The student news site of Davis High School

The Dart

The student news site of Davis High School

The Dart

The student news site of Davis High School

The Dart

Julia Adams, Journalist • May 15, 2024

Why ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ is the Best Radiohead Album

Why ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ is the Best Radiohead Album

Radiohead’s “A Moon Shaped Pool” is a masterpiece. The band experimented with different writing techniques in this album, and it definitely paid off. It was released in 2016, and perfectly encapsulates many different emotions. It is a great example of the band’s range and ability when it comes to writing music.

Track by Track Analysis:

1. Burn the Witch

This is the first track and perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the album. It starts off with string instruments, and its very fast paced. The entire vibe of the song changes when the bass starts. The bass has heavy distortion which completely counteracts the strings, but also fits in perfectly. This song is very unique. Thom Yorke’s vocals sound ethereal in this song. The beginning of the song is able to give the listener a feeling of dread and unease, and then about halfway through it starts to mellow out a bit, which completely changes the feel of it while still staying consistent.

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2. Daydreaming

Burn the Witch comes to an abrupt stop before immediately leading into the second track, Daydreaming. This song has a completely different feel from the opener. The last song was tense, and almost anxiety inducing, however this song is the complete opposite. It is a slow, calm piano song. It plays in perfectly to the album and the emotions that the album makes the listener feel.

3. Decks Dark

Decks Dark is my personal favorite song on the album, and it may even be my favorite Radiohead song. The piano and bass play into each other so well, and Yorke’s vocals throughout the entire song, but more specifically the chorus, are so beautiful. I love how it slowly builds up and gets more intense as the song goes on. The harmonies that come in right before the chorus are beautiful and gives it a ghost-like sound which fits into the song so perfectly. This is one of the most gorgeous songs I have ever heard, and I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it.

4. Desert Island Disk

This song is fully acoustic, and the guitar is beautifully written. It softens the mood of the album after the last song, which created a lot of tension. Its very quiet, with only the acoustic guitar, Yorke’s vocals, and some ambient sounds. This definitely isn’t my favorite, but its still amazing.

5. Ful Stop

This song is very intense and sounds almost alien. The guitar and bass effects are out of this world, and the build up is insane. It starts with just the bass, and then slowly adds in the guitars, drums, and other random noises until Yorke finally starts singing, and it completely changes the song. The distortion and rhythm make the song feel urgent and uneasy, as well as Yorke’s vocals.

6. Glass Eyes

Glass Eyes is a beautiful piano ballad. It really shows how good Thome Yorke is at vocals and writing lyrics. There aren’t many instruments other than piano, and it makes the song sound almost empty and haunting, which adds to the atmosphere of the album.

7. Identikit

This song stands out from the rest of the album. It doesn’t sound like anything else they have written; however, it also manages to flow perfectly with the album. The dynamic of the song changes with the chorus and becomes more intense and off putting. The band definitely experimented with this song, and it worked really well. I am always impressed with Radiohead’s ability to write such diverse music while still keeping their signature style of writing. All of their songs sound so different from each other, however listening to it you can still tell that it was written by Radiohead.

8. The Numbers

The strings and piano in this song make it sound very ethereal. The song is about climate change, and it talks about how we have to make a change to fix it because we are the ones who created the problem in the first place. With lyrics such as “we call upon the people. People have this power.” It calls everyone out, saying that nothing else can fix this issue and we all need to do something.

9. Present Tense

This song is full of acoustic guitar, syncopated rhythms, and Yorke’s beautiful vocals. It is definitely one of the most intriguing tracks on this album. The background vocals make it more intense and powerful, and listening to it with headphones is like an out of body experience. The echoes and reverb on the guitar all add to the other-worldly sound of this song and I think its one of the best tracks on the album.

10. Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief

This song sounds haunted. Thom Yorke whispers all of the vocals in this song, and it adds to the haunting and empty feeling. The piano that comes in at about 1:59 is out of tune, which adds to the uneasy feeling of it all. Overall, this song is very beautiful. I love that they paid such close attention to what order the songs are in. This is the second to last song and I think it is a great way to start bringing the album to a close.

11. True Love Waits

Wow. This is such an amazing and beautiful song to close the album with. Thom Yorke’s vocals are unlike any other song, and the piano is beautiful and sad at the same time. I love this song so much I don’t even know where to start. I could talk about this song for hours. I love how it is so simple, but still so powerful. The entire song is just Thom Yorke and a piano, however I think this song affects me the most out of any Radiohead song ever.

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About the Contributor
Savana Abel
Savana Abel, Journalist
My name is Savana, and I'm literally Stan Marsh if he was an 18 year old girl who loves music, wild west cowboys, and film?