on 13 July 2006
So... One of the members of the greatest band in the world releases what is, despite his complaints, a "solo" album.
And it's briliant. Kind of rememnisent of "Where Bluebirds Fly" or "Paperbag Writer" from the Hail To The Thief singles, there are electronic beats and beautiful melodies galore, with Thom's haunting, warbling voice complementing them perfectly.
A throwback to Kid A? I wouldn't say so. This sounds more like Boards Of Canada with singing, which is a good thing.
So why only 4 stars? Well, in my humble opinion, it needed a more fast paced, more techno track somewhere - like "Idioteque", but tuned more to the tone of this album. But I'm probably just being too picky.
If you're a fan of the more experimental Radiohead then this is for you. Fans of the slower-paced artists from the Warp record label might be interested in this as well.
on 29 July 2006
A definate grower, I've found myself listening to this more than anything else recently.
Thom has indulged his love of electronica, thankfully without becoming self-indulgent.
Imagine Aphex Twin in chill-out mode with lyrics- if you like Kid A & Amnesiac, the sound will be familiar. If you like 'The Bends' & Pablo Honey era Radiohead, and still pine for the days stuck in your student halls/bedsit (delete as applicable) feeling 'Fake Plastic Trees' was your only friend, then this album may not be for you.
Stand out tracks are 'Harrowdown Hill', a fitting and sad tribute to Dr Kelly, 'And it rained all night', 'Black Swan' and 'Analyse'. The album takes a bit of a dip in the middle, but there's plenty to make up for that. Definately recommended for Radiohead and electronica fans- and an album that should be seen as a stand-out on it's own, not just a Radiohead stop-gap.
on 13 July 2006
this really is quite a weird album- lots of electronica and weird pianos and beats- lovely haunting vocals throughout the record.
thom yorke really has done some great experimenting, and apparently he made this when he was bored, and you do get a wonderful sense of him just sitting in a recording studio experimenting with different stuff on a keyboard.
however, this is by no means as good as radiohead- it misses greenwood's guitars and a proper band feel (hardly surprising being as its solo), yet it does show some inteeligent songwriting with great riffs and heartfelt lyrics.
overall- very good, by no means the best record this year (id go for muse) but quite easy to listen to and fits together beautifully as an album- yorke is a musical genius, no doubt about it, but he doesnt show all that he is capable here. buy it all the same
on 11 July 2006
Thom Yorkes voice...you either love it or hate it. It is a kind of whiney voice and while I love it I can see why others may hate it. However, you have to admire his songwriting which never ceases to impress while with Radiohead and shows no signs of stopping on this 'solo' album. Lyrics like - please excuse me but I got to ask, are you only being nice because you want something/did I fall or was I pushed are simple but great...as most things are. The great songwriting continues in this album im pleased to say, Thom seems to excel at writing about the darker deeper emotions we complicated humans can display.
It is obvious this album is meant to be dark and sombre, even from the black and white cover, and it is perfect partner for those times that when we want to be by ourselves or just feeling sorry for ourselves. After saying that it seems hypocritical for me to say this album is too quiet dark because I seriously expected something loud and fast paced like Sit down. Stand up (a favourite from HTTT) or Idioteque when I knew this was going to be a electronic based album. I would love this album to be the calm before the storm before for a full blown attack of pure Radiohead but we will just have to wait and see. I had heard people raving about Cymbal Rush and I expected another brilliant Idioteque-style song but was dissapointed with what I heard, although I still liked it. While I definately love the electronic work the team have done it would be good if it could be toned down a bit as I am starting to feel there may be too much reliance on it.
Back to the Eraser and the highlights for me have to be
Atoms for Peace
There are no tracks I really dont like as I usually listen to the album all the way through but these are just the best.
Keep up the good work!
on 4 December 2006
There is one anoying niggle with this album. Every time you listen to a track you can't help thinking what would happen if the full band were to be unleashed upon these tracks. Although, this is really interesting to listen to because you get Thom Yorke straight up making music how he wants to without the compromise of working with other people, which at times is real genius.
Anyway, about the album. I remeber buying this on the day it was released, eagearly anticipating a masterpiece, and after having lisened to it three or four times, feeling a bit let down by the lack of standout tracks (minus the eraser, analyse and black swan.) I found if you persevere with this it becomes really cohesive as a listening experience and a great album to play late at night or just lazing around with friends. Tracks like atoms for peace, cymbal rush and skip divided seem quite bare and shallow at first, but I found that they really grew on me, and are probably the most rewarding.
All in all, worth a purchase for any open minded music fan, you don't necessarly have to be a fan of The Head to be into this.
on 3 April 2007
Having listened to the gradual development of Radiohead into a more electronic sound altered by the previous release of "Hail to the thief", you would be forgiven for expecting a more guitar based sound from the reserved front man. However, you will not be disappointed, "The Eraser" is in my opinion one of the best albums I have ever had the fortune to buy on release date. It was every bit worth the wait from the moment I stuck the cd into my car player on the way home, to the additional trip around the block to incorporate the entire record into my journey.
The album starts with the provocative title track, and unfolds into a journey of electronic fascination. As the album develops through it's emotional roller coaster, you can't help but sit back in awe and amazement as the hypnotic strains of "Black Swan" and "Harrowdown Hill" flow over you. The album is brought to a tremendous finish with the enigmatic "Cymbal Rush", leaving you rushing for the remote to repeat the experience.
If you were to draw a comparrison to the Radiohead catalogue, it would sit as a development of songs from the "Hail to the theif" record, but with a "Kid A" feel to them. Perhaps Yorke has forgotten his roots in the ommitance of guitar from much of this record, but that quite rightly distinguishes this from being just another Radiohead album.
I already hear the marmite cliche spewing from my throat with all its force, and for this reason I have rated it 5 star rating. Let it be known, this is not a rating I give lightly, but having viewed other ratings, I feel it only fair to show the immense contrast in opinions. To me this album takes pride of place at the front of my record collection, and easily forces its way into the all time "Great" albums, but that is certainly not going to be the view of everyone.
There is a simple test as to whether you should buy this or not. Merely ask youself whether Kid A and Amnesiac were indeed works of incredible genius at a time of embarrasingly cheesy pop culture, or if it was just an interruption in the period of Yorke's life when his head got firmly stuck up his own [...]. For me the former means this album has demanded all the credit it gets, and more, but for those favouring the latter and longing for a return to "Pablo Honey", perhaps you'd be better off with Muse.
It's hard to be objective about the solo work of a brilliant musician like Thom Yorke, who is part of the equally brilliant band Radiohead. It's even harder when you can hear echoes of the band's "sound" going through the solo work.
But that doesn't seem to be a problem with Yorke's solo debut, "The Eraser." Laced with delicate electronica, slow keyboard and Yorke's soulful voice, this is a solo debut that shines both as an individual album, and as a side project to his band. It's a complex, seductive piece of work, and bodes well for future solo work from Yorke.
It opens with a halting piano solo and subtle electronic beats that build up to a quiet, soaring melody. Then Yorke murmurs, "Please excuse me but I got to ask/Are you only being nice/Because you want something/My fairy tale arrow pierces/Be careful how you respond /'Cause you'd not end up in this song ...."
But the meditative sound changes with the dancey, sparkling electronica of "Analyse" (despite the downer songwriting) and the guitar-driven, eerie sound of "The Clock." Yorke fills the songs with different bits of experimentation -- the ominous spoken-word song, Aphex Twin-style electronica, eerie shimmering keyboard balladry, and finishing off with the delicate, enchanting "Cymbal Rush."
There are only nine songs on "The Eraser." But Yorke crams each one with creativity, haunting sounds and beautiful songwriting, until there's no room left. Many of the songs vaguely resemble Radiohead's last few albums, with the heavy reliance on electronica. But the sound is uniquely Yorke's.
Yorke loads down "Eraser" with plenty of atmosphere -- menacing, ominous, dreamy and even upbeat. "Skip Divided" is somewhat weaker than the other songs, but the remaining songs make up for that. They're full of electronic soundscapes, shimmering keyboards and even a bit of guitar and bass, but the heart of each song lies in the electronic beats and shimmers. It's like wandering through a cave of ice and sunlight.
Yorke's distinctive voice stands out in the eerie "Atoms for Peace," where he sounds confident and slightly off-key. But in other songs like "It Rained All Night," he lets his voice blend in with the walls of electronica, until it's drowned out. And the lyrics fit him well, full of drowned cities, tormented people and wishing wells.
Thom Yorke created a near-masterpiece with "The Eraser," with its eerie electronica and beautiful songwriting. Definitely a keeper.
on 3 July 2006
Admittedly this is not music perfection and it lacks touches from the rest of radiohead especially Greenwood. But once you start to recognise the complex queues and Yorke's haunting voice the album grows and grows. There can be comparisons made with parts of Kid A but I feel this album is more complete and is less erratic in quality. Highlights for me are 'Harrowdown Hill' and 'The Eraser'. This album is must a buy, down to just the innovation and power of Yorke.
on 26 October 2007
This is the best album of 2006(Yes,maybe not a stellar year,but anyway.).Its a bleak reminder of Thom Yorke's genius.Strong beats,distorted melodies and lyrics about an oncoming apocolypse.Not only that but a tirade against the Iraq war,but not in you're usual anti-Bush way.This isn't exactly Kid B,but its pretty close.This a low-key eletronica record of staggering beauty.The Eraser,Analyze,The Clock and Black Swan form are strong backbone to the album.However the real stuff arrives in the form of It Rained All Night,Harrowdown Hill and Cymbal Rush.Harrowdown Hill sees Thom fufill his political vengeanace with a bitter song about biological warfare expert David Kelly,who commited suicide in 2003.I can truthfully say it is one of the greatest songs of all time.Hauntingly brillant.It was meant to be on Hail To The Thief,but they couldn't fit it around the band.
If you love Radiohead,you'll love this.Its not overly different from Radiohead,but is most defintely a key work.
on 6 June 2006
This is awesome. If you like Kid A (my favourite yet) you'll love this. Picture the genius musician Thom York with that beatiful voice and imagine him making an album on his own with simple but compelling tunes, rolling loops and beats. This is exactly what he's produced and it's gorgeous. If you don't like electronic music you're not going to like it i'm afraid...