What is to say about this album that hasn't been said already? After the mostly-ordinary "Pablo Honey", Radiohead released this, often considered the pinnacle of 90's "alternative" rock (OK Computer was prog rock!). I do like The Bends lots, but find their later experimental stuff more interesting. Some of the tracks here are still in the straightforward grungy guitar style ("Bones", "Just", "Sulk"), but decent stuff anyway. The "Radiohead style" was finally defined by songs like "Bullet Proof...", "High and Dry", "Nice Dream", laid back, semi-acoustic, earnestly floaty singing. Spawned a few imitators, but the sound is strong and hasn't dated. Two tracks in particular - "Fake Plastic Trees" and "Street Spirit" have the kind of simple beauty that elevated them to iconic status, and foreshadow what was to come. They could only get better...
September 18, 2003