By: Matthew Gordon
Thom Yorke, the lead singer of Radiohead, is preparing to release a solo album entitled The Eraser on July 11. Radiohead is also preparing for an album release, but it appears that Mr. Yorke wanted a chance to experiment with a new sound on the side. The result is a sophisticated composition that applies unusual musical techniques and sounds to non-traditional song structures. It is a contemplative and moody album that can inspire a wide variety of emotional and mental states. It feels comfortable whether itís playing as background music at a reunion of friends, as youíre walking down the street or as your mind hangs on one last thought before sleep. The first time through I wasnít sure what to make of it, but I left it on repeat for a few hours and before I knew it, I was murmuring along.
The Eraser manages to keep the emotion and the style of Radioheadís Hail To The Thief even though the album is its own completely new genre of music. The sounds of the synthesizer wilderness have been stripped down to something closer to human, but they stand definitively as a music of the future. Itís remarkable that this artist can produce such ominous, haunting sounds without ever appearing to break a sweat. Not to underhand the scene in Fight Club where Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter watch skyscrapers collapse to The Pixies ìWhere Is My Mind?î but if the world were ending, I would be listening to Yorkeís ìAnalyseî: ìThereís no time to analyze/To think things through/To make senseî.
The paranoia embedded in the music evokes the idea that we might just be moving a little too quickly. It fills me with confidence that I can hear the truth if I only bother to listen. The album manages to be uplifting instead of depressing because it puts you in touch with the problem as opposed to making you constantly jump at shadows. It sounds quite abstract, but I donít think that such a complex feeling can be expressed in a more tangible way.
On the whole, The Eraser is a beautiful album that allows us to listen as Mr. Yorke strays into yet another realm of sound without losing his musical identity. I highly recommend that you pick up a copy and keep your eye out for the new Radiohead album this fall.
For more information please visit, www.radiohead.com.