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Radiohead - The Bends CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.82 | 655 ratings

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5 stars After an irregular debut, Radiohead took a huge qualitative leap in The Bends. Several factors contributed to this leap: a better producer (John Leckie, engineered by the band's future producer, Nigel Godrich), a more consistent repertoire, a better use of their influences (from U2's arena rock to Jeff Buckley's vocal style and sound dynamics) ... and, as Tom Breihan pointed out in an article about this album for Stereogum, the confidence level: "The Bends is an album from a band fully in command of its gifts, one who understands exactly what it wants to do". The first track, "Planet Telex", has a touch of psychedelia combined with a vigorous sound. The following three are all classic: the poweful title track (which contains lyrics like "I wish it was the sixties (...) I wish that something could happen"), the beautiful ballad "High and Dry" and the melancholic crescendo of "Fake Plastic Trees" ("She looks like the real thing / She tastes like the real thing / My fake plastic love"). The core of The Bends contains some not so well-known songs which are almost as melodically captivating as their hits: the rockers "Bones" and "Sulk" and the delicates "(Nice Dream)" and "Bullet Proof ... I Wish I Was". The record's final stretch is spectacular: the exciting "Just" (perhaps one of the band's most iconic songs, thanks in part to the music video), the sarcastic "My Iron Lung" (a response to the success of "Creep") , the addictive chorus of "Black Star" (their first Godrich-produced track) and the gloomy "Street Spirit (Fade Out)". The Bends is Radiohead's most hit-filled album, although it took a year (and 5 singles, including the My Iron Lung EP) for one of its songs reach on the UK Top 10 ("Street Spirit" went straight to #5 in January 1996) and the US Top 100 ("High and Dry" peaked at #78 in April '96). The recognition was gradual, but definitive: the years go by and this CD continues to be considered Radiohead's first great album.
kaiofelipe | 5/5 |


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