Tomorrow's Modern Boxes
Label: XL Recordings
On Thom Yorke's second solo effort the big, sweeping dystopianism so often associated with Radiohead gives way to a far more understated and restrained, though no less dread-infused, fusion of analog instrumentation (voice, piano, guitar) and electronics (beat programming, synths). Yorke's trademark falsetto winds its way through "A Brain in a Bottle," on which it turns chilly and soulful as it dances with retro oscillations that sound like they're from a '70s sci-fi flick, and "The Mother Lode," an incandescent ballad revealing skittering percussion and thick bass lines drawn from dubstep. The album takes a decidedly experimental turn with its three final tracks; taken together, "There Is No Ice (For My Drink)," "Pink Section" and "Nose Grows Some" are a journey into richly textured ambient electronic, one achieving great beauty even as it evokes snapshots of a lonely and forsaken landscape.