The Eraser Review

artist: Thom Yorke date: 10/29/2007 category: compact discs
Thom Yorke: The Eraser
Release Date: Jul 11, 2006
Label: XL
Genres: Indie Electronic, Experimental Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Number Of Tracks: 9
It's definitely not the kind of album you put on to get an instant shot of energy, and at the same time, it doesn't contain anything as sullen as "How To Disappear Completely."
 Sound: 7
 Lyrics: 7
 Overall Impression: 6.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (5) 45 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7
The Eraser Reviewed by: anthonyd3ca, on july 11, 2006
3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: "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." // 8

Lyrics: "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." // 6

Overall Impression: 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. // 7

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overall: 8.3
The Eraser Reviewed by: Izakit, on november 11, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is an eery solo debut from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. Inspired by a request to perform a track for the new film 'A Scanner Darkly', Yorke re-explores his electronica side. As a fan of Radiohead's 'Kid A' album, another of Yorke's electronica outputs, I was a little biased towards the album. But 'The Eraser' has out passed all my expectations. Though only nine tracks long, the album has a very moving atmosphere, shifting the listener's mind state within a few short minutes. The sound is one somewhat dark, but what really envelops the listener is the droning under tones and over dubs. The backing vocals, also provided by Yorke, enter the brain and alter it's chemistry. Achieving states of almost narcotic distance from the world. // 8

Lyrics: Yorke excells in Lyrics and their expression as always. His high, almost whiney voice, increasing the tension caused by the music. His lyrics both straight forward and metaphorical at the same time, sometimes almost in the language of the equivocator. The lyrics match the tone of each song perfectly as Yorke proves his songwriting skills once more. His voice complementing every word and emotion. // 9

Overall Impression: This is as good a solo debut as would be expected from someone who's been in the business for so long, but better than most breakaway solo artists. The whole album is masterfully produced. 'Black Swan' and 'Harrowdown Hill' explain my points better than I ever could. // 8

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overall: 8.7
The Eraser Reviewed by: Gwynnell, on october 29, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Possibly the album that saved Radiohead? Without this dark, sinister solo album from Thom Yorke, Radiohead may well have gone their separate ways, so even if the album is terrible it's probably allowed more genius to arrive. Lucky it isn't bad, in fact, it's very good. 'The Eraser', expect thousands of Radiohead 'fans' to say, yeah it's brilliant when in fact they think it's terrible. It's an album which won't suit everyone, many tracks sounding like they would fit, not in 'Kid A', but in 'Amnesiac'. The album lacks that edge that we sore in 'Kid A' so they wouldn't fit in but has Thom Yorke lost his touch? By no means! Overall it does feel like a collection of songs not used after the 'Kid A' sessions but this doesn't mean the songs aren't good. Powerful piano and electronica makes the album not just another solo project that has no real soul and lacks the power of a full band, this may be because Thom played pretty much everything in the 'Kid A' sessions but also, his Radiohead colleague Johnny Greenwood has done him a few favours during recording! // 8

Lyrics: Lyrically, it keeps coming back to one theme, politics. Most noticeably in 'Harrowdown Hill' and 'The Eraser', Thom chanting The more you try to erase me, the more I appear seems to fit in with the way of politics in modern day Britain. The lyrics are brilliant though, flowing perfectly, Did I fall or was I pushed? leaves a brilliant effect on the listener, the album makes you think, what sort of country are we living in? Only a genius could sway the opinions of millions through music, so that means Thom Yorke is a genius. That's not really a surprise though! // 10

Overall Impression: Overall the album is good, noticeable songs being 'The Eraser', 'Black Swan' and 'Harrowdown Hill'. It does lack that traditional edge that Radiohead has. It's something you can put on and forget you're listening to it. I have fallen asleep to this album many a time, it's soothing, relaxing and a great listen. If you don't have it, buy it. It isn't the best album of the year, it isn't trying to be, it's a middle-aged man letting out things that he can't do in his band, but luckily, this middle-aged man is a genius! // 8

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overall: 2
The Eraser Reviewed by: chris flatley, on march 29, 2007
0 of 9 people found this review helpful

Sound: It's almost painful to be a witness to Thom Yorke's journey from one of the most extraordinary live performance bands of recent years to this cold, hollow, unimaginative Windows XP symphony for musical doorbell and car alarm. I can't help comparing this album to Radiohead's Amnesiac, an album of which I'm rather fond, but you won't find a Pyramid Song, Like Spinning Plates, or a Life in a Glasshouse anywhere among this collection of uninspired bleeps and farts. I have nothing against downbeat, melancholy music. I'm a huge fan of people like Tom Waits and Tori Amos, both of whom are masterful when it comes to expressing the darker emotions through music. However, downbeat music needs that extra bit of spark, whether it be aggression, sneer, humour, or just moments of pure uplifting beauty. Downbeat music needs to change gear every now and again to stop it from becoming too monotonous. Radiohead themselves were experts at these gear changes, but it seems that Thom Yorke, as a solo artist, has neglected this important factor. And as a result The Eraser sounds one dimensional and frankly, very boring. The use of crackle and hiss effects to try to replace the brittle electronic sound with a kind of retro, vinyl quality is pretty ironic, and does nothing to redeem this soul-free loop fest. The whold album sounds no better than an amateur's basement experiment and if it were a demo by an unknown artist, you get the feeling that any prospective record label would have filed it in the bin. // 2

Lyrics: I have to admit that I haven't paid much attention to the lyrics. This album is so musically uninteresting that it is a chore to listen to it anymore than two or three times. Vocally though, Thom Yorke sounds either really stoned or just plain bored, and his melodic phrases are as dull and samey as the repeatative background dirge that is trying to pass itself off as music. // 2

Overall Impression: If Thom Yorke is going to continue to use his computer to create music, then he needs to be a hell of a lot more creative about it because this lazy, cut and paste approach isn't working. Or maybe Yorke just can't cut it on his own. Just as Roger Waters' concepts needed Dave Gilmour's musical sense, and McCartney was really cheesy without Lennon, so too it would appear that Thom Yorke needs John Greenwood. // 2

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overall: 8.7
The Eraser Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 25, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Just as Yorke promised the album consist mainly of electronic beats, loops, synths and piano. The overall sound is quite "cold" and not too radio-friendly but highly atmospheric. Yorke's vocals flow really nice with all these electronic melodies. It's an album which needs a few listens before you fully understand and appriciate it, just like Radiohead's "Kid A" or "Amnesiac". It's got a strong melancholic and nostalgic aura and really sounds best when heard during the night. The music on this album takes you to places you've never been before and opens a completny new world if you only want to see it. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics on "The Eraser" are often very personal, but most of the songs take up the same topics as Radiohead's albums: globalisation, world degradation, the lack of understaing between people. They're often very enigmatic and probably no one besides Yorke knows their true meaning. As I said before the lyrics and Thom's voice match the music perfectly. Some of the most beautiful melodies that Yorke ever came up can be heard here. // 8

Overall Impression: "The Eraser" is maybe not a masterpiece but it's one of the best albums I've heard in some years. The standing out tracks are the title one and "Analyse", "And It Rained All Night", "Cymbal Rush" and the beautiful "Harrodown Hill". The album's production is excelent. It reaches it's full potencial when you hear it on 5.1 speakers, the music simply surrounds you and flows through you, it's something you just have to feel. Too bad the album is only 9 tracks long, and ends so fast. // 9

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