Sound — 10
What happened to Radiohead??? Pablo Honey came out and had a huge post-grunge hit ("Creep"), but the record all around was just alright. Nothing too special, just sounded kind of like Oasis with some grunge funneled into a record. Then, when The Bends came out they blew everything away. I remember first listening to this album and realizing that every song was good, really really good. Everything sounded different and fresh - each song held its own without copying another on the album. Some songs were meloncoly and beautiful without being depressing, while others exploded with hatred and passion. Others just rocked. It's impossible to say how they did it, but Radiohead matured so quickly that heads are still spinning almost 10 years later.
Lyrics — 10
Thom York, singer for Radiohead is considered one of the best in the buisiness. Thom's voice is beautiful, which is something I don't say very often about male vocals. He is sincere and sings from inside his body. His lyrics use symbolism and metaphors better than almost any other singer (yes even emo). His words fill the head with images, though sometimes confusing. His message is the feeling you get just thinking about the song, which is the way he probably planned. Radiohead songs are not planned around structure (verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, chorus, ect.), they are almost living renditions of feelings that will only chorus when needed and solo when it takes the song higher.
Overall Impression — 10
This is a timeless album. One of the best of the 1990's. Any rock fan needs to add the Bends to their musical album collection if they havnt done so already. The most impressive songs would have to be "Fake Plastic Trees", just a moving, touching song that has to be heard to experience, and "Street Spirit", which is sad but hopeful as well. I love the fact that this album is hard to get tired of. I hate that I have not found a better album than this, it makes my faith in good music these days decrease.