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Thom Yorke left the wheel in the corner

Thom Yorke left the wheel in the corner

How we got involved with Thom Yorke He sings about Italians waving to each other from a balconyor he complains into that microphone Goodbye? He built his career on handling all the worries and money of the city man, the chaos of the world Long predictive The Radiohead frontman seems to have reached the point where he can do anything, if only for a few moments, however Go in any direction you want.

Fear not, the new album The Smile, which brings together the energies of two of Radiohead's most charismatic figures (Jonny Greenwood plus Yorke) and Tom Skinner, who came from the jazz side and previously played drums in Sons of Kemet, doesn't radiate happiness either.

the Wall of eyes, The Smile's second album, records a free-and-do-anything moment in the band's history. A band that had remained liberal in a way that now faced outrageous expectations. Because even though this isn't Radiohead, The Smile's first album (Light to attract attention) shelved the production in such a way that even this second appearance was preceded by anticipation worthy of the parent band, sending the fan forums into a state of fever.

However, compared to Radiohead, who sometimes sit on their songs for many years, Smile chose the simplest possible path. Tracks written during the tour or already existing as ideas but tested at concerts were finally included on the second LP. That was really eye-catching

Smile are a band full of live energy, treating experimentation as their core attitude, and the usually great Yorke simply groans at a concert that they'll be playing a finished song half an hour before the performance.

Of course, there's an understatement to this situation: it's amazing that Greenwood, Skinner and Yorke enjoy the position they're in with Smile, touring and studio with this lineup for as long as it suits them. I don't think, for example, that they left because of pressure from the publisher or management KEXP To his studio, or To the Tiny Desk series For music playback, it works at its highest levels in both settings. I also don't think they would undertake such a big world tour as successful musicians, if they didn't want to experience meeting each other (again) as much as possible.

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Thus, it is the first album that convinces even those previously disillusioned with Radiohead, and after an exhausting, critically acclaimed tour, we arrive at the release of Wall of Eyes, in which the band ventures to more exotic places. Because of the latter, this record will never be as successful as the first Smile album, which in retrospect is almost a show of force, a confident display of the band's entire arsenal compared to the more difficult-to-understand hidden world of Wall of Eyes. .

Even the opening title track may initially sound like a leftover idea from Radiohead's last album, A Moon Shaped Pool, but only after several listens does it become clear that on this track the three members are pulling off each other well again, instead The era of amnesia To an evocative finale (Greenwood can especially be highlighted for the string parts recorded with the London Contemporary Orchestra).

It's a bit foolish to continue the album with another song, also slowly creeping under the Leather Song (Teleharmonic), but Smile seem to be following the dynamics of their concerts, with this opener only laying the foundation for the idea-filled middle section. Combining the worlds of Battles, King Gizzard and Lizard Wizard (!), Reading Room turned into krautrock that inspired the entire Smile project in time. The funniest track of all is “Under Our Pillows”, which feels like it was born into the momentum of the tour, only to marvel at the long outro and realize we're still on the same track.

Friend of a Friend, who received a satirical music video for children from Yorke's frequent collaborator Paul Thomas Anderson, sounds as if the band imagined themselves between recordings of the Beatles' massive doc, Get Back. I wouldn't have thought of this beforehand either, but Smile is easily able to write a song reminiscent of the Beatles' late phase, fun and sarcastic political commentary, kicking off the beautiful image of Italians going out to the aforementioned balcony to count those who have grown rich from the pandemic.

The final third of the record requires more patience from the listener, and the monotonous, semi-dream-like flow of I Quit recalls Thom Yorke's electronic-based solo recordings, but the second half of the track here is like listening to Yorke and Greenwood. Movie source.

Then comes the album's most memorable song, the previously released eight-minute favorite Bending Hecktic, which thanks the aforementioned patience. The song's lyrics, which tell the story of a car crash imagined in the style of an Italian roller coaster (hence the title of the article), are played almost to the end with a delayed climax, which the band regularly rains down on us . Compared to the most ambitious project in The Smile's entire oeuvre, it's surprising that the record ends on such a bare, and perhaps very colorless, song (you know me!).

According to a forum contributor criticizing the record, Wall of Eyes contains a lot of tracks that sound half-finished and rushed. I wouldn't describe this record as being put together at a gallop, but I admire Smile's momentum and self-conscious experimentation, which may be jarring to others. How good to note the presence of these three musicians here, who do not even hide that this project is a fragile one-off collaboration for them, so they do not slow down the pace, nor polish their recordings to the end. We can point the finger at such production.

After Playlist #19: Beyond Radiohead

“It's like eating ice cream after a nice dinner,” Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich previously answered a question about what it was like working with Atoms for Peace, which has evolved from a Thom Yorke solo project into a band, following the main band.

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After's regular weekly playlist also focuses on dessert, because this time we've chosen songs from other projects by the Radiohead members due to the new album The Smile, which was released on Friday. It is possible to regret why Radiohead has been dead for several years, but all members of the band are active solo, in groups or collaborating with others.

For example, in addition to his ever-improving solo albums (Anima is the pinnacle of his career even to today's ears), Thom Yorke unleashes his creative energies on The Smile after Atoms for Peace, and shortly after Suspiria As well as his music for the film Confidenza.

Jonny Greenwood, in addition to his unforgettable soundtracks (Phantomszál, Spencer, Bleeding Oil, You Were Never Truth Here), like Damon Albarn, has become a traveling ambassador uniting musical cultures, and has also worked with Indian, Israeli (Junun) and Middle Eastern music. Oriental musicians (Jarek Gharibkeh) on a separate disc.

Others haven't been idle either, with Ed O'Brien reinterpreting 90s British guitar music with solo material (EOB: Earth), Colin Greenwood recently appeared on Nick Cave's solo tourBut he had earlier paved the way for Belgian-Egyptian songwriter Tamino as a fellow musician and quasi-producer.

Philip Selway has already appeared as a singer-songwriter on several recordings, but he recently played drums on the Shoegaze album Lanterns on the Lake.

This post is a weekly post Playlist series Part 19, we've already covered it in previous playlists With abstract hip-hopthe With the best of contemporary British jazz2010 With Australian garage rockBudapest isolation With the ascendersAnd so on With retro Japanese pop musicwhich even Quentin Tarantino is up to.

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