Posts Tagged With: Radiohead

A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead

First posted on echoesanddust.com.

For some people, bands being at the height of popularity are somewhat dismissive, with interest in perhaps being lackluster even for the most creative of bands. It’s somewhat difficult to really see the true nature of something when concerns over money, intent and sincerity cloud the creative work in question. These days it’s incredibly easy to become jaded and cynical to the music industry, but at the centre of it all, music is simply another art form, of which just about anything can form an emotional connection with anyone. Sure, some music fails to do just that, but when it does, the effects can sometimes be indescribable.

Radiohead’s latest album A Moon Shaped Pool, has certainly generated some of the most interesting discussions out of any album of theirs. Many fans and critics all seem desperate to dissect the work, make their own opinions and theories known to all, which is perhaps something Radiohead does best. Some people believe A Moon Shaped Pool to be the best of Radiohead’s albums, whilst others simply see it as an improvement on 2011’s The King of Limbs. What’s more interesting though is how everybody is right in their own little way.

For this reviewer, tracks like ‘Decks Dark’, ‘The Numbers’ and the oddly named ‘Tinker Tailor Solider Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief’ all came across as some of the most interesting and creative tracks the band have put out thus far. For others, this may not be the case, and instead tracks like ‘Present Tense’ and ‘Identikit’ form the basis of joy for the album. The way this album has come across to so many people really stands out as a testament to the album itself, showing how our differences don’t really mean anything at the end of the day.

One of Radiohead’s greatest strengths is in how their creative works simply connect to each individual in its own little way. For this reviewer, A Moon Shaped Pool came across as something brilliantly unnerving, heart-breaking and beautiful. An album where that first listen was something phenomenal and fairly emotional. That emotional connection was there from the very beginning, and held on in so many ways as it morphed and shifted with each track on the album. There’s a power here, and whilst it might not come to all those who listen to the album, it has definitely come to some fans of the band, each in its own different way.

It can be easy to hate on certain people in the music industry, and to fans of those, it can feel discomforting to see that artist or band being berated in some way. It perhaps feels frustrating that whomever is saying these things simply doesn’t understand your way of thinking. Perhaps in these situations, it’s best to just let it all be. If music has formed that connection with you, why should someone else’s opinion make that any less powerful? For myself, Radiohead will probably always be one of those bands that will stick with me throughout the years, with A Moon Shaped Pool being another album that stands out in their impressive discography. That’s something that nobody can take away from me.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★★ 5/5

Selected Songs:

  • Decks Dark
  • Ful Stop
  • The Numbers
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief

Radiohead’s latest album ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ is out now.

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Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes – Thom Yorke

A surprise release from Radioheads’ front-man Thom Yorke is the second solo-album under his own name titled ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’. The new album from Yorke comes across as a great surprise, whilst also being a very enjoyable and very interesting album experience. The album itself seems to depart from Yorke’s debut 2006 solo release of ‘The Eraser’, opting even more for processed beats to build up the music. It’s a bizarre listening experience that at times might confuse listeners, though it is one that greatly rewards those attentive enough to sit down and really listen to what is being presented.

There’s a lot of unconventional elements to ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’, both in terms of the music, its structuring and its very unusual release method. Even though the album has been oddly released through BitTorrent, the quality of the music is still the same as anything else Yorke has ever released, showing some real dedication to craft. ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’ builds up from odd syncopated beats, weird synthetic textures and at the forefront, the brilliant and compelling vocal style of Thom Yorke. Something about the music featured on the album just sucks on in completely, enveloping them in an odd world that is strangely comforting and satisfying.

There’s many elements to ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’ that people will love, though the album is perhaps not the best release ever from the very prolific musician. Enough of the album works to make it a very interesting and perhaps essential listening, but one does not go away from the experience thinking they’ve heard the absolute best from Thom Yorke. Even though there’s many incredible elements to the music itself, some people may be very put off by a lot of it, which seems to employ a lot of experimental ideas and techniques, making the whole album experience less accessible than some of Yorke’s previous efforts.

‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’ might divide certain people, but it feels as though there’s enough here to make this essential listening for those who enjoy Yorke’s music. There’s some terrifying beauty to some of the tracks, showcasing Yorke’s wonderful talent in creating music. If one is willing, one can easily allow themselves to get lost in the world being created by Yorke, which allows all of the very clever and intricate details of the album to really emerge and show themselves, showing the true beauty of this album release. It might not be the best thing Thom Yorke has ever done, but it is certainly one that is interesting enough to deserve merit, at the very least.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Guess Again!
  • Truth Ray
  • Pink Section
  • Nose Grows Some

Thom Yorke’s second solo album ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’ is out now. 

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Weatherhouse – Philip Selway

Radiohead drummer Philip Selway follows up from his debut solo-album ‘Familial’, released back in 2010 with his latest solo endeavor ‘Weatherhouse’. The new album departs from the gentle acoustic setting the debut effort presented, opting for a much more darker and harrowing album experience. ‘Weatherhouse’ comes across as a somewhat odd little album experience, where we see much of the slightly reserved talents of Philip Selway being pushed forward to new lengths. Much of the album feels rather unsettling, making it come across as a very interesting and within its own right, an enjoyable album experience.

‘Weatherhouse’ presents a different style from Selway, showing the musician incorporating much more than what was presented on his debut solo effort. ‘Weatherhouse’ builds up much more textures, not being dominated by the acoustic guitar elements that were so prevalent in the first album. It’s an interesting effort that at times, echoes some of the creative ideas one would expect from an Radiohead album. On top of the lush instrumentals is Selway’s wonderfully relaxing and gentle vocals, which are given a bit more of an edge based on the backing instrumentals. It’s a bit of a new side to Selway, who showcases a lot of his own creative talents in his own personal way.

Selway has managed to branch out his own style in an interesting way, showcasing some great new ideas that are certainly a step-up from his first solo-effort. Whilst there’s a lot that work well on ‘Weatherhouse’, it feels as though the album itself is perhaps lacking in a few parts. The main problem with the album seems to be that songs end just as soon as they’ve begun, resulting in this somewhat odd experience where we don’t ever get to experience the true majesty of Selway’s creative ideas. For all the effort Selway has pushed into his latest solo album, it’s a shame that not everything has come across as strongly as it should have done.

There’s a lot to enjoy on ‘Weatherhouse’, which is a wholly different album experience compared to its predecessor. It seems though that for everything the album has managed to do right, it has almost equally done a lot of things wrong, or poorly. There’s a great flow to the album, and some great songs that showcase some great talent from Selway, but the whole experience is lacking in a few parts. It’s a shame, considering the brilliant strengths of the first album, which was a very down-played and reserved album. ‘Weatherhouse’ might have stepped forward in a few aspects, but it seems to have also stepped back in other places.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆ 3/5

Selected Songs:

  • Coming Up For Air
  • Around Again
  • Don’t Go Now
  • Waiting For A Sign

Philip Selway’s second solo album ‘Weatherhouse’ is set for release on 7th October 2014.

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Radiohead Live @ 02 Arena (08/08/12)

 

Whilst Radiohead’s ‘The King of Limbs’ might have been a rather polarizing album when first released, featuring unusual musical techniques and motifs even for Radiohead, it seems the tracks featured on the album find themselves at their best in the live context by the band. Radiohead’s performance at the 02 Arena certainly featured a very unusual selection of Radiohead tracks, with there being very few fan favourites, though the performance still sticks out as a wonderful representation of what Radiohead are capable of. The concert itself showed new majesty and life in some tracks we might not pay much attention to.

Much of Radiohead’s performance was a rather dark and almost macabre affair, with many tracks contributing towards this rather unsettling atmosphere. Although somewhat unsettling at times, there was an incredibly refined performance from the band, who managed to get everything they pushed out sounding as perfect as it could possibly be. The set-list was certainly an odd selection of tracks, featuring mostly new compositions from the band, and very little that could be deemed as ‘popular’. Not to say that it wasn’t enjoyable though. Radiohead’s technical performance was near perfect, with tracks such as ‘Bloom’, ‘Myxomatosis’ and ‘The Gloaming’, (which are somewhat uninspiring tracks on their albums), actually became some of the highlights of the concert. A few surprises included were the performance of the non-album track ‘These Are My Twisted Words’, which sounded even better than its original recording. On top of that was one of the most beautiful renditions of ‘Pyramid Song’, which tugged at the heart-strings in its absolutely harrowing beauty, and a phenomenally electric performance of ‘There There’, which managed to get the whole audience going.

Whilst Radiohead managed to get a lot of their ‘King of Limbs’ tracks sounding at arguably their best, their whole concert seemed a little lackluster to a small extent. There was a somewhat polarizing element to the gig due to the set-list Radiohead had opted for, which included many unusual tracks, and few well known tracks. Whilst it was incredibly enjoyable hearing these more unknown tracks from Radiohead, it seemed the rest of the audience didn’t really get it, with their only electric moments being when the band played ‘Karma Police’ and ‘Everything In Its Right Place’. The whole polarizing and dividing aspect of ‘The King of Limbs’ became much more apparent during Radioheads performance as one just had to look around to see how almost uninterested many of the audience members were. Considering the gig was first released as a concert for fans, it seems unusual how the audience didn’t feel like getting themselves involved.

Radiohead’s concert might perhaps have been as polarizing as the album it accompanied, but it provided some brilliant insight into some the inner workings of the bands more unusual songs. The band themselves certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves as they launched into phenomenal versions of particular odd tracks. The gigs highlights seem to be the performance of these odd little tracks, which made up a very significant portion of the set-list itself. Perhaps to outsiders this isn’t a clear indication of what Radiohead is capable of, but to those who know and love their music, they should have been able to see the brilliance of the band through their performance.

Set-List

  1. Lotus Flower
  2. 15 Step
  3. Bloom
  4. Kid A
  5. The Daily Mail
  6. Myxomatosis
  7. Climbing Up The Walls
  8. The Gloaming
  9. Separator
  10. These Are My Twisted Words
  11. Like Spinning Plates
  12. Nude
  13. Identikit
  14. Karma Police
  15. Feral
  16. Idioteque
  17. Pyramid Song
  18. Staircase
  19. Morning Mr. Magpie
  20. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
  21. Reckoner
  22. Give Up The Ghost
  23. There There
  24. Everything In Its Right Place
Categories: Concerts/Gigs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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