The Eraser

The Eraser

This solo release from Radiohead singer Thom Yorke finds him temporarily stepping away from his band, but without venturing too far off stylistically, as if he stole away with his laptop but stayed within earshot of rehearsal. The precisely layered music is almost entirely electronic—twitchy beats, stark samples, synthesizers, and assorted blips—with Yorke’s distinctive voice always upfront, clear, and intimate, the lyrics throughout provocative and imaginative. With few tempos changes, each song builds to a steady groove and then stays there for the duration, and though this leaves the album short on surprises, The Eraser achieves a continuity and stark beauty that allows it to work well as either a headphone album or as background music for a low-key party. Yorke is not attempting to make a great departure from his work with the band (the album was created with help from Nigel Godrich, who produced much of Radiohead’s output) so the overall sound will be familiar to loyal fans. But this is no mere filler until the next Radiohead release. The Eraser is strong enough to stand on its own and offers a fascinating, if dark, look into both Yorke’s world and ours.

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