(Photo Credit - Greg Williams)
#HotTake Revie - Thom Yorke - ANIMA
Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, fans first glimpse into Thom Yorke’s DJ persona, left some Radiohead and Thom Yorke fans speechless. The sound and mood separated itself from The Eraser and Atoms for Peace’s AMOK, other projects that still fit in the Radiohead universe. Suspiria, the soundtrack released in October last year, continued this departure. In ANIMA, the musical genius crumbles bits and pieces of all his music and sprinkles it over this new sound to make it more palatable, finding the balance between experimental and self-expression. It is Mr. Yorke’s best solo album to date.
Opening with a hypnotic intro, “Traffic” is electronic and synthesizer-heavy. Some moments feel extremely eerie, dark, and complicated, but the lyrics and rhythm are poppy enough (I am using this concept loosely) to find a vast audience.
“Last I Heard (...He Was Circling the Drain)” and “Twist” get deep into the EDM realm. They remind this reviewer of TKOL RMX 1234567, which many people thought took the feel away from an already cold album. However, expecting a specific sound leads to disappointment. The evolution of a musician should be admired, and Thom Yorke’s musical development has never disappointed this reviewer.
“Dawn Chorus” is the proof of everything that has been written in this review thus far. Thom takes a song Radiohead worked on and breaks it down to its purest form, a poem read to music. He follows it by “I Am A Very Rude Person,” in which he states, “I have to destroy to create.” Although he does not have to explain himself, he does.
“Not The News” starts the push to the end of the album. The political side some Radiohead fans need, Thom hits his stride. Although the intro of “The Axe” drops the intensity, its build is one of the album's highlights. Followed by “Impossible Knots” and its bassline, Anima has become a dance album.
“Runwayaway.” Well, you just have to listen to it.
Closing Thoughts - This is an early review of this album. A huge Thom Yorke fan, I will have to give it many listens to dissect the layers. If you are not as patient as I am, you should still give it a listen. The man is a genius, and there is enough here for anyone with a stimulated brain. Favorite songs: “Traffic,” “The Axe,” and “Runwayaway.”
Rating - 5/5