Thursday, November 30, 2006

Calgary Sun

Yorke recycles music in an interesting way
By DARRYL STERDAN -- Winnipeg Sun

Thom Yorke

Some artists make solo albums to spread their wings and experiment. We can't see Radiohead singer Thom Yorke needing that outlet. Others use them to get all personal.

But any fan knows Yorke's not exactly Mr. Touchy-Feely. Still others use them to announce solo careers. But Yorke kept his extracurricular outing under wraps until his band were writing and touring, which puts the kibosh on that.

So why did he make The Eraser? Our best guess: He can't bear to throw anything away. So instead of erasing the leftover bits and beats and melodies and lyrics he's accumulated in his laptop over the past few years, he downloaded those skittery beatbox rhythms, dusty loops and bleep-bloop sequences to a computer with ProTools. He overdubbed some stark piano chords, atmospheric synths and skritchy, spindly guitars with the help of pal and producer Nigel Godrich. He added some vocals. And voila! A sumptuous solo album of Morning Bellish electro-ballads and tons of free space on the hard drive.

Of course, those expecting The Eraser to sound like a full-blown Radiohead disc might be in for a slight disappointment. Aside from Yorke's bleating, mushmouthed angst and oblique lyrics -- which could be about love or fame or identity or politics or the price of tofu in Tokyo for all we can parse -- these shadowy, vaguely unsettling works bear only slight resemblance to his day job.

Not that we're complaining. In fact, you could argue the band would benefit from embracing the economy and minimalism at work (and play) in these cuts, which tend to be more songlike and straightforward than some Radiohead fare, despite their techno leanings. So when you get down to it, you don't have to know why Yorke made The Eraser. You can just be glad he did.

Track Listing:

1. The Eraser
2. Analyse
3. The Clock
4. Black Swan
5. Skip Divided
6. Atoms For Peace
7. And It Rained All Night
8. Harrowdown Hill
9. Cymbal Rush


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