Thom Yorke released his third solo album ANIMA on Thursday. We liked it so much that we put it in our Rewind Recommends on that day. There's even a Netflix short film to accompany the album. We're not sure how much you trust our judgement, so we've decided to compile a variety of reviews and reactions to the album. That way, rather than blame us, there's a plethora of other people to blame if you don't like the album.
The Independent: 'Yorke drifts like a spectre through a labyrinth, exploring his favourite themes of sleep, reality and the subconscious'
The Independent gave ANIMA four out of five stars, lauding the stark and bleak themes evident throughout the album. Compliments are also saved for Yorke's political commentaries, which are usually found outside of music. The song 'The Axe' is noteworthy in that regard, where Yorke's lyrics boil up to a rage. Critic Roisin O'Connor remarks that:
By the end of ANIMA, you’re left wondering about those dreams that are just out of reach, but also what we risk losing when we look back.
Read the full review here.
Los Angeles Times: 'Thom Yorke finds dread beneath the glamour'
The Los Angeles Times were another publication which looked favourable at ANIMA. Critic Mikael Wood gushed over 'Dawn Chorus', marking the song as "one of the prettiest things [Yorke] has ever written". It's hard to auger what Wood finds more impressive, that song or Yorke's dancing in the short film. However, Wood manages to hit the nail on the head with regard to Yorke's attitude on the album. Despite Yorke being Oscar-nominated and enrolled in the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame, Wood remarks:
Yorke may not be happy in this newly rarefied air, but that’s no reason to leave — especially when he knows he probably wouldn’t be happy anywhere else.
Read the full review here:
The Telegraph: 'a bleak dystopian rhapsody you can actually dance to'
FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS. Critical acclaim is here, you can all stop reading. The Telegraph's music critic Ed Power gushed over ANIMA throughout his review, marvelling at Yorke's steadfastly bleak outlook. On the album, Power writes:
It’s bleakness on a stick. But Anima is also a dystopian rhapsody that will stay with you long after the moment and rates as one of the purest expressions yet of Yorke’s devastated world view.
Pitchfork gave ANIMA a 8.3 rating in their review. The Guardian gave the album three out of five stars, remarking that Yorke's album is a 'short, dialogue-free moodscape that’s unsure of its final destination'. The Rolling Stone's review was a little kinder, giving ANIMA four out of five stars. NOW Magazine gave the album four out of five stars, detailing that the album is a 'trip into your own mind'.
On Twitter, acclaim was the order of the day, with commentators being very complimentary regarding ANIMA.
Well ANIMA is absolutely beautiful @thomyorke
— Conor Mason (@NBTConor) June 27, 2019
Paul Thomas Anderson
Shoot it right into my eyeballs thanks pic.twitter.com/PpHIJjpixw
— Pama-Lama-Ding-Dong! (@dizzybink) June 27, 2019
Extremely and forever grateful to Paul Thomas Anderson for blessing us with new Thom Yorke dance moves pic.twitter.com/BfRDTwxjJT
— John Nugent (@mr_nugent) June 27, 2019
The ANIMA short film by Paul Thomas Anderson & Thom Yorke is nothing but amazing. Beautiful, haunting, bittersweet. Thom's latest vinyl is waiting for me at my local, bloody excited! #thomyorke #paulthomasanderson #anima #netflix pic.twitter.com/WgOKGfhF73
— Deb E-C (@dehnisclark) June 27, 2019
As for our opinion? Well, not much has changed since our Rewind Recommends blurb. The album is by far Yorke's best as a solo artist, with 'Dawn Chorus' being one of his best songs, solo or otherwise. The album drags you into a feeling of bleak, sleepy paranoia. Although that doesn't sound particularly appealing, it is utterly captivating. Furthermore, the short film accompaniment is absolutely marvellous.