Thom Yorke’s new “don’t call it a solo album” came out Tuesday; as a Radiohead nut I grabbed it before I went to work that day. Anybody else do the same? What do you think?
I’m surprised and not surprised by the way I like this album. I’m not surprised because I do like Radiohead, and even though there aren’t many guitars or basses on this album, it’s not 100% divorced from the sounds on their last three albums. The weird thing is that the tracks that I’m reminded of aren’t the ones you’d expect - Hunting Bears, Dollars and Cents and The Gloaming came to mind, not How to Disappear Completely or There There.
On the other hand, it’s not the kind of thing I expected to like without caveats. I don’t listen to electronic music, and my exposure to that genre is limited to Radiohead’s use of it and one great Plunderphonics album. Even though there are way more computers than instruments played by humans on this album, I really like it. It’s actually more simple, direct and melodically and emotionally available than Radiohead’s last few albums, and I think that’s really cool. There are places where the style of writing is just totally different.
And, uh, if that’s too overanalytical, I really like most of the songs. Black Swan is outstanding, the title track, The Clock, Atoms for Peace and Harrowdown Hill are really cool, and And It Rained All Night doesn’t sound remotely like anything I’ve heard from Radiohead.