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The Eraser reviews – another batch

Well, here we are. July 10th – the official date of the release of Thom Yorke’s The Eraser. We can now add most of the European countries to the list. North America is next tomorrow. Here’s another batch of reviews for you to read.

NME: Like ‘Kid A’, ‘The Eraser’ will split Radiohead fans. Some will mourn its lack of viscera; its coldness; its reluctance to rock. But it’s yet another revealing glimpse into Yorke’s cryptic inner-world, and one that has the courage not to hide its political message in code. ‘Kid B’? Yeah, OK – but Radiohead will never make another album like it, and as a twin, it’s every bit the equal.

The Observer: Curiously for a singer, it’s the music rather than the singing that stands out on The Eraser. Yorke has a fluent and unexpectedly convincing way with a laptop, coaxing faux-analogue sonar bloops, crackles and snaps out of digital gear. There are things that sound like pianos, drumsticks clacking; a nice bit of folktronica on ‘Black Swan’. Often you could do without the topnote of his vocals, which weigh this progressive project down to the whooshy miasmic angst of Radiohead like a ball and chain. ‘Skip Divided’ is the low point, with its atonal mithering; ‘The Clock’, ‘And It Rained All Night’ and ‘Atoms for Peace’ are the high points, where sounds and singing pull in the same direction. A qualified success.

Megastar: The subject matter may be grim, the sound cold and clinical, but The Eraser is life affirming and warm. Nurtured as Yorke’s project, it’s melodic, intense, intimate and very listenable. Like the soundtrack to a Bauhaus-influenced sci-fi film, and with Radiohead’s time at label EMI over, welcome to the future of your favourite band.

Treble: I would venture to guess even Richard D. James is proud that his Warp Records cohorts can inspire one of our generation’s greatest singer/songwriters to create a soundtrack to the modern age with soulful melodies, and memories that will resonate with the listener long after the song fades.

Pitchfork: The word ‘gray’ will be used to describe The Eraser, and with good reason– unless you’re predisposed to loving everything Yorke sets his voice against, you mind fight this an oppressively dreary affair. My totally catty suggestion: Don’t bother with this unless you’ve already worn out the grooves on Jonny Greenwood’s much less-heralded but completely brilliant Bodysong soundtrack. Or maybe, if you’re really jonseing, set up two stereos and play both solo records at once, Zaireeka-style. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that worked.

Newsday: Between “The Eraser” and some of the new Radiohead songs the band revealed on its recent tour, it seems like Yorke is interested in revitalizing dance music these days, the way “The Bends” invigorated rock.

Mansized: The Eraser is a return to the haunting electro soundscapes found on Radiohead’s Kid A and Amnesiac albums – music that crossed frontiers, kicked down doors of perception and challenged other musicians to think differently. However, what was fresh and groundbreaking back then isn’t necessarily so today.

TIME Magazine: The Eraser isn’t–but by distilling Radiohead into something intimate, it may point the way toward greatness to come.

Sun Times: I went in knowing this would mainly be an electronic disc, augmented primarily by the artist’s stately piano — and perhaps the spare, moody soundscapes finally enabled me to hear the charms of his vocals. Either that or he just wore me down. In any case, this is the disc where I learned to stop worrying and love the twisted little gnome.

Entertainment Weekly: Think Radiohead are too damn cheery? Try frontman Thom Yorke’s solo album excerpt: The arrangements are equally forbidding, laptop soundscapes with snippets of more traditional instrumentation (guitars, piano), and the overall mood is austere and claustrophobic, even when compared with Radiohead at their most austere and claustrophobic (Kid A, for starters). Whereas Radiohead pop tension with moments of grandeur, The Eraser cultivates uneasiness with snaky melodies that never mate it to roof-raising chorus….It demonstrates that Yorke needs Radiohead as much as it needs him to transform anxiety into rock arias of enduring beauty and power.

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