Radiohead: How One Song Captures A Band / “True Love Waits”

With the new Radiohead upon us and critical praise already piling on like an avalanche, I thought this clip for “True Love Waits” was a worthy mention. The 22 year-old track finally has finally made the cut and now closes down their just released new record, A Moon Shaped Pool. With such a long history, does this mean Radiohead somehow became a bit lazy in 2016 or does this track represent much more?

For me, this song captures the evolution of Radiohead from their early beginnings as alternative guitar rockers to the orchestrated, detailed and very composed artists we hear today. The video clip above showcases the song with an acoustic guitar, which is also the same style it was released on Radiohead’s 2001 live album I Might Be Wrong. Today, the track fits perfectly on A Moon Shaped Pool, as it is now more vulnerable and flows like a gentle clear stream. Always moving but structured – much like Radiohead today.

Not only has the band stood the test of time but how many other groups can shut down the Internet and take over Mother’s Day? Not many, and if we look at other 1995 artists and hits for a second (when this video was shot) you won’t find anyone else from the era that can compete:

GREEN DAY – “When I Come Around”
OASIS – “Wonderwall”
LIVE – “Lightning Crashes”
RADIOHEAD – “Fake Plastic Trees”
WHITE ZOMBIE – “More Human Than Human”
BUSH – “Everything Zen”
FILTER – “Hey Man, Nice Shot”
FOO FIGHTERS – “I’ll Stick Around”

Sure, the Foo Fighters would be the only real contender in the above list but still, even Dave Grohl and his rock god might can’t elicit the craziness that comes with any Radiohead news much less a new record. It has been a fascinating ride so far and even though many fans (including me) would still like to see the band pick up the guitar again, A Moon Shaped Pool sounds right for today and seemingly will just continue to grow with us upon every listen. Maybe the record will even become one of Radiohead’s most honored releases to date. Time will tell for sure but like any great novel, “True Love Waits” is all in the details and the response it drives from its listeners. Clearly it goes well beyond the title!

Christopher Anthony
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