Sound — 10
Radiohead had major success with the release of "Creep" in 93', but that is nothing compared to their second release "The Bends". Compared to just post grunge fuzziness that was present on "Pablo Honey" Radiohead actually matured into a serious band that could play great rock songs. There is a wide variety of song on the album, such as acoustic numbers, part electronic, and rock anthems. Radiohead had pressure from the record company with deadlines on this album, so there was a major rush to make this album as grand as possible, and they definitely succeeded in my opinion. There are about 3 songs on the album, that I believe are weaker than others: "High & Dry", "Bones" and "Sulk". Most Radiohead fans will disagree with my "High & Dry" opinion.
Lyrics — 10
Thom Yorke is the greatest lyricist of all time. Period. Although I believe his best lyrics shine on their next release "OK Computer" he has his shining moment on this album. The lyrics on the album, in general though are great, some are introspective and some are just plain dark. Just listen to "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" and you will get the jist.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is Radiohead's most accessible album, and for good reason. There is a song for everyone on the album, whether they like acoustic is pure rock music. The best three songs on the album I believe are: "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" "The Bends" "Fake Plastic Trees". I would buy the album again if it was stolen. It is essential.