In The Middle review Thom Yorke ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’
Thom Yorke’s latest is pretty hard to get at. Downloading the album takes a bit more effort than just pressing ‘buy’ on iTunes as
it’s only available as a BitTorrent Bundle. Yorke has described this decision as an ‘experiment’, and it’s not the first he’s tried.
Remember Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’ album with the pay-what-you-want price tag?
On the whole the tracks flow together seamlessly, with elements from the previous song continuing into the next, making for a cohesive and pleasant listening experience. Starting with ‘A Brain in Bottle’ whose agitated rhythms pan between headphones
before the subtle bass begins. The futuristic vibe is similar to those from Muse’s ‘2nd Law’, though Yorke has a preference for the
electronics rather than guitars. The second track ‘Guess Again’ is catchy and haunting and sounds as though it could be used as the opening theme for a drama series. The fantastically named ‘Nose Grows Some’ with its arrhythmic beat, and vocals that are slurry and undistinguishable and drag along lazily behind the discordant synth drones, has a creepy lullaby like quality to it. Fitting, as it’s the last track on the album.
These eight tracks that are ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’ cost a mere £3.71, and with the artist receiving 90% of the profits, it’s likely Yorke is seeing more money than he would through a traditional release. This model then, at least in theory, seems to be a lot better for the artist as it means their music goes straight to their fans without a middleman. However odds are, that for most people that weren’t in Radiohead this won’t prove nearly as successful as it suffers the most disastrous of issues. The issue of inconvenience.