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Radiohead - The Bends CD (album) cover

THE BENDS

Radiohead

 

Crossover Prog

3.80 | 547 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
5 stars It's time to unveil another one of my huge album favorites and this time it happens to be no other than those beloved alternative rockers from U.K. called Radiohead!

I started listening to Radiohead right around 1998 when OK Computer was pretty much hailed as the ultimate '90s album. Personally, I didn't find that album experience as profound as the critics made it out to be, but before giving up completely on the band I decided to give The Bends a chance. I have to say that all the hype really started to make sense after this first profound experience and I followed it shortly up with an in-depth deeper griding of OK Computer.

One could easily dismiss The Bends for being a product of its time, but the transition that Radiohead had undergone since Pablo Honey is a very impressive one. Plus, this is easily Radiohead's most consistent recording that doesn't rely on conceptual atmosphere and instead fills in that gap with quality material from beginning to the very end. It might not be the progressive album that our community was looking for back in 1995 but, outside the retro prog bands, this is as close that you would get to the first signs of art music finally getting a wider acknowledgment from the mainstream.

It might be a bold move, but would like to compare Radiohead's development to that of the Beatles. Both band's took the audience by storm with their early releases and then moved on to make the music that they really felt like creating. I see The Bends as Radiohead's Revolver which definitely foreshadowed that a Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was just around the corner. Just like the Beatles subtile experiments on Revolver, Radiohead did a few of their own here on The Bends. What we get is a bunch of completely different song experiences that work well both on their own and as a part of the collective album experience.

I'll skip the detailed track description merely because of my very personal affection for this album that would most probably sound more like a fanboy rant if I try pushing it any further. Let me just sum it up by stating that The Bends is a masterpiece of an album that should not be overlooked by fans of creative rock music!

***** star songs: Planet Telex (4:18) The Bends (4:06) Fake Plastic Trees (4:50) Nice Dream (3:53) Just (3:54) Black Star (4:07) Street Spirit (Fade Out) (4:12)

**** star songs: High And Dry (4:17) Bones (3:08) My Iron Lung (4:36) Bullet Proof... I Wish I Was (3:28) Sulk (3:42)

Rune2000 | 5/5 |

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