It’s singles like this that have the listener longing for the immediate return of Top Of The Pops - to see Thom Yorke twitching his way from left to right across a BBC studio stage before a gaggle of bewildered teenagers waiting for BoyBandX to deliver their sole key change would be a wondrous thing.
With an immediate bassline that’d sit prettily in a composition by The Rapture, it’s entirely likely that ‘Harrowdown Hill’ would make the TOTP cut, slipping onto Sunday night television screens between a slew of sound-alike production-line poppers. The subject matter’s already well-documented – Dr David Kelly winding up dead on the titular hill – but what album reviews may have failed to mention is just how good Yorke’s bouncing beats actually are; how effectively they have the first-timer following the singer’s lead, jerking arms and legs and losing themselves, entirely, in four minutes of solo work that stand up well against anything that ‘R’ band has ever penned.
Little on parent album The Eraser, though, is of a quality comparable to ‘Harrowdown Hill’, so don’t expect too many further singles to follow in its wake. Instead, assume Yorke’s got ‘R’ matters on his mind when he sings “We think the same things at the same time”; it surely goes without saying that his audience at large is rabidly expectant, quite probably palpitating come each and every update on the recording of said band’s seventh studio album.
Still, it would have been a rare treat to see the guy dance, as if possessed by playful spirits, while viewers simultaneously tucked greedily into their roasts.
8Mike Diver's Score