AOTY 2021
Thom Yorke - ANIMA
Critic Score
Based on 35 reviews
2019 Ratings: #53 / 770
Year End Rank: #28
User Score
2019 Ratings: #36
Liked by 63 people
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The Telegraph

Anima blends the open-nerved angst of Kid A and Amnesiac with the slow crush of mid-life despair (Yorke’s at the age where every silver living comes with thunder clouds) and palpable woe over where mankind is headed. 


The process seemingly thrived on capturing ideas when they were half-finished, and this ruptured, fragmented approach gives ‘ANIMA’ its character – tearing down productions, reigniting processes, this is a wild, careering feast of sound.

The Line of Best Fit

Immanuel Kant said that for something to be beautiful, it had to be understood to be purposive, but without any definite purpose. ANIMA is, in this sense, truly beautiful – probably Thom Yorke’s most beautiful work to date.

Spill Magazine

The end of the world is coming, and Thom Yorke is the one who scored the masterpiece of the world’s inevitable demise.

The Sydney Morning Herald

While Anima’s endless aesthetics may be lost on those hung up on Pablo Honey, Yorke’s unwavering ability to push boundaries to their very limit is on full display here.


ANIMA as a whole feels like the album Yorke wanted to make on AMOK, his first and only release with Atoms for Peace, but he had too many talented musicians in the studio back in 2013.

Under The Radar

For those of us who have endured more than we have enjoyed Yorke's previous solo works on The Eraser, AMOK, and Tomorrow's Modern Boxes, ANIMA finally feels like a moment of breakthrough—the first effort of his outside of the Radiohead juggernaut to truly feel as though it came from the same brilliant mind that conceived of OK Computer, Kid A, and In Rainbows.

Northern Transmissions

With ANIMA, Yorke takes his already well-built solo repertoire and adds a dash of colour, detail and mystery.


ANIMA is fuller-blooded and bolder than either previous solo effort or A Moon Shaped Pool, shaking off their gloom and grimness for something approaching energy.

The third solo album from Thom Yorke is the first one that feels complete without his band behind him. It floats through the uneasy space between societal turmoil and internal monologue.
Consequence of Sound

It’s easily Yorke’s best solo outing and rates among his finest albums from any project this century.


This is an artfully produced fever dream of an album that, in it doominess, suggests we should continue to pay credence to the prophet Thom Yorke.

The 405

ANIMA feels like the first solo Thom Yorke album that would make something of a splash no matter who it came from. We've heard Yorke's urban terror before, yes, but never so focused and nuanced outside of a Radiohead LP. Its world is immediate, its ideas and emotions impactful.

Rolling Stone

It’s shaped into discrete songs that stand on their own, yet the scenery is always in flux.

The Independent

On ANIMA ...he drifts like a spectre through a labyrinth, exploring his favourite themes of sleep, reality and the subconscious.

NOW Magazine

An evocative and fragmentary exploration of the dreaming unconscious.

The Observer

Although Yorke sounds refreshed, the results here don’t vary wildly from the Radiohead frontman’s instantly recognisable musical signatures, evolved over 20 years.


ANIMA ... sheds the largely one-dimensional production of The Eraser and the monochromatic moods of Tomorrow's Modern Boxes to stand as Yorke's richest solo effort to date.

FLOOD Magazine

This is the sort of thing Anima offers generously: songs bold and confident in their austerity, but also assured and dense, haunting and haunted in equal measure. 

Loud and Quiet

Finally, with ANIMA, it feels as if Yorke is realising his solo vision, from the music to the themes to the rollout – he’s done something radical enough to get out from under Radiohead’s shadow.

Slant Magazine

The album’s juxtaposition of lyrical techno-dread with austere, ghostly electronic music is satisfyingly unsettling.

No Ripcord

ANIMA is also one of his consistently best albums and the one that perfectly captures the restless creative spirit that continues to push Yorke beyond his comfort zones at a time in his career where other artists would likely be happily settling into theirs.


Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke's third solo album ANIMA offers relatively peppy music to accompany his unsurprisingly bleak lyrical worldview, but it all works rather wonderfully.

The Young Folks

Anima is an album for those who live and breathe music. It lacks an easy approachability, but makes up for it with a soul searching that stays with you long after taking the effort to hear it.


Anima feels like a dive into an inner world, profoundly intimate and emotional even as it remains enigmatic and blurred at the edges.

Resident Advisor

On ANIMA the electronic sources feel like tools of expression rather than objects of curiosity, as they have sometimes seemed in the past.

Spectrum Culture

With ANIMA, his revelatory beats create a full spectrum, as unnerving as they are welcome.


Though the tracks are impressive, they often lack the resonance of Yorke’s work with Radiohead. Yorke feels as though he is experimenting but never fully reaching his full potential.


Against all odds, Yorke's eerie electronic shimmer doesn't inspire fear so much as console; in this dark time, it's reassuring to hear a human heart beating the digital clutter.

The Needle Drop

ANIMA is Thom Yorke's strongest solo or side endeavor since The Eraser.


Fortunately, the experimental production and dark atmosphere are compelling in their own right, and ‘Anima’ is ultimately a trip down the rabbit hole worth taking.

The Guardian
The Radiohead frontman gives a glimpse of his fun side on this intriguing, infuriating solo album. But you’ll have to listen closely.
So. This is Thom Yorkes masterpiece. I should probably talk a little about why, shouldn't I? Well, here you go.

For the past couple of years, I haven't really felt like myself. Depression, anxiety and mental wellness (due to events I wont bore you with) have really left me in a place of uncertainty in this world.

The fear of everything leaving me and me being replaced by something better in this world, as if I was doll, has undone and redone my personality and life in more ways then I can ... read more
The new Thom Yorke album album. It plays music. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I don't know what to say, I really don't. I've spent 3 hours just listening and trying to get through the entire album (admittedly not a good idea) and the entire time, I was just thinking, "Man, I wish I could just go outside right now and enjoy the fresh early morning sunshine." And so, during my final listen before I called it quits, I took my Bluetooth headphones, my phone and everything ... read more
Even as a loyal fan of Radiohead, one of the musical acts that got me into the medium in the first place, I never thought that Thom Yorke's solo career would live up to Radiohead's legendary status. But "ANIMA" might just be that leap forward. This album's aesthetics are very similar to "Kid A" and "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes". However, I feel like the sound he was aiming for on the latter is perfected here and, with the help of long-time producer Nigel Godrich, it ... read more
Thommy takes the momentum built up from the great receptions to both the understated majesty of ‘Moon Shaped Pool’ and the moodily magnificent creep fest that was the Suspiria soundtrack and runs with it - just adding more electronics, as you’d expect from a Yorke solo effort.

With ‘Suspiria’ and now this, it’s becoming obvious that for the first time Yorke’s own work packs the same sort of compositional heft you’d expect from Radiohead material.
I fear that this rating is generous as I rarely if at all give albums 90+ ratings. For something so fresh, it should be rare to just hand out such praise.

However, I am floored.

I often find that the best albums can be experienced in the dark. The only sensory input is you and the music, aside from maybe the fabric of the couch or the feeling of your skin. It can be isolating, it can be soothing, it can be unnerving, or it can be straight up boring; it entirely depends on the record. ... read more
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Added on: June 20, 2019