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43 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Good Cerebral/Academic Exercise in Sound
This record has been a long time coming. Atoms for Peace initially began when (Radiohead's) Thom Yorke took his solo record on tour. The band's sound adopted a good deal from Yorke's solo album THE ERASER: it's sometimes paranoid, sometimes jittery, sometimes claustrophobic. If Yorke's name wasn't enough, Atoms for Peace sure has the pedigree of a great band: (The Red...
Published 17 months ago by T. A. Daniel

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needed more Flea
its pleasant enough to listen to. needed more flea and song writing and less percussion, but I probably knew that before I bought it. a lyric sheet would have been good since Thom warbles throughout the songs. I hope AFP and Radiohead are done with these drum exercises, all the "songs" end up sounding the same.
Published 16 months ago by sawgrass


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43 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Good Cerebral/Academic Exercise in Sound, February 26, 2013
This review is from: Amok (MP3 Music)
This record has been a long time coming. Atoms for Peace initially began when (Radiohead's) Thom Yorke took his solo record on tour. The band's sound adopted a good deal from Yorke's solo album THE ERASER: it's sometimes paranoid, sometimes jittery, sometimes claustrophobic. If Yorke's name wasn't enough, Atoms for Peace sure has the pedigree of a great band: (The Red Hot Chili Peppers') Flea commands the bass, (Ultraista and Radiohead's producer) Nigel Godrich plays guitar, (Ultraista and Beck) drummer Joey Waronker provides half of the percussion with Mauro Refosco laying down most of the electronic beats. The band's music is an interesting mix of electronic and material music, a nd it is often hard to tell where the real percussion stops and the electronic percussion begins.

Some of this material is pretty old, and band members have hinted that they have been sitting on it for a while now before its release. "Judge, Jury, and Executioner" was debuted in 2009 (it shares no relation with the similar Radiohead song). AMOK was created within a handful of days - the writing process for the band started with all musicians in the studio, free-form jamming without creating "takes" or stopping. Afterwards, the hours of material that they created was gleaned through, and the members picked out parts they thought were particularly interesting or beautiful. This makes for a great academic exercise, but what about a great music-listening experience?

The problem with AMOK is also its strength. The album is concerned primarily with being interesting: achieving new sounds, creating strange transitions, using instrumentation in different ways. The chief concern here is not the listener. Many of these songs are pleasant, but they often lack the melody that will keep you coming back for more. It reminds me a good deal of Radiohead's last record, THE KING OF LIMBS, which was often jittery and songs sometimes lacked a clear throughline. Now, of course, all music doesn't need to be a verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus traditional song, but the real joy of AMOK comes from approaching the music in a cerebral way. This isn't good background music, but it is good music to find yourself in if you're willing to. If you are a listener that appreciates the way music is put together, there's a lot on this record that you may find of intrigue.

It's hard not to compare this Atoms for Peace record in the grand scale of Radiohead/Thom Yorke projects - in many ways, it is truly its own beast. Even though there will be plenty of sounds that you've heard before in past records, there's enough new stuff here to keep listeners guessing and interested. The album opens with "Before Your Very Eyes," and it's a perfect example of what listeners are in for: the song begins with a shaky guitar-riff that twists and turns into an electronic sound, and it's heard to distinguish when one sound ceases and another begins - there's so much going on, so many layers, that you can pick up on new pieces with each listen. "Dropped" gives a stuttering synth that opens up over Mauro Refosco's percussion. "Unless" sounds like a cut from Yorke's THE ERASER. Some songs never really quite congeal: "Reverse Running," "Judge, Jury, and Executioner," and "Ingenue" generally stick with a musical idea throughout their duration, but they seem to be AMOK's weakest tracks.

Overall, AMOK didn't hit all of the right spots for me. It's a good record, and it's definitely worth a listen, but it's hard for me to believe that someone would opt for this over Flying Lotus, or other Radiohead albums. If you're looking for a good electronic band inspired by Afrobeat, I would recommend Joey Waronker & Nigel Godrich's other band, Ultraista. Ultraista is a bit more accessible, and a bit more poppy; it may not be as interesting, but it's a more enjoyable record for my money.

Songs to sample/download: "Default", "Before Your Very Eyes", "Stuck Together Pieces."
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful work, March 4, 2013
This review is from: Amok (Audio CD)
it's a beautiful, naive piece of art. thom yorke is more free, relaxed in this album with great musicians and a great producer. it's worth to listen to many many times. thom yorke's music is like it has its own genetic code almost. once you can recognize it and you get used to it, you go into his world immediately.

my personel favourite songs are; unless, reverse running, before your very eyes and amok. especially "unless" is something special, amazing amazing song.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great great great, June 14, 2013
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That all i have to say about that. It's complicated music, it's one of the best albums I've listened, not only for this year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars !woW, October 13, 2013
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This review is from: Amok (MP3 Music)
I love this CD. It is unlike anything I've heard from Thom Yorke or Radiohead. The familiar voice is there, but the music itself is fresh, with great lyrics and interesting rhythms. If you like this singer even a little bit, you'll love this album.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful, March 9, 2013
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This review is from: Amok (MP3 Music)
I am thoroughly enjoying this wonderful album, beginning to end! It was recommended by a random person I happened to meet, and I am so happy with my decision to purchase it. It is the soundtrack of this part of my life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kid-A like, great listen, November 1, 2013
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This review is from: Amok (Audio CD)
This is a very Kid-A like work. I love almost all the tracks on here, but Ingenue and "Before your very eyes" really stand out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal, May 29, 2013
This review is from: Amok (Audio CD)
I wanted to share a few comments in regards to Atoms For Peace Amok. Many say Thom Yorke is the new generational star when it comes to pop rock today. If you are a fan of Radiohead, or any work by Thom if its The Eraser, or songs as a solo act like Hearing Damage, this is a must to add to your collection. Keep in mind Atoms For Peace also has the "sixth" member of Radiohead Nigel Godrich. If you like the track Default from Amok, you will enjoy the whole album! I wont go into any diatribe, considering I give this a solid 5/5 stars.... unlike others who just get jealous of Thom Yorke and his utter talent. I highly recommend the video of Ingenue that Thom recently did on Jonathan Ross, trust me, you dont want to miss it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh Yeah!, October 3, 2013
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This review is from: Amok (MP3 Music)
Just saw these guys last night. Holy, freaking moly! Thom Yorke and Flea, do I really need to say anything more?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid, June 4, 2013
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If you liked Thom Yorke's solo album (The Eraser), then you'll love this one. Along the same style. Can't wait to see them at Austin City Limits this year!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely better than TKOL, March 5, 2013
This review is from: Amok (Audio CD)
So, Thom wants to have his main focus be electronic music nowadays. That's fine, I have no problem with that.

The issue is that his electronics (I guess Nigel's too, since he's engineer here) have been somewhat undeveloped and sparse. This was less noticeable when he was working with a whole band, simply incorporating electronic elements into what broadly remained alternative rock music. Since The Eraser though, it is apparent that he has become less interested in that sort of thing and likewise, with the electronics becoming more prevalent it is easier to spot the flaws. Most of my issues with The Eraser, and The King of Limbs, was with the percussion. It sounded thin, weak, not well layered or detailed. Amok is a bit of a departure from this. There's tracks like Default, with its filtered sliding noises and IDM-esque samples bouncing back and forth between stereo channels. There's tracks like Judge, Jury and Executioner (album's highlight IMO) that starts out with a reverberated loop that's a bit far off accompanied by humming. It's an improvement in my opinion. Melodically and lyrically, the album is fine. Not amazing but catchy enough most of the time. Flea's bass playing is great.

I read that back when The King of Limbs was made that the "rhythm was the key". Well, that was accomplished better here and the percussion is certainly what stands out the most throughout the album.

Thom's musical endeavors in electronic music, be them solo, with Radiohead or with Atoms for Peace still have a ways to go, but this is a step in the right direction. Given some more time to accrue experience with this sort of style and he could very well stack up with the likes of Aphex Twin or Boards of Canada someday.
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Amok
Amok by Atoms For Peace (Audio CD - 2013)
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