The Eraser is the debut solo album by Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke, released on 10 July 2006. The album debuted at #3 on the UK Albums Chart and at #2 on the Billboard 200 in the United States. The Eraser was nominated for both the Mercury Music Prize and the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 2007.
Some writers and fans have taken to calling this album Kid B, the (obvious) implication that it's the companion piece to Radiohead's masterpiece of electronic rock.
In 2006, with little advance word, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke unveiled his first solo album, THE ERASER, much to the surprise of many of the band's fans. Given that Yorke is the literal voice of the beloved British rock ensemble, these nine songs, produced by Nigel Godrich, don't depart too much from Radiohead's moody, electronica-tinged sound (i.e. KID A, AMNESIAC, HAIL TO THE THIEF), but they do prove to be more intimate, sometimes recalling the hauntingly spare "Rabbit in Your Headlights," Yorke's collaboration with DJ Shadow on U.N.K.L.E.'s PSYENCE FICTION. Like that tune, much of THE ERASER is awash in somber piano lines and minimal beats, as on the dreamy opening title track, while "The Clock" runs on skittering, tightly wound loops. Though there are up-tempo moments on the record, the overall atmosphere is melancholy and sometimes flat-out ominous, qualities that are hand-in-glove with Yorke's achingly plaintive voice and often bleak lyrics. Enhanced by the beautifully illustrated artwork of Stanley Donwood, THE ERASER isn't just music for a rainy day, it's the perfect counterpoint to a thunderstorm.
After a brief return to earth to deliver the tart, focused In Rainbows, Radiohead drift back into the ether with The King of Limbs. Like In Rainbows before it, the actuality of The King of Limbs is purposefully somewhat obscured by the hullabaloo surrounding the album's surprise release – announced for a Saturday release on a Monday, shifted to a Friday – and in the case of KOL, such clamor is needed. Wispy and ephemeral, shimmering skin draped over the barest of bones, The King of Limbs doesn’t deliberately lack a solid foundation, songwriting traded for sound construction. Masters of mood that they are, Radiohead digitally weave stuttering, glitchy loops of drums and guitars with real instruments, Thom Yorke’s mournful moan and keening falsetto acting as a binding agent, creating an alluringly dour atmosphere.
If you're going to pillage someone else's ideas, then go for broke. Because even if you find yourself crammed between the barriers of creative space, utterly at a loss for ideas, expression, or thought, you'd still have a self-respect buzzing in your ear like a mad angelic insect, putting down the newspaper and taking out a cigar to remind you that, hell, if want to sound like Radiohead when even Thom Yorke doesn't want to sound like Radiohead, you might as well take it to preposterous, bombastic, over-the-top levels. Add church organs, mental electronics, riffs bouncing off each other like the monolithic screams in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and you'll finally be in position to crack skulls like coconuts and make the world's speakers ooze gooey blood.