is a lovely one at the end of Identikit), but you wonder faintly if the band feels overburdened by the idea of aging gracefully.
May 8, 2016*
90
Radiohead is an interesting band. Every album feels like a reinvention of the Radiohead sound, with them jumping between electronic music, folk, and straightforward rock every few years. If you asked me to pin down what Radiohead sounded like, I would be hard-pressed to describe them. I can describe what their albums sound like, but can not apply a consistent label to the band as whole.

But with A Moon Shaped Pool I think I can finally do it. This is what Radiohead sounds like. Decades of ... read more
May 8, 2016*
exception
82
EDIT: I have yet to go back through AMSP in its entirety since my first couple listens after it dropped. Still very good, but hasn't stuck with me like a few other releases of this year have.

the continuously innovative, and arguably one of the best bands of all time, Radiohead releases a new record that comes almost out of nowhere, although they announced a tour and mysteriously deleted their internet presence. and what came from this commotion is one of the greatest albums of the ... read more
May 9, 2016*
veronica
94
I really considered giving it less than a perfect score because it's probably too soon for a proper evaluation (although I've been listening to it nonstop since it came out), but I just couldn't. There's not a single moment on here that doesn't feel perfect to me. Thank you Radiohead for this heartbreakingly beautiful piece of music.

Update: For the sake of objectivity I lowered the score a bit, but I still love this album as much as I did the first time I heard it and possibly even more.
May 10, 2016
SiberianBreaks
73
After the alienating album that was The King of Limbs, Radiohead returns with one of the most fan-pleasing records I've seen in a while surprisingly. And as a fan and especially as one who has been eagerly awaiting this new record for the past five years, I'm pretty fucking pleased. While there isn't anything too ballsy here, most of the fun comes from the strong sense of diversity within the album. 'Daydreaming' is an alluring, ambient pop piece with a subtly remarkable key change and a ... read more
May 11, 2016
EMR
86
Five years after the release of their most controversial and robotic album, Radiohead are back with their most introspective and downright melancholic work to date. A Moon Shaped Pool sees the band depicting their sound from the countless technologic endeavours they have taken in their long career, focusing on organic structures and pure sadness. It is most certainly not an immediate album that draws direct influences from rock or pop or anything like that, and even though it does bring out ... read more
Track List
  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


Added on: May 8, 2016