Thom Yorke is afraid. He's made a career of it. Rather one of note, you might know. Perhaps more than ever before in his lifetime, he has need to be. With the general global slide towards regression and vile absurdity, or Brexit closer to home, the paranoia of some of Radiohead's best material seems not all too far off.

Perfect timing, then, for a new Yorke solo venture. While the ever-distant musician has shown more of his quirky side in the years since King of Limbs, even becoming meme-ified (or, at least, forced into them via an overzealous fanbase), ANIMA is very much Thom sticking to Yorke-isms.

This doesn't mean ANIMA isn't surprising. Yorke's solo efforts to date have largely been events due to being Thom Yorke albums, rather than events themselves. They've either played with concepts more in theory than practice, or provided a tantalizing, if scattershot, glimpse into the man's process.

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 the 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.

It's no less of a step forward for its creator musically. While his live tinkering has long been heralded, Yorke's electronic efforts on record have at times felt almost workmanlike, stubbornly sticking to a playbook that grew overly identifiable to its progenitor. By comparison, Yorke's latest is, if not playful, more than willing to come out to play. Long a vocal student of others making strides in the playground he dabbles in, from Flying Lotus to Gaslamp Killer, that fandom is more apparent in this work than any of his previous solo ventures.

Touches of deep house are present throughout ANIMA, with Yorke's soundscapes flirting with the dancefloor. What's more, one can even hear an ear aware of the current trends in youthful hip hop; it's genuinely not hard to imagine a Future or Playboi Carti taking a run at some of these instrumentals, and for that to be true of a Thom Yorke album is as thrilling as it is entirely unexpected.

Elsewhere, there are tasteful touches of the familiar. The sampled cheers of 'Twist' harken back to '15 Step', painting an intriguing picture of the ideas that remain intriguing to a visionary. None of this is to give credit to the pure power of the music here. The likes of 'Dawn Chorus', already a legendary title among Radiohead fans, hits with a world weary wallop; "If you could do it all again, big deal, so what?" Yorke asks mercilessly.

ANIMA isn't an overly kind record. It is, however, eternally honest. As Yorke's paranoia grows ever closer to reasonable thinking, it's perhaps just what we need at the moment. It won't leave you feeling particularly good, it might even leave you in crisis, but its words and sounds are sure to stay with you. You'll find out who your real friends are.