|Album Review: 'The Bends' by Radiohead|
|Written by Jeremy Schultz, Vidette Blogger|
|Friday, 18 March 2011 17:21|
Another album I picked up last weekend from the great Reckless Records was Radiohead’s second studio album, "The Bends."
In the Radiohead section at the shop, there was a selection of CDs by the band, with one such CD being the band’s first album "Pablo Honey."
It was a toss up between the two and I ended splitting the albums with my friend Aly who went along with me to Reckless; she took "Pablo Honey" and I grabbed "The Bends" for five bucks. I’m glad things ended up the way they did because I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed "The Bends."
I’ve never invested much time into Radiohead. After hearing "OK Computer" and "Kid A." I was completely turned off from the band. To this day I’m still not able to see what is so great about these albums (I’m sure to get hell from someone for saying that – put it in the comments, folks).
Radiohead’s first single, Creep, brought them so much popularity so quickly that it nearly deconstructed the band. They were irked at how they were being portrayed through MTV and how their fans were receiving them.
In response, the band spent months slaving over "The Bends." It is here that their sound slowly starts to change and morph into something different. The beginnings of the modern day Radiohead sound can be heard off of this album.
One of my favorite things about picking up used albums is the retrospective feeling of it all, especially when finding old albums from bands that are still doing their thing today. In many cases, it feels like I’m sitting in some sort of sonic time machine, getting sent back to a time when the band was just starting off, not quite knowing what they were doing with themselves yet.
I get this feeling listening to any or Radiohead’s older albums because as musically different as their newer works are compared to their older stuff, they’ve always received generally positive reviews about their albums. In a way, even when the band didn’t know what they were doing with themselves (as the story often goes from reports about the life of the band during The Bends’ recording), they still were creating music that the masses loved without even trying.
As I mentioned before, I was surprised at how much I found myself liking "The Bends." From my warped perspective and distaste of the band, it was shocking to hear something that was pleasing to my ears. I love the mellow, soft, low feeling the album has on tracks such as High and Dry, (Nice Dream), Fake Plastic Trees, a song that I’m pretty sure was stuck in my head from Sunday into Wednesday.
Planet Telex is another song I find myself listening to frequently on the album cause it’s just so easy to get into (and supposedly was written by the band after coming home drunk one evening, with Thom Yorke doing the vocals while laying on the floor).
One of the louder songs on the album is Just, a song I was introduced to through Streetlight Manifesto’s cover album, "99 Songs of the Revolution."
As is the case with most covers I hear, I like the original far better than the cover version, despite being a huge fan of Streetlight Manifesto. For five dollars in a used record store, I think getting "The Bends" was a steal.
I’m almost positive that I’ve never seen this album in stores anywhere, generally a sign that people like the album so much that they don’t want to remove it from their personal musical collections. I can see why someone wouldn’t want to part ways with "The Bends" after listening to it.