Friday, July 12th, 2019

Thom Yorke – Not the News

Not the new-ews — HEY! — not the news…


Alex Clifton: The production here is a bit much, as I think all Thom Yorke songs are, but I can actually listen to “Not the News” all the way through. I find Radiohead’s music in general super-alienating and terrifying, but through the discordant blippy noises and the minimal lyrics I finally get why Yorke’s music always sounds so despairing. The difference here is that I can relate to this one without feeling overwhelmed, like I’ve fallen into someone else’s brain. If I’ve heard any song this year that captures the bleakness of watching the news, it’s definitely this one.

Ian Mathers: The production easily achieves what would be my goal, were I in Yorke’s place: it just sounds good, not like a rock musician slumming and/or trying to adapt. It kind of goes somewhere less interesting in the end, but the rest is enough to have this be the first non-Radiohead Yorke thing I’m interested in following up on since The Eraser.

Alfred Soto: It moves — a melody like an EKG machine, several rhythm lines intersecting like blood vessels across lung sacs. For the first time in years dystopia becomes Thom Yorke instead of bringing him down. 

Scott Mildenhall: This sounds so much like a jingle from The Adam Buxton Podcast (specifically this one) that it seems certain a funny voice saying arcane phrases will pop up at any moment. Ah.

Tim de Reuse: Drowning in reverbed bleep-blooping and dramatic string-adjacent synths, Yorke hollers vaguely dystopic gibberish in service of sci-fi grandeur. It’s all right, I guess, but I can already feel myself forgetting about it.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Yorke learning in his later years to reject glitchy IDM for the “deconstructed club” variety of Super Smart Thinking Cool References is both relieving (because I don’t want to hear Autechre-inspired loops ever again) and damning (because imagine this old millionaire trying to talk to you about SOPHIE and Jeremih). Oddly his squealing tone now sounds more like Chris Martin than ever before, yet you likewise wish he bothered to tether his noises to some sense of melody. “Not the News” feels like a patchy collection of notions superglued together, and while the collagist approach has benefited Yorke before, in 2019 he feels more prone to letting the scraps become an affect rather than a gesture.

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