Maybe it’s just me, but anything Radiohead-related is pure gold. AMOK, the debut album by super-group Atoms for Peace, is a collection of songs by eccentric musicians that does not disappoint. Featuring Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich, The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s bassist Flea and Joey Waronker, who has drummed for Elliott Smith and R.E.M., AMOK features diverse backgrounds that add to its unique style.
The album still has all the glitchy beats, chunky basslines, haunting vocals and heartmelting synths as Thom Yorke’s The Eraser and the latter half of Radiohead’s catalogue, however, it brings a new attitude to its electronic methods while remaining true to its roots.
The nine-song LP is well developed and well produced, full of groovy textures and catchy hooks. It’s short but precise, and each song is full of well-thought-out layers that add to a rich, drony and enjoyable electronic sound.
Every song on the album has its surprises and unique turns and bends. It begins with repetitive guitar lines, quick and snappy drums and the same old Thom Yorke, whining with mellow desperation. But eventually the songs lift into a complex yet clear collection of synth lines, whistles and bells.
In no way is the album an epic. Though the sound is complex, AMOK is more of an ambient album that is fit for easier listening. The album is missing a driving force, and though it has a diverse collection of musicians, it has a fully digital sound that takes away from the great talent that was recruited for the project. Also, the lyrics are not anything to get excited about, as they serve as just another addition to the sound.
The album is still good. It has been receiving some negative reviews, but that’s because everyone is expecting an album of epic proportions — another Kid A. AMOK is simply a collection of experimental sounds that was put together with care.