Amok - Atoms for Peace
Amok Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 93 Ratings

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  • Summary: Originally conceived to perform The Eraser, Thom Yorke's 2006 debut album live, the supergroup comprised of Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich, Mauro Refosco, Joey Waronker, and Flea toured for two weeks in 2010 with some new material. After the success of the tour, the band decided to work on an album and recorded the debut in three days. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. Mar 15, 2013
    100
    Producer Nigel Godrich has made of this a modern masterclass--and one that sets the bar for collaborations extremely high.
  2. Feb 26, 2013
    88
    AMOK is as heady and immersive as any great Radiohead album, but those comparisons eventually wilt: Yorke's new band has discovered a symmetry all its own.
  3. Feb 26, 2013
    80
    AMOK is heady dance music, in love with its jittery rhythms but never content to give over to them completely.
  4. Feb 25, 2013
    70
    AMOK isn’t quite dazzling, but it’s a clear improvement on its predecessor, and more than enough to win over old fans--and perhaps a few new ones, too.
  5. Feb 25, 2013
    69
    For all the rhythmic chicanery at play, AMOK feels strangely static and contained, giving a perpetual sense of jogging in place.
  6. Feb 28, 2013
    60
    There’s no mistaking the album for anyone but Yorke’s, but despite his rep as a singular genius, he does play well with others.
  7. 40
    It's all typically hard work to decipher, both lyrically and musically, but unlike Yorke's earlier endeavours with Radiohead, this time I'm rather less convinced that it's going to be worth the effort. It's certainly less fun.

See all 50 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Feb 26, 2013
    10
    What AMOK isn’t (as the critics so obsessed with extra-musical baggage would have you believe) is some overwrought super-group experiment. What it is, though, is a collection of deftly arranged, pulsating, driving songs. Thom Yoke’s vocals songwriting are at their best here, marrying beautifully slow melodies to quick rhythmic patterns (“Before Your Very Eyes”); subtly altering the phrasing of a repeated lyric (creating a hypnotic, climatic effect on “Unless”); and is at its warmest and most affectionate (“Ingenue”). Beautiful, deep record that reveals itself more and more through each repeated listen. Expand
  2. Oct 16, 2013
    10
    Perfect and incredible album, like a second part of The Eraser, the mix of Thom and Flea's brains was a good idea, I hope they release a new album soon. Expand
  3. Feb 26, 2013
    10
    While touted as Thom Yorke's dance album, this is a much deeper and more rewarding listen than that would imply. The songwriting here is impeccable, Thom Yorke's voice has never been more liquid and pure, and the album as a whole has a lot of surprising warmth and delicate beauty nestled between the beats and the laptop modulations. I was initially afraid of Flea's involvement, but there's no popping or slapping here. I can't imagine that I'll hear a better album this year. Expand
  4. Feb 27, 2013
    8
    The important thing to me is that this album reflects a lot of the zeitgeist and puts music to the shape of the future of this planet. A Beyonce album or a White Stripes album can be equally well crafted, but this music comes from ruminations on issues that affect far more people and have far greater chance of being averted if we act realistically rather than escaping into 'bright fake sunshine'. It's well crafted and the message is (non-politically) forceful and deep felt (and thought) Expand
  5. Mar 4, 2013
    8
    Atoms for peace are a supergroup if so to call it that. Consisting of thom yorke and flea they have produced a decent album. A lot of people won't give it a chance cos of their love for Radiohead but i am open to new changes and found myself liking this album. Favourite song off the album is 'dropped'. Expand
  6. Feb 26, 2013
    8
    After an early leak, 'Amok' has finally been officially released, and the reviews are flowing in. So what is there to say about this new side project from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke? Well, quite a lot. First and foremost, I should mention that I'm a huge Radiohead fan (big surprise!), and that I've been carefully following this album since "Judge, Jury, Executioner" was preformed live. Naturally, I've been anticipating great things from this project, and I'm happy to say that it has nearly managed to fulfill my very high expectations. Notice that I said "nearly". In my personal opinion, the album has its share of mishaps. Nothing terrible, but they are there. But let's start with the good stuff first! Every track on this album is thoroughly enjoyable, and each song has highly memorable moments. Be it the sweeping, pulsating, glistening synths in "Ingenue", the blissful and prismatic guitar melody accompanied by a compulsive and addictive chorus from Yorke in "Stuck Together Pieces", or the glorious crescendo of swirling synths and soaring vocals in "Amok", this album manages to throw one beautiful moment after another at you. Each and every song has something memorable to offer, and typically the payoff is wonderful. This album is also perhaps the funkiest, most danceable collection of tunes Thom has ever released, with complex programmed beats, driving synths, and deep bass that permeate throughout the most of the songs. Flea and RHCP fans will be pleased to know that almost every track on here is packed full of his driving, kinetic basslines. Radiohead fans will be happy to hear that the album is overflowing with sonic complexities, and that each subsequent listen is likely to reveal a new sound or layer that you didn't catch before. Make no mistake; this album was made to be heard either on a high quality soundsystem, or on headphones! To sum up the positives, this album has been immensely enjoyable to listen to. Its funky and rhythmic nature is elating. These tunes just make me want to dance! Certain moments on this thing are so complex and epic that they nearly match Radiohead in intensity. Lastly, despite what you've heard, this is not "The Eraser: Part 2". This LP is its own beast. The songs are far more kinetic, uplifting, funky, and danceable than The Eraser. Okay, now for the bad. First off, some of the songs start off a little rough, with a rather cold, repetitive, sparse intro. The tracks "Dropped" and "Stuck Together Pieces" come to mind. "Dropped" uses an almost glitchy synth that is heavily reminiscent of dubstep, which wouldn't be a bad thing if the sound itself didn't feel so mechanical, and dare I say it, generic. It just doesn't stand out as anything noteworthy, and the song suffers because of it. Granted, the song evolves into something far more interesting, especially when Flea's bassline explodes alongside Thom's cut up, hovering vocals into a complex, kinetic, and memorable drop which is anything but generic. "Stuck Together Pieces" starts slightly better, with a minimalist drum pattern and bassline. Its funky and strangely hypnotic, but I would have preferred something slightly more melodic and layered here. The song builds into some beautiful guitar playing and singing from Yorke. Its eloquent, catchy, and uplifting, which only makes the slightly drab first half of the song feel all the more boring. Once again, nothing terrible, just a little lacking. Another issue this album runs into is its tendency to drag out certain songs for too long without any evolution outside of subtle changes in melody and adding in additional sounds. The melodies in certain songs tend to stay the same for most of their length, only changing in mild ways. It's almost like Thom's singing just goes on and on, without any real structure. This actually does work to the albums advantage at times, creating a sort of hypnotic effect, but ultimately I found myself yearning for some epic crescendo or chorus from Yorke to really flesh out the pieace. Songs where this is most apparent are "Before Your Very Eyes..." and "Ingenue". "Reverse Running" and "Unless" also suffer from this linearity, only to a lesser degree. Fortunately, each of these tracks are built around very strong melodies which usually manage to stay entertaining throughout the song's entirety. Upon further listens, I found myself noticing the subtle changes in each one more and more. They DO evolve, just not as much as we're used to from Yorke. As a consequence, they can sometimes drag on. However, in the right mood, they manage to be very calming and hypnotic, at least for me. So there's my opinion. My recommendation? If you like Yorke, Flea, Radiohead, or even just RHCP, definitely check it out. Favorite tracks: Amok, Ingenue, Default, Judge Jury Executioner, Least favorites (but hey, I still love em!): Before Your Very Eyes..., Dropped Expand
  7. Mar 1, 2013
    0
    It sounds just like The Eraser part 3. Instead of continuing to learn more about the world and challenge the standards of music and mediocrity, Thom Yorke has become what he used to rail against: a kicking screaming gucci little piggy. I turned off after In Rainbows which, while it didn't break new ground for Radiohead, still had a heart. Amok doesn't even carry a pulse, only the bland and vague anxious Thom Yorke vocals/electronics that are technically good enough for critics to give it no lower than a 6, even if they'd prefer another OK Computer, or at least another Hail to the Thief. Collapse

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