Music » CD Reviews

Thom Yorke

The Eraser (XL)

by

comment
On his solo debut, the man who once sang "Anyone can play guitar" often chooses not to. Instead, Thom Yorke and producer Nigel Godrich build The Eraser on the same surround-sound circuitry that bolstered the last few Radiohead albums. The solo project is hardly a sign that Yorke will abandon his mates indefinitely to do his own thing: His thing and the band's are one and the same. He's guilty of self-plagiarism, sometimes to a maddening degree. Certain elements -- the piano line that falls in and out of synch with Yorke's lazy vocals on "Analyse," the skidding bass that lays the groove for "Black Swan" -- are so familiar, it seems as if they must have been used in a Radiohead song.

While Yorke mimics many of his band's aesthetics, The Eraser lacks Radiohead's rare outbreaks of euphoria. Yorke rides the hills and valleys of his mood swings, but with the amplitude turned way down. The disc could use the good, big-kid tantrum that "And It Rained All Night" feels set to provide. The track kicks in with an insistent beat and clicking drumsticks; Yorke actually sounds alert. But halfway in, he switches to despondent falsetto, and it becomes apparent that the song (like the album) must be accepted for what it is -- pleasantly hypnotic, but without a single explosive incident.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.