Radiohead
The Bends


4.5
superb

Review

by Bchop13 USER (22 Reviews)
March 31st, 2006 | 17 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


Sometimes the world needs change. Sometimes it doesn't. Well ,the British rock scene needed change in 1995, and the whole music world and not just the British were about to get one. The U.S. was still haunted by the death of grunge, and the British industry needed a lift, for that lift they turned to bands like Radiohead and Oasis and they got there music back on the map.

There something about The Bends that makes you wonder how the lyrics and vocals by Thom were so improved. The first album Pablo Honey had some meaningful lyrics and insight, but really lacked the subject manner. In The Bends you can really start seeing that Radiohead is prioritizing their vocals and instruments making a well-done album, and a drastic improvement from the first album.

The songs that you can really see the improvement in vocals and lyrics are "High And Dry" "Fake Plastic Trees" and "Street Spirit [Fade Out]". These are also some of the most intriguing songs on the album. High And Dry had some radio airplay but people eventually got tired of the same chorus, but I don't the lyrics to this song are so beautiful and the only negative I can find about the song is that it kind of sounds like the next track "Fake Plastic Trees". Fake Plastic Trees is absolutely genius the vocals in this song tell of a troubling relationship and the song is very mellow, but the lyrics carry it through. You have to listen to the song a few times to understand the lyrics and the acoustic beat is enough to keep you listening a few times. The song received tons of airplay and people didn't get tired of listening to it. And I have to say I have never gotten tired of listening to it either, it is such a great and well-done song, and it gives you a positive feeling of where the album is going. The dramatic ending and fan favorite from the album is "Street Spirit [Fade Out]" the song features riveting and breath taking guitar work to get started, and then the albums closer kicks off into the emotional vocals, followed by the chorus were Thom Yorke is singing "Fade Out" over-and-over but it absolutely works perfectly with the song, and it gives you a preview of the masterpiece album "Ok Computer". The song reminds me of Climbing Off The Walls off Ok Computer because it has the spooky feel and the emotional vocals. Also if you haven't seen it the video for this song is great and tells off life on the edge. My favorite closer to an album. EVER.

Radiohead tried to make their fans of Pablo Honey happy as well. They did not want to experiment so much that it makes the album unattractive to people that listen to "Thinking About You" on there CD Player all day. So Radiohead put some Brit-Pop songs on here, my favorite of these is the Bends. The Bends is poking fun at the CIA but it features a powerful chorus and some nice instrumental work as well. The song is a song if you like Pablo Honey and the Bends you will like but if you like Kid A and Ok Computer you can still like it. It is a very fun and happy song. "Black Star" has one of my favorite choruses of the album, but the other lyrics in the song are great as well. I just have a problem of the instrumental work for the album version, the acoustic version was a lot better in my opinion and the drums really throw this song off. The song is unique on this album though because no other songs sound like this, it's one of those songs you think is so-so in one version and great in another. "Sulk", is one of the most overlooked songs on the album, it features average instrumental work that really overshadows Thom's singing. The chorus jumps at you like Ok Computer's "Suburban Homesick Alien" did. But the lyrics in this song don't match the maturity of some of the other songs on this album, but it is still an average song.

The soft song and mellowed song was really apparent on this album. The most notable of these "Bulletproof... I Wish I Was" the song throws you through swirls of instrumental changes but it still remains it's status as a prominent soft song on the album. The songs chorus is one of my favorites to begin with, but it really reaches a height of significance when background vocals are added at the end of the song. It just makes the song sound better. The lyrics to this song are honestly some of the best on the album. One of my favorites on the album. [Nice Dream] is a good song, But it really needs to hit a peak of excellence, sure the song has some nice vocal work but it really needs a high-note or something to make it stand-out, the simple drum and guitar jam session just didn't do it for me. These are some of the soft songs on the album.

"Planet Telex" is the perfect opener for the album, and it compares to "Airbag" which was the opener on Ok Computer. The song can be either hard or soft just like the diverse album; it really fits the album perfectly. But you can barely hear the chorus the first few times you try to listen to the song, but the chorus is well done. "Bones" features a technological and catchy beat to start off the song and then progresses into more of a mellow song. The lyrics and vocals by Thom York are distinguishable, but the song really reaches a peak after the chorus and it reaches in it's own right a jam session, were the chorus is combined with several other lyrical ideas and it is put into one. The song is one of the harder songs on the album, and was originally supposed to be made for the 1st album but it didn't make the cut. "Just" is one of my favorites, it features the awkward and meaningful lyrics and powerful chorus that have made Radiohead such a great band. The chorus is just so fun, and the song really reminds me of the song earlier in the album "The Bends", what a great song. "My Iron Lung" kind of sounds like "Bones "But the lyrics are better in this song. The song lyrics reach there peak at the end of the song "If your freighted you can be freighted" has to be one of my favorite lines from the band all-time. A good follow-up to Just.

This album really got me into Radiohead. If you don't listen to this it is very hard to understand and grasp were Ok Computer is coming from. It's the album I always tell people to listen to from Radiohead first and that is why. Such a diverse album, it can be sad or happy, fun or not so fun, it can be anything you want it to be, and that's why it is so nice to listen to.

Pros:
Better vocal work by the lead man Thom Yorke
Better instrumental work as well
Their are more "good" songs then Pablo Honey

Cons:
Some songs sound similar



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user ratings (4411)
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4.1
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Thor
March 31st 2006


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review! This is my favorite Radiohead album.

Digging: Black Crown Initiate - The Wreckage of Stars

ktstein
March 31st 2006


440 Comments


i think the rating is a little high. Also, "The Bends," and "Black Star" have almost the same timing and chord pattern, all played in the key of D. Anyways...its still pretty good stuff, and is a hint of what's to come.

Jacaranda
March 31st 2006


684 Comments


Its my favorite Radiohead album and the only Radiohead I'd give over a 4.0.

tom79
March 31st 2006


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Probably my favorite of Radiohead too. Street Spirit, My Iron Lung, Black Star and the title track are my favorites off this.

Digging: Bent Outta Shape - Bent Outta Shape

led-zep-chris
March 31st 2006


52 Comments


I got this album the other day, purely because of High and Dry, Fake Plastic Trees, and Street Spirit [Fade Out]
Radiohead never cease to amaze me musically, creatively and lyrically.
Great buy, great review

ForWhatItsWorth
March 31st 2006


97 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

by far my favorite radiohead album...my favorite songs are: (Nice Dream), Sulk and Street Spirit (Fade Out)...

...nice review....

Matt?
March 31st 2006


12 Comments


this is the only album i own by them, and i gotta say, if this is their "best" album as some have said previously i don't know if i'll end up buying their other albums


very good review though

The Jungler
March 31st 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^^not even close, unless you hate electronic music in all shapes and forms because it starts to head in that direction.

Zebra
Moderator
April 1st 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is excellent. I love 'Bones' dispite all of the hate that it receives.

The Jungler
April 1st 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bones is my least favorite off this album.

But that doesn't mean I think its bad.

tom79
April 1st 2006


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like Bones...:confused:

StaticSynth
April 1st 2006


16 Comments


xxxxxxxx

Zebra
Moderator
April 1st 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=tom]Bones is my least favorite off this album.[/quote]
That's what I was trying to say. Everyone seems to give this a pretty high rating, while disliking the opening track, Bones and Sulk. This doesn't apply to everybody but I've noticed it for quite sometime.

The Jungler
April 1st 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You misquoted, Tom likes Bones. It's not that I don't like it. I love this album but Bones just doesn't stick out for me. I love Planet Telex and Sulk though.This Message Edited On 04.01.06

sj_2150
April 1st 2006


251 Comments


i like this more than ok computer but i think ok computer is a better album. this is mutch more regular and for some reason i enjoy that more... :S

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2006


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a good review BChop, about time, but I hate Bones and love Sulk. I'm just a freak.

Album is my least favorite of the ones I own. For me it's

Kid A
OK Computer
HTTT
Bends.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is my least favorite out of the "major" Radiohead albums (which is essentially everything MusicOfficial has).
Mine is more Ok, Computer, HTTT, Kid A, then Bends, though none of them are really below a 4.This Message Edited On 04.17.06



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