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Radiohead – “Ful Stop”

A Moon Shaped Pool is sort of the antithesis of 2011’s The King of Limbs.  The album takes a much safer, warmer approach than its electronically-infused predecessor.  The results were disappointing to some who hoped that the band would continue to push a more experimental direction, but to the rest, it represented something of a Radiohead Best-Of – this resume-to-date that sounded like a collective of their best traits sans any failed or boring experiments.  From the lush, piano driven ambience of “Daydreaming” to the hook-laden, rock-oriented “Identikit”, the record sees the band pull it all together for a single experience that could be presented to just about any newcomer as the definitive Radiohead experience.

Although the album isn’t lacking for gorgeous gems – namely the beautiful and emotionally detached “Glass Eyes” or the sweepingly orchestral “Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief” – the song to represent the decade for this generation-defining band ultimately came down to either “Daydreaming” or “Ful Stop”.  The former is stunning in every way imaginable, but “Ful Stop” eeks it out; on an album full of all things shimmering and pretty, it’s the track that brings something rougher…rawer…more aggressive.

When the drums kick in it feels like you’re being sucked into a black hole.  The entire song echoes this spiraling sensation; a dizzying atmosphere espoused with equally disorienting lyrics – a repeated “…truth will mess you up.”  The longer the track goes on the more dissonant and alienating it becomes.  Discordant falsetto wails against lost-sounding chord progressions, synths and horns drone on in the background like a radio finally picking up on the desperate cries of a planet damned millennia ago…too little, too late.  The song fizzles out abruptly and all of its clashing sounds float harmlessly into space, like wisps of smoke from a chimney.  The song feels like a self-contained universe; this cyclical and never ending existence with a sinister edge.  To be trapped in your full stop…

Read more from this decade at my homepage for Sowing’s Songs of the Decade.





SowingSeason
07.03.19
The youtube embed is a live version because apparently the band has something against people listening to any of their actual songs.

Anyway, amazing track and obviously Radiohead was going to be somewhere on this list!

JohnnyoftheWell
07.03.19
Weiiiiiird, I listened to almost all of this album earlier today. This track is probably my fave, always loved how it feels like a darker deconstruction of Jigsaw Falling Into Place (which imo is Radiohead's finest moment)... Love the minireview, weird to think we're over halfway through the series now (presumably?)!

neekafat
07.03.19
Now time to add "Runwayaway" (:

furpa
07.04.19
Yooooooo amazing pick! Track is stunning.

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