Thom Yorke - The Eraser
Reviewed by Ben on 8th July 2006
Post-rock; it used to be a word which symbolised bands who played very long songs with no lyrics, and it came across as the type of music for those connoisseurs who felt the need to be little bit more high brow (nee; elitist) with their music selection. However, commercial appeal for these bands is slowly reaching a peak level - with Sigur Ros being used for car adverts, Mogwai finally achieving somewhat of a pseudo-mainstream appeal and the time people flocked out in droves to pick up a copy of the '28 Days Later' soundtrack for THAT song when it all kicks off in the house
In some ways, Thom Yorke's album could be described as electronica, much in the same way Radiohead's 2000 album Kid A could be called electronica. But with the somewhat progression and stripped down architecture of The Eraser I would be in two minds to just dismiss it as electronica. Let's all agree it's one part post-rock, one-part electronica, ok?
Categorising aside, this album very much pays homage to the kind of material Radiohead experimented with before Hail To The Thief. There is a distinct lack in guitars, instead we are met with soft pounding piano chords overlaid with a synthetic beat in the album's opener (and title track) The Eraser. Follow this with a complex electronic pulse throughout The Clock (one of my favourite tracks off the album) with those typical haunting vocals from Yorke himself - somewhat wailing, somewhat deep in a thoughtful murmur. This is the kind of album that isn't there simply to appease fans of his 'main' band, but this is the type of music that quite frankly everyone should enjoy - it's enchanting, haunting but still has a beat you can attempt to nod your head to.
Some may see a problem with the album only have nine tracks, but it's an ideal number when you consider the sheer musical landscape being laid down - it's range is the deepest valleys to the highest hills, euphoria and apathy scratching at each other. This isn't the kind of album you're going to be playing at a party. This is music's equivalent to laying all your feelings for the world to see (almost like MySpace, just without tackiness) and if without question warrants it's first listen alone, and following listens in small groups pondering philosophical questions such as "Why are we here?" and "Who's going to press repeat on the stereo?"
It IS one of the more exciting releases this year, something very different from the countless 'cheeky little urchin' or 'quirky' indie acts that are flooding the airwaves (yeah, I dislike The Automatic and The Fratellis....). This is an album you definitely should be picking up next week, as it is quite hard to fault something so beautifully depressing
Buy It Now: amazon.co.uk
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