Despite nearly every other member of Radiohead releasing solo projects over the last couple of decades, the band's guitarist Ed O'Brien found himself as a bit of a late bloomer in that department. Having admitted that he first came up with the idea of releasing solo material around the release of 'OK Computer' (more than twenty years ago), the now 51-year-old never really took his new ambitions seriously until now. And after more than two decades to mull it over, he has finally found the opportunity to release 'Earth', his very first collection of new and original work.
I guess the most daunting thing to consider when you are part of one of the greatest living bands on the planet, is how will this compare to what I am used to working on? But from the beginning, it is clear than EOB is looking to separate himself from his place within Radiohead, searching to create his own unique voice, albeit within the same realm as his formative outfit. 'Earth' initially presents itself as a warm and woozy collection of humbled and intimate offerings, that look to showcase the subtle beauty within his compositions. And as it moves we begin to hear more of his own flair, adopting a more diverse range of instrumentation to deliver a broad and enticing new record.
'Earth' may not be the rock-solid collection of ideas we were hoping for, but it still gives us a strong insight into how Ed O'Brien prefers to write. He has a stable and driven direction that he maintains for the length of this new full-length, creating a stunning array of euphoric cuts throughout.