Thom Yorke, The Eraser

Thom Yorke, The Eraser

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past decade-plus, Thom Yorke is Radiohead’s weirdo frontman, and not too surprisingly, his first solo work, The Eraser, sounds like, well…Radiohead. If you spaced out staring at the shadows in your bedroom listening to 2003’s Hail to the Thief and have been eagerly awaiting a chance to trip out to some new material, this album will have the same effect, so plan a similar regimen.

Yorke’s shaky vocal melodies are all over the place, high and low, and the accompaniment is a wash of ambience, blips, clicks, and strange sounds. The snare in track two, “Analyse,” sounds like Yorke could have been swatting window shutters with a bamboo stick or something. Guitar and keyboard progressions add to this extremely rhythmic collection of songs, arranged with the help of long-time Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood also makes a small appearance on the title track, providing the piano. One thing is for sure — if you were anti-Kid A and beyond, you will continue to feel the same way here, considering that The Eraser is 100 percent electro-weirdness.

The layout is completely wigged out by Stanley Donwood, who Yorke thanks on the insert for “being there and explaining the wider meaning of what was happening.” You may be familiar with Donwood’s work if you have opened any Radiohead inserts or have found yourself lost on the band’s Website.

(Speaking of Websites, be sure to check out xlrecordings.com and click on “Have you seen this man?” I am glad that some labels still find unique ways to promote their releases.)

So what is Thom Yorke ever talking about? Who really knows, but The Eraser is another 40 minutes of his beautiful ranting for you to add to the catalog. Dreary and delightful, I give it five chicken wings, real saucy.

(XL Recordings -- 625 Broadway, 12th Floor, NY. 10012; http://www.xlrecordings.com/; Thom Yorke -- http://www.theeraser.net/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Friday, July 14th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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