Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Atoms For Peace: "Amok" (album review)

I count myself in a small minority of people who have grown weary of Radiohead's bleeps and blips act.  It's become predictable and boring.

That explains my trepidation in approaching Amok, the debut album from Thom Yorke's latest project Atoms For Peace.

Much to my surprise, the new group show life from the very onset.  The album opener "Before Your Very Eyes" bears a funky, propulsive beat.  If not for Yorke's typically floating listless vocals, it could easily be mistaken for a Gorillaz cut.


Those beats get a tribal twist on unless, a track that has you shaking your hips if you can manage to tune out the amorphous vocals.  "Judge, Jury And Executioner" provides another hit for those with a wild percussion addiction.

A more computerized turn on "Default" makes it a snoozier, but not without merit, Trip Hop-inspired number.  Samples and loops run roughshod over "Dropped", but energizing rather than mesmerizing ends.

Yorke finally decides to sing on "Stuck Together Pieces".  It's a shuffling track with influences ranging from flamenco and jazz to orchestral pop.

Bad habits are hard to kill, as you can tell from the atrocious title track.  It sounds like bad Radiohead outtakes.  Thankfully, it is the lone disaster on the record.

One thing is obvious from listening to Amok: Thom Yorke may be the name that brings them the attention, but his performance is also the weakest link musically on the album.

Best tracks: "Before Your Very Eyes", "

Track listing for Amok:
  • Before Your Very Eyes
  • Default
  • Ingenue
  • Dropped
  • Unless
  • Stuck Together Pieces
  • Judge, Jury and Executioner
  • Reverse Running
  • Amok
7.0/10

5 comments:

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