Album Review: Thom Yorke – ANIMA

Wednesday 03rd, July 2019 / 11:35
by Jeevin Johal

Thom YorkeANIMA
[XL Recordings]

Some dream theorists suggest that within our unconscious, dwell alternate versions of our personalities. One such logician, Carl Jung, conceptualized the idea of “Anima” as representing the unconscious feminine qualities of the male psyche. This approach seems fitting for the title of Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke’s new solo album, whose falsetto voice and undiscerning vulnerability has always been the focal point of his music.

ANIMA is an electronic record, like his last release Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. Opening track “Traffic,” begins with a simple UK House beat but becomes chaotic and busy as Yorke’s tender vocals weave in and out between inconsistent patterns. The tracks aren’t messy; the production remains calculated, but the unpredictable trajectory of the songs keeps them exciting.

It’s not all overly complicated though. Tracks “Twist” and “Dawn Chorus” ditch the club vibe for more delicate melodies, further exploring Yorke’s feminine dreamscapes. But this only lasts until the album’s final track, “Runwayaway,” which meshes nightmarish ambient rhythms with electronically altered vocals, leaving you gasping for air upon awakening.

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