Mercury Prize shortlist nominees (number: 2006)
en: The Eraser [info]
Denied its status as a solo album (in case we worry that Radiohead may be splitting), The Eraser, concocted with the aid of regular producer Nigel Godrich, is surprisingly pretty in places. The nine songs here are, predictably, not the happiest tunes you'll hear this year. But despite doomy subject matter such as global warming ("The Clock", "It Rained All Night") and the death of Dr David Kelly ("Harrowdown Hill") there are some stunning moments of stark beauty.
Using some material written for previous Radiohead albums (as well as heavily-processed fragments of them playing), Yorke has constructed a collection that swims in post-industrial synthesizers and itchy electronica, but highlights his voice as a focus of warm, naked emotion. It can be a draining, emotionally raw ride, but strangely life-affirming. Let's face it - we need more Thom Yorke's in this world.