Friday, November 26, 2010

The Eraser

With this record, it was a bit mad because there were no songs. I mean, Nigel may’ve had it on his mind—since he’d been working with Paul McCartney, Mr. Melody—and didn’t intend on telling me. In fact, all the lyrics came as it was going along, which was somewhat of a difficult situation, because the only way I could really complete them, bizarrely, was to try and play most of the tracks on an instrument. Generally speaking, I couldn’t write just listening to the laptop. I know that Stipey [Michael Stipe] has done this over the years, where R.E.M. sends him tracks, and he drives around in this old Volvo, and he used to write lyrics like that. I have done a lot that way, but I was finding the pace of what we were doing so fast that I just didn’t have time. So, the easiest way to do it was desperately figure out how to play it. Which is really interesting because it feeds back to the guitar part in ‘Black Swan,’ which hadn’t been there for ages. But to sing something, I needed to strum something and then the song came, a very peculiar way around.
--paste magazine, august 2006

the eraser, however, is not the same old shit, by any means. in a very true way, it's an album of love songs. but before you think yorke has gone completely soft, by clarification, the "love" here is the whole package, complete with mean streaks and caustic wit, not merely the trite, romantic-idealist definition. "who would want to listen to that crap?" yorke says. "it's not real; love isn't like that. well, it isn't for me--maybe that's why i don't get any action", he laughs.
for yorke, a true love song speaks to the realities of love--the egotistically sadistic side, the analytical side, the physical depravation side, all of it, not some 'here are your roses, i love you darling' lionel ritchie sendup.
"happily ever after... not!"
the eraser's title track is the most pointed. the first lines you hear on the album are, "please excuse me, but i got to ask, are you only being nice because you want something?/my fairytale arab princess be careful how you respond/you might end up in this song".
when asked to comment on the lyrics of "the eraser" there's a long pause before he simply answers, "i can't".
--paste magazine, august 2006