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Thom Yorke - The Eraser CD (album) cover

THE ERASER

Thom Yorke

 

Crossover Prog

3.43 | 31 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The first solo album by RADIOHEAD's primary spokesperson was cut from the same high-tech cloth as his band's post "OK Computer" efforts, with lots of electronic blips and squeaks and lacking the reassurance of a genuine rhythm section. Perhaps not surprisingly, it sounds very much like a package of homemade demos for a never produced Radiohead album, and as such offers a valuable peek into the creative gears of that (rightfully) praised group (guitarist Jonny Greenwood's atmospheric chamber- orchestra soundtrack to the film "There Will Be Blood" is another missing link in the same aesthetic chain).

The too-slim 41-minute running time (barely album length in a digital age) includes at least one potential classic: "Analyse", easily the most overtly Radiohead-like song of the entire set. It could have been an outtake from the "Kid A" or "Amnesiac" sessions, and thus from my not unbiased perspective is the best thing here.

Elsewhere the album presents a brace of post-modern ballads for our wired new millennium, showing what a single motivated artist with a laptop is capable of. Bandmate Jonny Greenwood is on hand for support, but only on piano; Yorke himself is otherwise given credit for 'all instruments and programming'. But of course these days the programs 'are' the instruments.

The results aren't entirely as antiseptic as you might expect, however. The singer's quavering voice provides a welcome human touchstone in what can sometimes seem like a sterile technological experience. Listen for example to the song "Atoms For Peace", and tell me he doesn't remind you of Joni Mitchell: an odd comparison maybe, but not an unflattering one (I hope).

Bottom line: it's a valuable windfall to latter-day Radiohead fans starved for new material, and a worthwhile diversion for students of electronic music who might have been wondering about the legacy of Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |

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