Thom Yorke, ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’


Aidin Vaziri | Sure, Thom Yorke keeps coming up with innovative ways to release new albums, but don’t let that conversation overshadow the fact that more than 20 years after Radiohead first emerged, the group’s front man is still making music that’s capable of bending rules and breaking hearts. His second solo recording, “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes,” was released directly to fans via the file-sharing site BitTorrent Bundle. The $6 download includes eight songs and a video, which is a bargain by any measure in spite of the Microsoft Paint cover job. Unlike Yorke’s first solo album, 2006’s “The Eraser,” which sounded like a compilation of laptop sketches, the songs here are fully fleshed-out with his signature touches — wobbly beats, odd electronic glitches, moody synths and that ghostly falsetto weaving through. The music is more shapeless than that on Radiohead’s last album, 2011’s “The King of Limbs” (main offender: the seven-minute “There Is No Ice [For My Drink]”) but no less transcendent when it hits the mark in the sinewy dance grooves of “A Brain in a Bottle” or pirouetting melody of “The Mother Lode.” In delivery and content, it’s another triumph for his rebel spirit.