Music review: Atoms For Peace, 'AMOK'
Rating: 1 and a half stars
"AMOK" is the debut album from Atoms For Peace, but it would be understandable if you confused it with another solo album from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. The group effort, from a not-quite super group featuring Yorke, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, some guy who played drums for Beck and R.E.M. and another guy from Brazil who plays a bunch of instruments, closely follows what the Radiohead leader did on his 2006 solo outing, "The Eraser." And while it may sound close to that album, it's definitely not as good as that album. And it's not like "The Eraser" was that good of an album to begin with. But "AMOK" fails to go anywhere, spinning its tires in puddles of blips, clicks and other sounds. Yorke's soothing vocal delivery doesn't do much to help keep "Default" from being a bunch of ambient noise. At least the song sounds kind of cool when listening through headphones. Producer Nigel Godrich, who has received credit for his work on most of Radiohead's biggest albums, does a good job seamlessly layering several sounds. At the same time, his efforts also are a burden on this album as it becomes way too predictable. "Judge Jury and Executioner," like several other songs on "AMOK," is in desperate need of some excitement. Yorke was able to accomplish that in some spots on "The Eraser," but for some reason, can't quite match it here. No matter what musicians are along for the ride, "AMOK" comes off as a watered-down Yorke solo album.