Familial - Rolling Stone
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Familial

Jonny Greenwood writes orchestral scores; Thom Yorke programs glitch beats. Drummer Phil Selway, evidently, spends his time off from Radiohead as a closet art-folkie. His debut reveals a delicate high-tenor voice (akin to Yorke's but less tortured), using acoustic guitars in songs that recall U.K. brooders John Martyn and Nick Drake. Wilco's Glenn Kotche and Patrick Sansone build backdrops; Lisa Germano, whose fragile songwriting seems to have influenced this introspective set, adds harmonies. "What we see in the cold light/Can scare us all," Selway whispers on "Don't Look Down," a gorgeous ballad that visits dark places, as do other songs. You expected "Kumbaya"? News flash: Radiohead officially have another songwriter.

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