Thursday, July 20, 2006

"although I can imagine, if Thom Yorke made an album of patriotic country tunes, I would love that as well"
- the fabulous Will Benham
As I am in complete agreement with Will, I think you can probably imagine what I have to say about Thom Yorke's new cd, The Eraser. And since everybody in the music business has already reviewed this highly anticipated cd, I won't give you a proper review. I'll simply gush about what it means to me and how Thom Yorke is one of the most important musical geniuses of our time.
The reviews of The Eraser have actually been all over the place, with many critics lamenting the lack of contribution of the rest of Radiohead, complaining that the cd sounds half-realised.
I disagree.
I do agree that Radiohead as a cohesive unit are incredibly gifted and capable of almost unimaginable feats of musicality. Personally, I believe that Jonny Greenwood is a genius in his own right, not only from a guitarist's standpoint, but in his ability to make his own instruments to produce the sound that he is seeking.
In making The Eraser, Thom Yorke has fulfilled a personal need to explore his own interest in electronica and to let that interest lead him to new sounds. It is supposed to sound minimalist; it's Thom playing with the very thing of his nightmares - computers and percussions and the stripped-down coldness of an alien existence. But with the strange off-kilter beats as a backdrop, Thom's voice soars like it never has before. You just can't help getting utterly lost in it, if you allow yourself to. And if Thom Yorke is brave enough to explore those dark and broody recesses, we should be willing to join him.
Here is Atoms for Peace - Thom Yorke



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23 comments:

kees said...

Ooooh, yeah I like it. I think you're exactly right, there's not much to it but it's such a great showcase for his voice. Less is certainly more. I can see though that if you don't like his voice it might sounds a bit rubbish, but there's something really childlike about the electronic sounds that really appeals to me. I think it'll be love it or hate it.

mellowlee said...

Thanks for sharing! I love it! His voice is amazing.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You could be right Kkees. I can think of a few people who will likely hate it, but I think it's brilliant (just like our Thom).

Any time, Mellowlee! Some of the other tracks like Analyse and Balck Swan are spectular as well.

Barbara said...

I was shopping online at itunes with my Mum and I played Thom Yorkes new song. My Mums comment was "oh there is something wrong with the computer"
Me "No Mum that is just how Thom Yorke sounds."

Barbara Bruederlin said...

hahaha Barbara W - okay, so you and your mom are not fans. (I doubted you would be.)
Which song was it by the way?

Will said...

Well, first off - thanks for the quote. Makes me feel all important and stuff. Second of all ... no wait - now I'm really getting into the idea of him doing patriotic country tunes. Maybe Rick Rubin can produce it. Seems like you and I are on the same page here ... what the album was for me was, like you said, Thom Yorke filling a personal need, but it was also a personal need of mine. I think Radiohead's electronic leanings lead to some of my favorite songs and I really wanted to see that in full.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Will, you are always quotable! Rick Rubin would be the only one to produce that album, should it ever see the light of day.

I was more than glad to go along on the ride into Thom's mind, and I think it was a natural progression for him to make.

Neil said...

I like some radio head... that song doesn't impress me.

I know. I must be crazy.

mellowlee said...

btw, audio on blog is nifty. Is "bolt" free? I would love to be able to use audio on my blog occasionally!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

pffft, you're not telling us anything new, Neil. We've always known you were crazy. And that's why we love you.

Nifty it is, Mellowlee. Yup, Bolt is free - Bolt.com - it's really great. You can do videos there too and your own recordings.

Allison said...

I think I may have to visit Bolt, for audio stuff too.
My family had the same reaction to Thom's new cd, as Barbara W did. My brother, 'Its not playing, I'm just getting feedback.'
I told him that's the punishment he gets for saying the word narly, repeatedly. The inability to hear good music.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

hahaha Allison, you completely pOwnd your brother! You are the grooviest.
Did you like my seamless transition from netspeak to 60s lingo there?
Bolt is really great. I just use it as a tool to get audio on my Blogger site, but you can blog through Bolt as well.

She's Crafty said...

Do you remember Mansbridge "One on One" when he interviewed George?
He says that, "Radiohead could change everything"..."you can say what you want when you are that talented". It's a really good interview. Thom Yorke is genius.
I'm still waiting for the revolution, it COULD happen at any moment. LOL!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You are preaching to the choir here, Sarah. And it's not merely talent with Thom and the rest of Radiohead, it's ingenuity. They think of ways of making music than have never been done for.

The revolution has begun. Don't expect to see Thom Yorke
organizing a fundraiser/awareness concert ala Bono and Geldof, though. He's surprisingly removed from the spotlight.

Barbara said...

I don't remember what the song was Barbara B. but this one you have reminds me of the background music from the games I used to play on my commodore 64. Like Kees said childlike... There is something very early 80s toy keyboard electronics to his music and something from star trek... can't put my finger on it. I don't mind the nostalgia of this song but what does he mean by it all?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Commodore 64-like - that's pretty appropriate Barbara W. I think he did produce it all on the computer so that would fit. Maybe it WAS a Commodore-64.

Yorke's lyrics get more and more elusive all the time, but there is politics and subterfuge (on Harrowdown Hill), there is alienation, all the good Radiohead stuff.

Barbara said...

some schools of thought is that words are only filler for the music... To me words are key to some songs and filler for others...

Ben Heller said...

I haven't reviewed the album because I've only just bought it but I think this album contains one of Thom's best vocal performances yet.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I think you are pretty bang on there Barbara W. From the Weakerthans, for example, I expect clarity and literacy in their lyrics, from others such as Radiohead, it's more of a generalized mood. There're both good.

I think so too, Ben. Thom's voice is absolutely stellar and takes centre stage on this cd, not competing with instrumentation.

phlegmfatale said...

OH, so THAT is Thom Yorke. He's hypomanic. My dr told me a month ago that I'm hypomanic, too. So I'm in good creative company?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Really, Phlemfatale? I didn't know that, about either of you. (that's a form of bipolar disorder?)

Well that goes partway to explaining your amazing creativity, doesn't it? It doesn't seem to have been too much of a hinderance to you, although perhaps you hide it well.

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