Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes by Thom Yorke
I used to think Thom Yorke could do no wrong. And I suppose #23 on a countdown of albums of the year isn’t really “doing wrong” — but by Radiohead standards, and even compared to former Yorke solo-project related work, this album just isn’t as good. However, I’ve said it before: even a “not great” album by Yorke is a “fucking amazing” album by almost any other artist.
Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes is Yorke’s second solo album. It’s in the same vein as his side project Atoms for Peace (which made it on the Top 31 at #8 last year), and his previous solo album Eraser, which came out back in 2006. It has the same electronic, drum-machine based eeriness we’ve come to expect from Yorke and producer Nigel Godrich.
Maybe I’ve changed so much over the past couple years that his music no longer relates as well to me. Or maybe it’s him that’s softened over the years, no longer pushing the envelope as much, having long ago established a nice, large area of the musical spectrum just for himself. This album struggles to find itself. The songs bleed from one to the next, feeling more like snippets of songs rather than fully formed thoughts. It’s great for background listening, although now as I listen to it to prepare for this write-up, I’m hearing lots of things I hadn’t heard before.
I should know by now to expect a Radiohead or Thom Yorke album to take a few more listens, a few more times of putting it down and picking it up again, to lodge in my brain. Excuse me now, I have an album to devour, again.
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25. Voices by Phantogram
26. Morning Phase by Beck
27. Hungry Ghosts by OK Go
28. Run the Jewels 2 by Run the Jewels
29. Cosmos by Yellow Ostrich
30. Teeth Dreams by The Hold Steady
31. With Light & With Love by Woods