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Radiohead - The Bends CD (album) cover

THE BENDS

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

3.82 | 382 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

OT Räihälä
5 stars If prog to you means symphonic 70's acts like Yes of Close To The Edge or Genesis's Supper's Ready, don't turn this page, it's nothing for you. For Radiohead's second album, the 1995 longplay Bends is nothing like that. Yet it is very prog - although quite deceptively - and leads the way into a new era of prog music. We just have to admit that the prog of the 90's wasn't what the prog of the 70's used to be.

Bends opens with two tunes that are somewhat misleading, because they rock out. After that the quintet turns itself towards some most beautiful ballads there are, namely High And Dry, Fake Plastic Trees and (Nice Dream) and manage to squeeze a rocker like Bones somewhere in between. What makes these simple tunes prog - I mean, there are three chords only in High And Dry? I can't explain, maybe it's the love for the detail in the production, or that in a strange way a few of their tunes are through-composed, even though there are recognizable verses - the variants are based on other things than melody or harmony.

This wouldn't be the perfect rock album without a few hit single intakes as well, and tunes like the amazing video hit Just, a narrative progressive masterpiece with or without its music!, or My Iron Lung and Street Spirit (Fade Out), do their bit to make Bends into one of the most complete rock albums of all times, be it progressive or not.

The most intriguing thing with this album is that I can't tell you why it qualifies to the list of all-time prog-greats. It sounds like smart rock, yet there are new things to be found with every listening. It is a true masterpiece, which I believe will stand the test of time with ease.

OT Räihälä | 5/5 |

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