• Record Label: XL
  • Release Date: May 8, 2016
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
Buy On
  1. Jun 1, 2016
    100
    This may not be Radiohead’s most experimental album, but it is without a doubt their most sonically pleasing, elegant, and acoustically immaculate offering to date--and it just might be their best, too.
  2. May 23, 2016
    100
    By taking various elements from not only their collective past, but also the work they've done separately, Radiohead has created something wholly new and utterly entrancing.
  3. 100
    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.
  4. May 11, 2016
    100
    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.
  5. 100
    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.
  6. 100
    Radiohead's most melodically accessible collection, almost meditative in its ethereal mid-tempo loveliness, yet shot through with the kind of edgy details that never quite let a listener relax. It is chill-out music to put your nerves on edge.
  7. 95
    Embodying that impervious inner spirit that Kafka called the Indestructible, where the possibility of perfect happiness exists in spite of everything else, its calm resignation defines what A Moon Shaped Pool strives for. In honing that potential from start to finish, Radiohead have excavated their most accomplished album in at least 15 years.
  8. May 9, 2016
    92
    Unlike Limbs, Pool never strains by adhering to a methodology. It just feels like a collection of songs—very fucking transportive songs.
  9. 91
    Waiting five years to hear previously released tracks is worth it precisely because Radiohead finally feels connected enough to perform them with meaning.
  10. May 11, 2016
    91
    Throughout the album, Yorke’s everyday enlightenment is backed by music of expanse and abandon. The guitars sound like pianos, the pianos sound like guitars, and the mixes breathe with pastoral calm.
  11. Magnet
    Aug 9, 2016
    90
    This is Radiohead's deepest, darkest pool of devotion and doubt in a career marked by almost nothing but. [No. 133, p.51]
  12. Uncut
    Jun 21, 2016
    90
    There's a lighter, more hopeful bent to the musical settings, which perfectly balance the more dissonant leanings of The King Of Limbs with a sumptuousness and gentleness they've rarely sought since OK Computer. [Aug 2016, p.81]
  13. May 19, 2016
    90
    Very few records are able to transport the listener to a different world full of visceral, palpable feeling for even just one listen. A Moon Shaped Pool manages to do it over and over again with the feelings deepening rather than cheapening with each successive listen.
  14. May 11, 2016
    90
    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.
  15. 90
    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.
  16. May 10, 2016
    90
    Somehow, Pool transmutes fatigue and anxiety into a hallucinatory magick that’s far more cathartic than a jacuzzi soak or a glass of wine. It’s Radiohead doing Radiohead on a molecular level, via controlled burns. Their weary indifference to us becomes our transcendence.
  17. May 10, 2016
    90
    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.
  18. May 10, 2016
    90
    As always, it's Yorke's voice that holds the emotional center, and it's never been more affecting. Credit both his delivery and the production clarity, a statement in and of itself.
  19. May 9, 2016
    90
    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.
  20. May 9, 2016
    90
    It’s an album worthy of Radiohead’s peerless catalog, a rich addition to what is the most vital and important string of rock albums of the last 30 years.
  21. Aug 11, 2016
    89
    Gone are any remnants of yesteryear's "rock music" ideology, thrusting Radiohead into a mature state of potentially their best work still to come.
  22. Jun 20, 2016
    80
    A Moon Shaped Pool represents a return to the ambition and perfectionism that has characterised their best work.
  23. Q Magazine
    May 31, 2016
    80
    For the most part, though, the excellence of what's here is less a matter of particular details than the way they combine to produce long stretches of real magic. [#361, p.104]
  24. Mojo
    May 24, 2016
    80
    All told, another luxurious wallow in art and agitation. [Jul 2016, p.98]
  25. May 18, 2016
    80
    It probably won’t satisfy those who still yearn for a return to their ‘90s alt-rock beginnings but it’s a good starting point for newcomers. For the rest of us though, what this all amounts to, in the end, is another fantastic Radiohead album.
  26. May 15, 2016
    80
    Radiohead have long trafficked in existential dread and political anger, and in a wider sense of twitchy bereftness that bends to fit any number of scenarios – their very own aural shade of Yves Klein blue, maybe, just a little more bruised. This arresting ninth album is bathed in it.
  27. May 11, 2016
    80
    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.
  28. May 11, 2016
    80
    Radiohead is recognizably the same band that made that pioneering piece of electronica-rock but they're older and wiser on A Moon Shaped Pool, deciding not to push at the borders of their sound but rather settle into the territory they've marked as their own. This may not result in a radical shift in sound but rather a welcome change in tone: for the first time Radiohead feels comfortable in their own skin.
  29. May 10, 2016
    80
    That lack of tension and urgency throughout stops A Moon Shaped Pool from being a classic on par with Radiohead's best work, but then, perhaps that's the wrong standard to reasonably hold an album that trades the band's trademark anxiety for acceptance, their experimentalism for elegance.
  30. 80
    An album of eerie, elusive beauty.
  31. May 10, 2016
    80
    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.
  32. 80
    An album that reaches for something far more organic and immediate [than 2011's The King Of Limbs].
  33. 80
    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.
  34. 80
    Grim tidings arrive amid gorgeous backdrops ... The results often hark back to the late 1960s; in a way, "A Moon Shaped Pool" is Radiohead’s psych-folk album.
  35. May 8, 2016
    80
    It’s not an album that feels lost in experimentation. The abundance of sonic intrigue is matched by the quantity of beautiful tunes.
  36. May 12, 2016
    78
    Following shaky albums from both Yorke and Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool suggests that they were right to keep the faith.
  37. May 10, 2016
    75
    It pauses, in awkward fits and starts, even as the overall experience is languid and repetitive, like the daily grind of life itself. The band has figured out how to translate its worldview into an album of tone poems, a record of songs ending in abrupt drops or trailed-off codas, as though each effort--by definition, you get the sense--must inevitably come up short.
  38. May 9, 2016
    75
    A casual listen or two might consign A Moon Shaped Pool to the latest in a series of Radiohead releases post-“Kid A” (2000) that are more about texture and arty experimentation than guitar rock or pop structure. But as with most Radiohead releases, there’s something more going on.
  39. May 11, 2016
    70
    A Moon Shaped Pool is a “grower,” because all music is a grower. Here, there is perhaps a wider opportunity for the music to grow due to there being an audible release of sign and substance as a ghostly after-image of the band’s event-based trauma.
  40. May 10, 2016
    70
    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. Those able to ride in his emotional wake will be captivated--those by the curb will forget A Moon Shaped Pool like the receding tide.
  41. 60
    Sporadically great but decidedly patchy, A Moon Shaped Pool is not the sound of a great band dying, more a great band spreading themselves too thinly.
  42. May 9, 2016
    60
    There are moments where the restraint feels almost too determined, as though the abundance of care and attention to subtle detail also places a cap on the kind of impulsive energy essential to a rock-oriented band.
  43. May 13, 2016
    40
    There’s simply so little spark here, barely glowing embers and blackened dust where once Radiohead blazed a fascinating, furious trail for others to attempt to follow.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 1393 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. May 8, 2016
    10
    With 8 of the 11 songs played live in prior, this album is a true fan service. Parting away with most of the experimental sounds from The KingWith 8 of the 11 songs played live in prior, this album is a true fan service. Parting away with most of the experimental sounds from The King of Limbs, Radiohead deliver an elegant experience for even new comers. Full Review »
  2. May 8, 2016
    10
    Best album since OK Computer. (Review in portuguese)

    Radiohead se reinventa a cada álbum. Isso é fato. Desde Pablo Honey, seus álbuns
    Best album since OK Computer. (Review in portuguese)

    Radiohead se reinventa a cada álbum. Isso é fato. Desde Pablo Honey, seus álbuns posteriores costumam sempre ser uma espécie de borboleta libertada do casulo do álbum anterior. Se com "The Bends" tivemos a evolução da guitarra nervosa de Jonny Greenwood em relação ao seu álbum de estreia, em "OK Computer" tivemos a quintessência do grupo, um álbum tão impactante para os anos 90, como Dark Side of the Moon foi nos anos 70. Porém, ao término da "trinca" inicial de álbuns, em que o falsete de Thom Yorke se aventurava dentre as guitarras poderosas do grupo e por um belo casamento da "cozinha" da banda (baixo e bateria), temos a releitura mais radical do grupo com "Kid A", álbum que foi um divisor de águas no cenário musical, algo que se seguiu até "In Rainbows". Claro, tivemos flertes com o antigo e bom rock "sujo" presente no Radiohead dos anos 90. Porém, nunca tão efervescente como nesse registro aqui. Se em "The King of Limbs" tivemos uma predominância quase que total de elementos eletrônicos experimentais, (algo que enjoava em certas partes), aqui em "A Moon Shaped Pool" temos uma bela mescla de todos os gêneros que já se tiveram presentes ao longo da jornada da banda. É provavelmente o álbum mais eficiente em sua proposta, mais ainda que "Hail to the Thief". E o mais consistente desde OK Computer. Pra muitos vai ser o "bom e velho" Radiohead flertando com o "Radiohead do século 21", mas não existe "Radiohead daqui" ou "Radiohead dali", essa é a mesma banda que iniciou sua jornada em 1993, e que a cada novo registro se reinventa de forma satisfatória, e que hoje revela seu disco mais revolucionário desde OK Computer, e que provavelmente se tornará um marco para a música.
    Continue assim Radiohead, sendo um dos últimos fornecedores de frescor musical, em meio a esse circo de horrores que se tornou a indústria.
    Full Review »
  3. May 9, 2016
    10
    A Moon Shaped Pool is a celebration of subtlety. In it, Radiohead have not only mastered songgwriting, production and arrengement, they haveA Moon Shaped Pool is a celebration of subtlety. In it, Radiohead have not only mastered songgwriting, production and arrengement, they have reached maturity. It is the sound of a band that constantly reinvent themselves, but this time they take a strong step towards beauty. A haunting beauty which shows itself through the calm responses of broad strokes in a clean canvas. An inspirational journey that breathes emotion and suspense and reaches that through unseen resources. This band knows what they are doing, they have understood the complexity of "less is more" and used it together to craft something wonderful. This is no Yorke or Greenwood album, it is a collectively done masterpiece that will live through the ages. Full Review »