Thom Yorke's remarkable musicality transcends any specific musical genre. Even as he has avoided the pitfalls of traditional stardom, he has redefined what it is to be a rock, pop or electronic superstar. In his work with Radiohead, Atoms For Peace, and solo, Thom Yorke takes the possibilities of sound to another level.
From the early Radiohead hit single "Creep" (1992) and the breakthrough brilliant third album OK Computer (1997), it was already clear that Thom Yorke is no ordinary frontman and Radiohead is no ordinary rock band. Each album has its own artistic palette. And Yorke shines on lead vocals, guitar, piano and, fittingly, computer. Critical and commercial acclaim consistently follows.
Yorke has continuously evolved, with a general shift towards electronic music. Increasingly, he has used a smooth Bono-like falsetto with a sweetness that belies his typically acerbic lyrics and frequently ironic attitude. Yorke's ability to evolve as a musician is part of what makes him so captivating for music fans. The mesmerizing Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001) albums from Radiohead reflect this evolution, with increased electronica and jazz influences. An evolution in marketing approach also occurs with each album, as best evidenced by the much discussed "pay what you want" approach of In Rainbows (2007). Most recently, Radiohead's King of Limbs (2011) again showcased a new musical palette, with the song "Lotus Flower" and its popular Garth Jennings video receiving multiple Grammy nominations.
In his solo career, Yorke also garners critical acclaim, awards and popularity, starting with the high charting success of his 2006 album The Eraser, whose music is featured in the film A Scanner Darkly. Johnny Greenwood, of Radiohead, cowrote the title track. The album is produced by Radiohead producer Nigel Goodrich. This is indicative of the way in which Yorke fluidly blurs lines between projects in collaborating with many of the same overlapping people. The group Atoms for Peace (originating in 2009) features Yorke with Goodrich again as well as, among others, Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Throughout these many projects, Yorke collaborates with artist Stanley Donwood on the design. Yorke has also collaborated effectively with musicians Flying Lotus, Modeselektor, Bjork, P.J. Harvey and many more.
As an evolving electronic artist, Yorke's collaborations have received strong accolades, as have his live performances as a DJ. Ultimately, this exemplifies what is so appealing about Yorke: he still is developing and morphing as a musician, and fans eagerly look forward to seeing what will be his next exciting move.