No more leaky holes in your brain

By By Spencer Young

By Spencer Young

Thom Yorke

The Eraser

XL Recordings

Four-and-a-half out of five stars

Thom Yorke’s new “solo” project sounds akin to those old eight-bit Nintendo adventure games like “Time Lord” (or for the non-Nintendophiles, the castle levels in “Super Mario Bros.” and “Zelda” work also), where subdued, epic battle music is set to a nerve-racking blip, which serves as a reminder that time is running out, you’re about to die.

While the “blips” in The Eraser don’t cause a panic as severe as jumping over a thug, dodging his bullets, or obtaining the glowing Time Orb and shooting the thug, they still serve as prompts of temporal desperation-just with a more pleasant-sounding, steady pulse.

Like last-level bosses that you can’t defeat (I honestly spent a solid month of my youth trying to kill the mustachioed Mexican six-shooter Boss in “Time Lord,” but he just wouldn’t die, so I destroyed the game), Yorke coos-in much the same style as Radiohead’s Amnesiac-about similar personal and situational restraints.

Despite the bleakness offered through the low-fi, minimal electronics, no-ego guitar and anxious lyrics, hope prevails over sadness in The Eraser. I have a feeling that Yorke wouldn’t have given up on that indefatigable boss as I did; likewise, no one should give up on this album-you learn technique and appreciation the more you persevere.

Although this isn’t a “pop” album in the traditional sense, it does have the catchiness and buoyancy that comes with one. Several of these songs will get stuck in your brain, but not in the “Damn it! Nooo!” kind of stuck. It’s more like the “Oooh, that’s nice and I don’t mind” kind of stuck. I’ve found myself often singing the lyric, “I’m a lap dog, I’m a lap dog, I’m your lap dog,” which, as I later discovered, is actually “love-dog,” but who cares?