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THOM YORKE - THE ERASER - FREESPIRIT RECORDS
Record Rating: ****

THOM YORKE - THE ERASER The creative leap Radiohead made between its second album, The Bends, and its third, OK Computer, was both unexpected and expansive, effectively unburdening the group from the one-hit-wonder status they'd lugged around since the success of the gimmicky single High And Dry. The progressive, electronic-tinged masterpiece became one of the most acclaimed albums of the nineties, making front man Thom Yorke a household name. On his solo debut, Yorke pays homage to Floyd’s Syd Barrett, tragic folk singer Nick Drake and Roxy Music’s Brian Eno ~ and then he pauses for breath. Each of the album's nine songs unwraps differently; trailing cantilevered melodies and odd electonica patterns make this art-rock at its most revealing and contradictory. With Yorke's cracked yowl as its centre, from the multi-segmented cerebral opera Analyse to the bleak, languorous despair of The Clock, the music takes countless schizophrenic twists and turns, all the while maintaining its sense of dark, slowly unfolding drama. Despite that admirable ambition, this is never as visionary or stunning as his work in Radiohead. For one, it’s difficult to discern precisely what it is he's going on about in some songs. He’s at his best when pondering his own inadequacies, which he does with uncommon honesty on tracks like And It Rained All Night and Harrowdown Hill. On the rare occasions that he decides to pump up the volume ~ as on the funked up Atoms For Peace ~ the momentum is thrown off, but by the end of the disc-closing Cymbal Rush, his course seems steadied. While it's not the easiest album in the world to get inside, The Eraser’s obsessiveness and complexity makes it an interesting find once you've found a way in. A departure from what early Radiohead fans are used to hearing, this will take a few listens to appreciate.

Read our other reviews:

JOHN MAYER - CONTINUUM       ENIGMA - A POSTERIORI       CHRISTINA AGUILERA - BACK TO BASICS       JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE - FUTURESEX/LOVESOUNDS      














































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