12 Days of Music: An Overview & Review of Radiohead’s A Moon Shape Pool

As we inch closer to the new year, we reflect on everything that has happened in the music industry in 2016.

This year has been marked with many heartaches, with the passing of some of our legendary musicians like David Bowie, Prince, Sharon Jones and Leonard Cohen to name a few. But, there have also been some bright spots in the music world with so many amazing releases and new artists emerging.

At PlayNetwork, our music supervision team stays on top of the current trends in music, and work to program these new releases and artists in our branded playlists. As our holiday gift to you, we present our 12 Days of Music, a collection of album reviews from our music supervisors highlighting their favorite albums of 2016.  You may not find many of these on year end charts, but these albums are earworms that you should discover sooner rather than later.

 

To kick it off, I would like to share with you my favorite album of the year.

Artist: Radiohead

Album: A Moon Shape Pool – XL 2016

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Ever since listening to Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ along with their album Pablo Honey back in ’93, I was intrigued.  When their follow The Bends came out a few years later, I was hooked.  Following their career ever since with many lives shows attended, I became obsessed. Many people either loved them or hated them for their gloomy lyrics or as some may say lead singer’s Thom Yorke’s quirkiness, I just thought of them as unique and different.  Then came their mega classic and critically acclaimed OK Computer in 1997 and they blew up around the world.  Being influence by such bands as Pink Floyd and Magazine, their musical styles and sound has evolved in such a way that even when they experimented with releases such as Kid A or Amnesiac, they still found a way to keep their core audience in tack while bringing in new ones with their live shows and electronic structures in their music. 

After hearing snippets of their upcoming 9th release A Moon Shape Pool earlier this year, I was excited to hear the whole album as it sounded very intimate and personal.  This has to be Radiohead’s most complete album to date with its haunting as well as inspiring lyrics mixed with sublime sounds coming from the rhythm section of Johnny Greenwood and Philip Selway.  This album became really emotional from me as it took me through a journey like an organic dream where the music was my soundtrack.  When their first single came out aptly titled ‘Burn The Witch’ with its accompanied music video inspired by the horror film ‘The Wicker Man’, critics and fans alike were gushing with the string arrangements and dread like sound.  What most people don’t know though is that ‘Burn the Witch’ was actually supposed to be released on Kid A back in 2000 but since the band are known to be perfectionists, they felt the track just wasn’t ready enough and needed more work.

Alex Espinosa

About Alex Espinosa

Hi, I’m Alex Espinosa, music curator, DJ and music supervisor here at PlayNetwork with over 30 years of music experience.

As the youngest of three, I have my older brothers to thank for my eclectic taste in music which ranges from the Beatles to Pink Floyd or Steely Dan to Led Zeppelin – throw in my early teen years when I discovered music on my own, and you have to add Post Punk and New Wave. I really just love all things music.

It all started out in Southern California at 16 with my first job at a record store called Licorice Pizza, which grew into radio station work, then onto music branding companies such as Muzak and landing here at Playnetwork in 2011. Working in this industry for so long, I can honestly say that the best thing I get out of all of this is being able to discover music from all around the world that is new to someone’s ears.

If I’m not trying to find that perfect song for one of our many brand partners or contracting with Slacker Radio, you may catch me browsing through record stores bin digging, at a local dive bar with some great whisky or catching a live show. But my favorite thing to do with my free-time is spend it with my family.

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