The Bends

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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Pablo Honey in no way was adequate preparation for its epic, sprawling follow-up, The Bends. Building from the sweeping, three-guitar attack that punctuated the best moments of Pablo Honey, Radiohead create a grand and forceful sound that nevertheless resonates with anguish and despair -- it's cerebral anthemic rock. Occasionally, the album displays its influences, whether it's U2, Pink Floyd, R.E.M., or the Pixies, but Radiohead turn clich├ęs inside out, making each song sound bracingly fresh. Thom Yorke's tortured lyrics give the album a melancholy undercurrent, as does the surging, textured music. But what makes The Bends so remarkable is that it marries such ambitious, and often challenging, instrumental soundscapes to songs that are at their cores hauntingly melodic and accessible. It makes the record compelling upon first listen, but it reveals new details with each listen, and soon it becomes apparent that with The Bends, Radiohead have reinvented anthemic rock.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Radiohead 04:19 Amazon
2 Radiohead 04:06 Amazon
3 Radiohead 04:17 Amazon
4 Radiohead 04:51 Amazon
5 Radiohead 03:09 Amazon
6 Radiohead 03:09 Amazon
7 Radiohead 03:53 Amazon
8 Radiohead 03:53 Amazon
9 Radiohead 03:54 Amazon
10 Radiohead 04:36 Amazon
11 Radiohead 03:28 Amazon
12 Radiohead 04:07 Amazon
13 Radiohead 03:42 Amazon
14 Radiohead 03:42 Amazon
15 Radiohead 04:14
16 Radiohead 04:14
blue highlight denotes track pick