Thom Yorke’s The Eraser has been one of my most anticipated albums of the year since its July release was announced. Would it be stripped-down guitar work a la his live performances with Johnny Greenwood? Or electronic experimentation in the vein of the Hail To The Thief b-sides?
Turns out the album is somewhere in the middle. Aesthetically it’s closest to the bips and bops of “Backdrifts” and the looping, medium pace and ambient textures of the Amnesiac b-sides. Considering it’s a solo album, Yorke’s vocals are surprisingly quiet – there’s little of the yowling that characterizes Radiohead’s finest rock music. The guitars, when they appear at all, are menacing but never aggressive. This is not to say it isn’t solid album – it’s certainly better than Sufjan’s outtakes record. However, none of these tracks quite match the material that foreshadowed them, which is all the more reason to post those b-sides now. “Worrywort” is probably closest in feel to some of the new Yorke stuff – and it’s gorgeous. These are my favorite Radiohead songs.
(Buy the Knives Out single on Amazon)
The Eraser will be released on XL in July. If you can’t wait that long, though, make your way over to At Ease and you can probably find what you’re looking for.
I wrote up a list of my top 10 albums of the year thus far for the Daily Bruin. Ah, the indulgences of being a columnist.