26/30 album of the week rock

the smile – a light for attracting attention

“There is a smile of love and a smile of deceit” says William Blake. The trouble is that the two can be made indistinguishable. Thom Yorke resumes his neurotic, prophetic musings on a record that amplifies a call not for militarisation, but for the smiles of love to beam at one another. Vicious depictions of irredeemable but powerful louts pepper ALFAA, devouring hopes with “evil eyes and piggy limbs”. Poetically, The Smile manages to enhance both love and deceit at each turn. The writing rests atop trim, generally immaculate instrumentation that is at its best when either thumping along or lavishly meditating. 


A favourite: ‘You Will Never Work in Television Again’

‘A Light For Attracting Attention’ is out now via XL.

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