Radiohead have landed their sixth UK number one album.
The iconic British band, who dropped their ninth studio album A Moon Shaped Pool this month, are back on the charts and hit the road this month for an overdue world tour.
They were almost there, back in the public eye, recently, when they came close to joining the legendary lineup of James Bond theme song artists. Makes sense, as the Bond films have upped the cool factor, in lots of ways but including musically, and have had recent themes by Jack White and Chris Cornell. Producers of the latest Bond outing, “Spectre”, originally asked Radiohead to provide the iconic title music, and, uhoh, the Broccolis got what they should have expected. Not the big strings-y crowdpleaser Adele delivered for “Skyfall”. It all went south, for whatever reason (Thom Yorke ain’t talking) and the makers of the 24th official Bond film went to crooner of the moment, Sam Smith, instead.
Oh, what could have been. Listen for yourself.
A Moon Shaped Pool
No 24 albums for Radiohead, but this is a respectable ninth, and respectable it is. Cinematic. Occasionally stirring. Kind of sad. Definitely respectable. Oh, that is a B- minus of a report card, there, isn’t it?
There are things to love here – the gospelly “The Numbers” hit the right place for me, and the boys have finally decided to put the oddly romantic “True Love Waits” – long a live show favorite – onto vinyl (or your chosen download mode) for the first time. Aurally picture a handsome old fairtytale wizard, bobbing and floating away on a silver raft, singing to his lost princess love. Oh, you probably already were.
Jonny Greenwood’s recent work in film scores (“There Will Be Blood”, “The Master”) shows in the overall drama of the album. Is it their best? No. But it’s good.
Maybe I shouldn’t make that big classification– I was late to the Radiohead game. Chatting on twitter the other night, one of Pop Culture Beast’s followers claims to be a massive fan, so maybe Kyle Pedersen (@kyle_d_pedersen) has a better perspective. Kyle thinks that aside from Burn the Witch (“out of place”) this is an otherwise ”devastatingly beautiful” album could be their best.
But don’t take it from us – the public, at least in the UK, has spoken. This is the sixth chart topper, joining previous number one albums Ok Computer, Kid A, Hail to the Thief, Amnesiac and In Rainbows.
Let’s say, if you like what you hear at the beginning, you’ll probably like the entire experience. What say you, Beasts?
Score 8/10 for Radiohead fans. Your mileage may vary.
A former ABC National, Dallas and Atlanta radio personality, Martina O'Boyle is now making movies and covering culture in London, Dublin, and as far in Europe as the cheapie flights will take her, for Pop Culture Beast.