More reviews of Thom Yorke’s The Eraser are coming in. Out today in Japan and mostly available in The Netherlands. Here are today’s batch of reviews:
The Guardian: The Eraser is no more experimental than the average Radiohead album. In fact, it sounds exactly like you would expect a Thom Yorke solo album to sound: twitchy electronic beats, doomy washes of synthesizer, backing vocals that are invariably high, wordless and ghostly, except on Skip Divided, where they literally involve whimpering. The lyrics are one long defeated sigh, interrupted by the occasional tut and roll of the eyes. We are variously informed that there’s no light in the dark, time’s running out for us, things are fucked up, it gets you down and people get crushed like biscuit crumbs. Even the guitar on The Clock sounds like it’s grumbling. At its worst, The Eraser brings to mind the unlikely image of Autechre fronted by Private Frazer off Dad’s Army: thump, bleep, splonk, we’re all doomed, I tell you. (3/5)
LiveDaily: In all, “The Eraser” underscores two things. The first is just how important the other Radiohead guys are to the band’s sound. The second is that Yorke can make it with or without them.
Scotsman.com: The album then pulses out on the anticlimactic Cymbals Rush, which is little more than computer bleeps – not just any computer bleeps, mind, but old school Amstrad computer bleeps, or the kind of supercomputer featured in 1970s conspiracy movies. Strangely, this is the track which has cropped in the Radiohead live set. Ultimately, The Eraser is little more than a collectable curiosity to tide us over until the main missive next year. But let’s hope Thom had some fun for once. (2/5)
Spacelab: For a while, I figured the fame and pressure got him, and that he wandered off into an experimental world and would never return to the stunning music we all know he can create. But The Eraser proves he hasn’t forgotten. Thom Yorke never lost his way, he just took the road less traveled. (4.7/5)
In This Week: I can’t say whether the album is ‘good’ or not because of the relativity of the question. Good compared to what? That’s the uselessness of a star rating system and the usefulness of words. I can say, though, that I like the album, with the caveat that it’s harder to get into than a pair of cement jeans. (3.5/5)
Toronto Eye Weekly: Yorke busts a move to the time-bomb-tick of urban paranoia: “I give into the rhythm, click-click-clack / I’m too wasted to fight back.” Request it the next time you’re out at the idioteque, dancing with yourself.
LA Daily News: There are hardly any songs here – just blips and bleeps, gurgles, strangled falsetto vocalizing and static noise, seemingly designed to burn off any lingering dilettantes from the Radiohead fan club. It’s the sound of a GameBoy in a deep fryer.
CD Times: It’s good to hear Yorke challenging himself by writing something more direct. There’s also a sense that he’s become comfortable with this cross over sound of guitars and electronica – the blend has become richer and more even. It may not be the most important electronica album ever released, but there’s something impressive about an artist who can try something else, write something different, and do it with such aplomb.
Belfast Telegraph: As in most things Radiohead, you have to work to appreciate the class. It’s certainly not as accessible as Ok Computer – but not quite as off the wall as Kid A. If you’re patient – at least by the third listen – you’ll ‘get it’. Best is the stripped bare acoustic ballad Atoms For Peace, and Harrowdown Hill, the place where Government scientist David Kelly committed suicide. The Eraser is another giant creative leap.
And for those in Malaysia: Hosted by EMI, Zouk and Twilight Actiongirl, a preview party of The Eraser as well as Radiohead classics making the rounds on the decks through the night. Yorke’s The Eraser preview starts at 11pm, and as promised, EMI is sorting out Radiohead goodies and CDs for lucky patrons.