A Must-Listen: "A Moon Shaped Pool" (2016) by Radiohead
Very few bands were able to change the direction in their music, and not ruin their signature elements while growing up as a band. King Crimson has changed so many times that one may question there is anything that can be called "King Crimson sound". Opeth has been differentiating itself from their earlier records - but fans seem to be unsatisfied with the results. The list is pretty long; however, while considering Radiohead's maturation, they are one of those few bands that we're able to change and develop their music without losing the identity of the band, still creating fresh and tasteful music.
Since the first record (Pablo Honey), Radiohead has been through lots of musical phases: starting out with grunge elements, later turning to krautrock and electronic music direction, then using orchestral arrangements and Avante-Garde music; they have been one of the most "progressive" musicians that the world had a chance to witness. With their latest record, A Moon Shaped Pool (AMSP), they have combined all the elements that they have developed in their music and put out their considerately most mature album. The album has a calm and heavenly atmosphere - and if I were to use artwork to describe it, I would definitely go with Stanley Donwood's album cover. The whole orchestral arrangements were made by the guitarist Johnny Greenwood - which he developed throughout the years while scoring movies. Most of the songs have repetitive progressions that were mostly layered with choirs, string ensembles, synthesizers, voice effects and loops, interesting guitar syncopations. And both electronic and kit drumming were used throughout the album. Production-wise, it is a pleasure to see Nigel Godrich's talent again and again; and considering the experience of the band with him, the outcome is a work of an inherently coherent team.
The dreamy and melancholic atmosphere of AMSP is united with the lyrics inspired by Thom Yorke's break-up with his life-long partner, politics, and some other personal experiences of the band members. One of the best gems of the decade, definitely go and check it out!