Sound — 10
Radiohead, overall, is an amazing band. Let's just put that out there. When I first listened to them, I listened to their first album, Pablo Honey. It was poppy and good, however I wanted to hear more. The next album to listen to was this, their sophomore album. The Bends is perhaps my favorite album of Radiohead's although all have their own unique style to them. The Bends has a more rock sound, although Thom Yorke (the lead singer) has been quoted in saying that they never meant to be a rock band. But then again, he also says that they aren't progressive, and if they aren't that, then I'm not sure what progressive means. The Bends has all different styles of songs, ranging from somber (Fake Plastic Trees, Street Spirit (Fade Out)) to hard rock (The Bends, Just). What Radiohead has done with this album is that every song has variety, it isn't just "hard" or "soft," it changes up. And I have found that this is key in making an album, and not too many bands do that these days. Whenever I introduce Radiohead to my friends who are interested, I start them off with this album. Not only is it my favorite, but it seems to be the album that draws many to Radiohead.
Lyrics — 10
Thom Yorke is mostly cryptic in his lyrics, and they are always wonderfully written. Thom's vocals always mix well with the music, and he sings with emotion. Particularly on "High And Dry," Thom sings in a way that makes shivers run up and down your spine. He also can belt out the lyrics in "Bones" with such a vigor, you feel as if you want to attack everything in sight. This man clearly knows how to manipulate his listeners.
Overall Impression — 10
The Bends ranks high among my favorite albums. Radiohead itself is perhaps my favorite band, however there are many contenders for this spot. This is the album that I pop in whenever, I can always listen to it, and every song on it is impressive. However, the most impressive songs from the album have to be: The Bends (this song was written about knowing who your real friends are. It has amazing guitar riffs, not that they are particularly hard, its just that they sound amazing. Jonny Greenwood manipulates his guitar (mostly a fender telecaster) well, especially in this song), Fake Plastic Trees (this song was written for the world of mass marketing and mass consumption. As I have mentioned above, the vocals make you shiver, along with the music), Just (this song was written about a narcissistic friend that Thom had that he felt compelled to elude. This song is by far the best on the album, especially with Jonny's amazing playing. I find myself quoting often from this song "You do it to yourself, you do, and that's what really hurts"), Street Spirit Fade Out (I can't say much about this song, only that it is perhaps one of the saddest songs I have ever heard. It is certainly a favorite of mine, and this is the song that people usually come back to me about). Overall, this CD is amazing, and everyone should own it, even if they don't like the other albums Radiohead has done. It has a song for everyone, and I highly recommend owning it.