The Eraser review by Thom Yorke

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  • Released: Jul 11, 2006
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.6 (99 votes)
Thom Yorke: The Eraser
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Sound — 8
"The Eraser" doesn't sound like a Radiohead record. Sure, there are similarities--the biggest, of course, is Yorke's frail, paranoid vocal delivery. Besides that, however, this is a CD that manages to stand apart from the band's catalog. The greatest difference is how it feels. This isn't an album that completely envelopes and embraces the listener like, say, 2000's "Kid A" or 2001's "Amnesiac." The set is cold, strange, sparse and very distant, even by Yorke's standards, as the vocalist refuses to really invite fans into his world. Thus, the listener becomes a voyeur, peering through a few peepholes and trying to make sense of all that is going on. In a message sent to Radiohead fans, Yorke said that the album would include "more beats and electronics." He makes good on that promise basically from the very start of "The Eraser." The album begins slowly with the bare title track, which mingles simple, sharp keyboard work with minimal electronics, and then continues to build as the beats shoot into overdrive on "Analyse" and "The Clock."

Lyrics — 6
"Black Swan" is the catchiest and most widely accessible moment on "The Eraser." In fact, this song sounds like it could be a radio hit, if the lyrics weren't almost entirely built around the F-bomb. Not surprisingly, that poppy track is immediately followed by the oddities "Skip Divided" and "Atoms for Peace," the latter of which includes the humorous line "I want to eat your artichoke heart."

Overall Impression — 7
In all, "The Eraser" underscores two things. The first is just how important the other Radiohead guys are to the band's sound. The second is that Yorke can make it with or without them. If it were lost or stolen I might buy it again.

41 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Caustic
    I really dig Kid A, Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief, and I'm a massive fan of electronica, trip-hop etc, so this is right up my alley. It's amazing how such a minimalistic album can evoke so much. To those detractors of this style, while you may not enjoy it, for christs sake, it's so much more than just "a bunch of noises and effects and stuff". It's tough to create, and takes real skill and knowledge. Acknowledge that even if you don't like it.
    Cacaking
    i really like this album and im sick of people criticizing the electronic style. just because its not just guitar, bass, drums, and vocals doesnt mean its not good. and if you think its boring its because you dont have the mental capacity to appreciate his music.
    smileyface
    elmolikepie : Tom has managed to acheive somthing I didnt think could ever be possible by creating a record even more boring than radioheads.
    Lol....they why do you buy/listen to a solo recording deriving from a band that is apparently "boring"? Go listen to your linkin park garbage then. Anyone who says Thom Yorke or Radiohead is "boring" clearly has a very shallow appreciation for music or the sonic beauty and textures enveloped in it, and I don't think I could ever fully respect anyone who I ever heard saying those words and wasn't being sarcastic or joking.....loser
    Hi9
    Just thought I'd clarify... Kid A isn't all computer bleeps and noises... it's almost entirely their normal instruments (well, as normal for them... most people don't have an ondes martenot sittin around). The only electronic sounds are the effects they put on the instruments or Jonny's big Analogue Systems modular synth... and some might find that particular synth more difficult to play than the guitar. Anyone who trashes Kid A for being computer noises has clearly never really listened to it at all.
    kalamari
    Why review The Eraser as a Radiohead album? Sure, there are big similarities, but this is Yorke's album, and should be listened to as such. Ok, the texture of Radiohead as a band is phenomenal, but it is refreshing to hear Yorke in a less busy texture in his own environment.
    playerpiano
    nicely put Hi9, anybody that thinks the computer stuff is easy nonsense, try buying reason 3.0 and come up with some stuff like the album. its alot harder than you think. radiohead is a tremendous band and they have nothing to prove, they have already proven their legacy and it just keeps expanding.....
    Mcassidy42
    You know what they say, there are poeple who can't stand Kid A and there are those who love it. I loved it. Havn't bought this one yet, but once I my paycheck this week, it's off to the record store.
    vilhelm_nielsen
    This is a great album, though I do prefer Radiohead. This album shows how creative Thom Yorke is, and how much Radiohead influence their music.
    epy
    I absolutely love this cd. I suggest this cd to anyone looking for a change
    BlisteredNRaw
    A great album... didn't like it at first, but after a while it really grew on me and I loved it, it's really a good album when you listen to it that bit more, and the last 2 or 3 tracks are breathtaking. Some may compare it to Kid A/Amnesiac , but I think Kid A is an extremely dark album when you get into it. I reckon the similarities to Radiohead are quite far apart on this CD.
    Draft Morning
    Definitely not Radiohead. It's more along the lines of somethng Brian Eno or David Bryne would do. This album does definitely grow on you. But there's just not enough there between the electronic bells and whistles to grab ahold of. My fave tracks are of course "Black Swan", "Rained All Night" and "Harrowdown Hill". And Listen to "Skip Divided" on headphones and hear why Yorke is one of the most inventive vocalists around.
    Draft Morning
    To the guy who said there's no "instruments" on Kid A-- get your head out of your ass! There are more instruments used on that record than you've probably even heard of. Go back and actually listen to it.
    joeld
    its good but needs a few listens and thom still has his knack for forgetting to write a tune in the midst of experimenting.
    elmolikepie
    Tom has managed to acheive somthing I didnt think could ever be possible by creating a record even more boring than radioheads.
    kiwitabber
    Good on them for using Techno beats. It takes skill, However, in my opinion Radiohead's epic sound is diminished when artificial beats are made. I hope like hell that the upcoming album has more delights akin to Go To Sleep, Just, Paranoid Android, There There etc... Those songs are brilliant pieces of work and I'd love to hear just a few more of those before the band finally dies.
    I_Dont_Know
    it sounded like the guy was making fun of thom yorke at first!!!
    Gman400 wrote: Umm...no I don't HAVE to appreciate it because I use to respect their music and it's degenerated IMO into crap. Seriously, you know Thom sits in the studio just fooling around with sounds right? That's cool if you like it and you think it evokes emotion or something, but to me it's just sounds and doesn't take any skill whatsoever (actually I know that for a fact because there's almost no instruments being played on Kid A.)
    yeah he fiddles around with noises but then again... how are guitar riffs made, by simple fiddling around on a guitar! and the unstrument to make the beeps is still a musical instrument because techno is still a style of music! I'll admit old radiohead is better (new stuff still good) just don't talk trash about it!
    burndttoast
    I agree with you I_Dont_Know. Sure his sounds aren't made from those mainstream musical instruments, but it doesn't mean the sounds have no emotion behind it or any skill to be involved in making them. Now this is not to bash anyone who doesn't like Thom's music or Radiohead's techno-ish stuff, but I'd like to see you people piece together compositions like he/they can with those machines they use.
    tumples
    lawl,kid a is so much more than a bunch of noises, it just takes time and effort to appreciate it
    gallagher2006
    I liked this album. it shows that Radiohead's guitar rock isnt the only thing Yorke can do, and that he is more than capable of making it on his own should the band split. wierd thing though - no single releases before the album was released, so it sort of came out of nowhere for me when i bought it yesterday lol.
    mylogon
    In response to the guy that said something to the effect of "it shows that Thom can make it with or without the rest of the band" clearly hasn't looked into the album at all.. both Colin and Jonny participated in the creation and composition of this album - that is why he doesn't want to call it a solo album as it's not true. This truely is an awesome album and should be bought by EVERYONE, even if you downloaded it when it was leaked, it should be purchased 1st hand to make sure the funds go to where they belong, coz lets face it - he deserves every penny. If at first it doesn't make you sing, and swing your head around with every mixing twirl of excitement, then you've not listend to it enough!
    libertine1989
    i loved it. it was deep and experimentative and at times strangely catchy. hopefully won't lose the greatness after more listens.
    cap'nkirk
    gallagher2006 wrote: I liked this album. it shows that Radiohead's guitar rock isnt the only thing Yorke can do, and that he is more than capable of making it on his own should the band split. wierd thing though - no single releases before the album was released, so it sort of came out of nowhere for me when i bought it yesterday lol.
    that's kind of been seen/known for some time now.
    Mortigi Tempo
    I used to hate kid a but when you get used to it you realise that new radiohead is more original innovative and generally much better than old radiohead... ok computer is still my favourite though
    Mortigi Tempo
    gallagher2006 wrote: I liked this album. it shows that Radiohead's guitar rock isnt the only thing Yorke can do, and that he is more than capable of making it on his own should the band split. wierd thing though - no single releases before the album was released, so it sort of came out of nowhere for me when i bought it yesterday lol.
    there will be a single realease with b sides in august I think
    The Demiurge
    i love early radio head i mean come on karma police is 1 the of the my all time favorite songs i hope this folows the trend of the prog i love from them
    RadioMuse
    It's Thom, I bought it on faith. Haven't listen to it yet as I also bough Hail to the Theif (finally) and the live I Might Be Wrong EP. I'll make sure to get to it though and write a proper review here soon.
    Gman400
    Umm...no I don't HAVE to appreciate it because I use to respect their music and it's degenerated IMO into crap. Seriously, you know Thom sits in the studio just fooling around with sounds right? That's cool if you like it and you think it evokes emotion or something, but to me it's just sounds and doesn't take any skill whatsoever (actually I know that for a fact because there's almost no instruments being played on Kid A.)
    bountykilla
    The Eraser is an excellent album. Even if you don't personally enjoy the music or connect with the lyrics you can appreciate the fact that it's unique. The market is flooded with pop rock and rap, so it's a refreshing change to see Thom Yorke releasing his album through musicianship, not market demand. Harrowdown Hill is definitely one of the major highlights of the album. I have every radiohead album released, and after listening to them for a long time it's good that Thom took the alternate route and provided something that you wouldn't expect. I would give it a 9/10. Can't wait for the new Radiohead album next year!
    Sephirangel
    The Eraser is a very very good album and seems to delve further into the mind of Mr Yorke, but i do think the beats and electronics could have been toned down a little bit cant beat the classic The Bends and Ok Computer albums
    Gman400
    MORE beats and electronics? The reason I stopped listening to Radiohead was because Kid A is just a bunch of noises and effects and stuff...