A Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
Critic Score
Based on 47 reviews
2016 Ratings: #8 / 947
Year End Rank: #5
User Score
2016 Ratings: #4
Liked by 229 people
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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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

FLOOD Magazine

Never before have Radiohead made anxiety such a singular concern, or unease such an agonized-over art form, as they have on the brooding, stewing, contagious A Moon Shaped Pool.

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

For the first time Radiohead feels comfortable in their own skin.
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.


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

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.

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.
The Needle Drop
Radiohead's new album is easy on the ears, but heavy on the heart.
The Observer

Where 2011’s more granular and underrated The King of Limbs revelled in beats, A Moon Shaped Pool marks a frequent relaxation into more conventional songcraft – manna from heaven for a certain stripe of Radiohead fan.

Spectrum Culture

A Moon Shaped Pool is not the best Radiohead album, but it is still striking in its intimacy and introspection. It’s a step forward and further evidence of just how thoroughly the band has mastered their craft.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.



In Class
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
I never reviewed this? Huh. Anyway…

Just like the surface of a pool, A Moon Shaped Pool is one of Radiohead's most reflective works. This album truly sounds like Radiohead’s swansong. Now, this is not me saying that Radiohead will never put out another record past this, but this feels like everything that their previous releases were leading up to. What I’m saying is despite the numerous amount of classic and amazing album we would be missing out on, I would be fine with A ... read more
This album has slowly grown more and more with every listen. I love this project. I think it’s up their with the bands all time best. I bump this at least once a week
The first time I heard Radiohead’s ninth studio album, A Moon Shaped Pool, I did not really like it and thought about never listening to it again because it was not my preferred kind of ‘sound’. It could’ve been my short attention span versus the 52 min long album at that moment, a problem that I have overcome now.

Flash forward two months, on a cold November night, out of boredom (and a developing Radiohead obsession, yeah) I decide to give A Moon Shaped Pool another ... read more
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Added on: May 8, 2016