July 11, 2006

Thom Yorke – The Eraser, Review

Title:
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

Thom Yorke

I often wonder about what it would be like if I met Thom Yorke. Here we have someone who has made such a profound impact on music as the lead singer of Radiohead, placing them in an alternative genre of their own with experimental, wonderful sounds that assault the ear drums. I've loved Radiohead since OK, Computer, and I downright wish I'd listened to them more before then, but now I'd have to say they're probably my favourite band. However, if I met Thom Yorke, I think I'd find him quite disturbing.

Of course, this isn't a new feeling. Thom Yorke is probably the main creative force behind Radiohead, and so you could expect a "solo" album to lend much a similar sound, and it shows through. The Eraser would not sound out of place somewhere inbetween Kid A and Amnesiac, not quite getting to the rockier stages of the latter but with a more refined, creeping sound than the former. This is, of course, not a "solo" album, but the result of Thom Yorke sitting for a day with his laptop and a whole bunch of samples from Radiohead's sessions over the past few years and thinking "Yeah, I should probably use this to do something wonderful".

Except Thom Yorke wouldn't think that. He'd think "Fuck Bush", or something.

And yet, this album somehow doesn't reach the eclectic heights of Kid A, and you struggle to put your finger on why. There's something missing that would put this in the As Good As Kid A category, and maybe it is the rest of the band's influence that is shining through. The one thing you wouldn't expect from a Thom Yorke record would be for it to sound nervous, but it does seem that way.

You can't really take each track on its own though, you have to sit back, take a cup of tea in hand and just let it wash over you a bit. Whereas other albums demand to be listened to over again, this begs for background, atmosphere, and if you take it in that way, it's simply wonderful. The first single will be Harrowdown Hill, according to Yorke, but it seems so undignified to remove it away from its home on the album. If you don't have 40 minutes to sit and listen to it all, then I'd say don't start - there's no Everything in its Right Place here to save you.

If you loved Kid A, you'll love this. If you didn't, you won't, but if you're undecided, then don't expect this to be an effortless listen – you have to treat it carefully and give it a chance, and it'll pay you back double when the brilliance shines through.

8 out of 10

The Eraser was released yesterday (10th July), stupid.

Tour Dates

Radiohead are touring at the moment, but if you don't have a ticket, don't expect to get one now…

Radiohead Tour Dates

Buy

The Eraser was released Monday, July 10th in the UK.

Samples
The Eraser MP3 Expired
And It Rained All Night MP3 Expired
Harrowdown Hill MP3 Expired
Links

- 5 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. My fav is probably Black Swan. That's one I can listen to on it's own.
    Good review though, it's hard to get into, but I can put it on repeat and get really into it now.

    11 Jul 2006, 13:02

  2. Mathew Mannion

    I must admit that when I was picking the sampler tracks, I looked at a couple of reviews and tried to find what people thought were the outstanding tracks. And It Rained All Night and Black Swan seemed to be the way to go, so I added it to The Eraser (since I think it pretty much opitomises the album and because I'd heard it a few weeks ago) and Harrowdown Hill because it's the first single. The album melds into one big track for me :)

    11 Jul 2006, 13:07

  3. Hannah

    Thankyou! Black Swan is my favourite also (The Eraser a close second mind)....I was very annoyed with the pitchfork review I read earlier that called it a swampbucket – pah! Surprisingly, I have only had it a few days and am getting into it rather quickly, possibly because I've been listening to a lot of Kid A recently. Didn't know there was going to be a single….surprised its Harrowdown Hill…..it scares me…..in a good way, of course…......

    11 Jul 2006, 14:26

  4. Hannah

    Oh, and your first paragraph took the words right out of my mouth

    11 Jul 2006, 14:28

  5. ashleighdollin@optusnet.com.au

    hey there, u know wot that is so true about having to let it wash over you. When I first bought it I went straight to my room, (it was mid day), closed the blinds, turned off all the lights, lay on my bed, closed my eyes and listened.

    02 Apr 2007, 05:03


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