9 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“How people may emotionally connect with music I’ve been involved in is something that part of me is completely mystified by,” Thom Yorke tells Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “Human beings are really different, so why would it be that what I do connects in that way? I discovered maybe around [Radiohead's album] The Bends that the bit I didn’t want to show, the vulnerable bit… that bit was the bit that mattered.”

ANIMA, Yorke’s third solo album, further weaponizes that discovery. Obsessed by anxiety and dystopia, it might be the most disarmingly personal music of a career not short of anxiety and dystopia. “Dawn Chorus” feels like the centerpiece: It's stop-you-in-your-tracks beautiful with a claustrophobic “stream of consciousness” lyric that feels something like a slowly descending panic attack. And, as Yorke describes, it was the record's biggest challenge. “There’s a hit I have to get out of it,” he says. “I was trying to develop how ‘Dawn Chorus’ was going to work, and find the right combinations on the synthesizers I was using. Couldn’t find it, tried it again and again and again. But I knew when I found it I would have my way into the song. Things like that matter to me—they are sort of obsessive, but there is an emotional connection. I was deliberately trying to find something as cold as possible to go with it, like I sing essentially one note all the way through.”

Yorke and longtime collaborator Nigel Godrich (“I think most artists, if they're honest, are never solo artists,” Yorke says) continue to transfuse raw feeling into the album’s chilling electronica. “Traffic,” with its jagged beats and “I can’t breathe” refrain, feels like a partner track to another memorable Yorke album opener, “Everything in Its Right Place.” The extraordinary “Not the News,” meanwhile, slaloms through bleeps and baleful strings to reach a thunderous final destination. It’s the work of a modern icon still engaged with his unique gift. “My cliché thing I always say is, 'You know you're in trouble when people stop listening to sad music,'” Yorke says. “Because the moment people stop listening to sad music, they don't want to know anymore. They're turning themselves off.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

“How people may emotionally connect with music I’ve been involved in is something that part of me is completely mystified by,” Thom Yorke tells Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “Human beings are really different, so why would it be that what I do connects in that way? I discovered maybe around [Radiohead's album] The Bends that the bit I didn’t want to show, the vulnerable bit… that bit was the bit that mattered.”

ANIMA, Yorke’s third solo album, further weaponizes that discovery. Obsessed by anxiety and dystopia, it might be the most disarmingly personal music of a career not short of anxiety and dystopia. “Dawn Chorus” feels like the centerpiece: It's stop-you-in-your-tracks beautiful with a claustrophobic “stream of consciousness” lyric that feels something like a slowly descending panic attack. And, as Yorke describes, it was the record's biggest challenge. “There’s a hit I have to get out of it,” he says. “I was trying to develop how ‘Dawn Chorus’ was going to work, and find the right combinations on the synthesizers I was using. Couldn’t find it, tried it again and again and again. But I knew when I found it I would have my way into the song. Things like that matter to me—they are sort of obsessive, but there is an emotional connection. I was deliberately trying to find something as cold as possible to go with it, like I sing essentially one note all the way through.”

Yorke and longtime collaborator Nigel Godrich (“I think most artists, if they're honest, are never solo artists,” Yorke says) continue to transfuse raw feeling into the album’s chilling electronica. “Traffic,” with its jagged beats and “I can’t breathe” refrain, feels like a partner track to another memorable Yorke album opener, “Everything in Its Right Place.” The extraordinary “Not the News,” meanwhile, slaloms through bleeps and baleful strings to reach a thunderous final destination. It’s the work of a modern icon still engaged with his unique gift. “My cliché thing I always say is, 'You know you're in trouble when people stop listening to sad music,'” Yorke says. “Because the moment people stop listening to sad music, they don't want to know anymore. They're turning themselves off.”

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Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
90 Ratings

90 Ratings

obamathecommie ,

The more I listen..

The more I listen to this album, the more I love it. My wife and I drove from Detroit to Montreal and listened to it over and over. Nonstop. I can’t really understand any negative reviews on this. The songs are nowhere near pedestrian. Each song is masterfully crafted with meticulous detail. The lyrics are meaningful and create a wonderful listening experience. “Twist” is my personal favorite. But then again, every song on this album is my favorite.. It appears that Yorke is becoming increasingly creative with each passing album. I loved “Suspiria,” but I think I like this one even better.

emmmms ,

It’s Sparse

This dude literally mumbles some nonsense and because he’s responsible for the incredible music that Radiohead used to make, its considered genius when he does so over pedestrian synth squiggles and lazy percussion. Congrats Thom, you’ve managed to fool most everyone. I’ve grown to understand that the word ‘sparse’ and ‘minimal’ really mean ‘dull’ and ‘boring’. I gave it two stars because he still has a fantastic voice. Even if he’s burying it in effects and loops. I saw Radiohead this past year during their brief US tour and it was fantastic! But this I just can’t get behind.

sugabear33177 ,

Amazing Album

This album takes you to another dimension. Definitely Thom Yorkes best album.

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