Posted by: will | February 9, 2007

Bloc Party…

BEST NEW MUSIC

Bloc Party “A Weekend In The City” (Vice)

Buy it at Insound!

Prepared for the backlash? I know I was after my first few listens to Bloc Party’s sophomore album A Weekend In The City. Bloc Party’s debut album, Silent Alarm, was a remarkable success on all levels. The band struck a nerve with their music. It’s rare to witness a band so accepted by such a diverse group of listeners and critics alike. There comes the catch 22. What direction does a band go in after such a universal success? Well, Bloc Party eschews the easy route with A Weekend In The City.

The album starts off with “Song For Clay (Disappear Here)”, a song that shows that A Weekend In The City is not going to be an easy pill to swallow for Bloc Party listeners hoping for nothing but the same from the band. The song’s tempo and mood swings back and forth rather brilliantly in its five minute length. The thing that is noticeable throughout is this album’s subtlety. On Silent Alarm it seemed the band was always going for it…never willing to sit back and build their songs. A Weekend In The City sees the band stepping back a bit rather than always going for the knockout.

“Hunting For Witches” starts off with a vocal sample before the drums kick in with patented Bloc Party precision. The angular guitars carry the vocals in before the song hits into high gear. “Waiting For the 7.18” will satisfy those fans looking for a repeat of the anthemic emotional highs of Silent Alarm. The atmosphere of the song is absolutely gorgeous. The wildly creative percussive moments of Silent Alarm are repeated here to immaculate results. “The Prayer” starts off with an eerie vocal chant and drumbeat before the vocals come in. Bloc Party are known for the strikingly catchy choruses and the one “The Prayer” is certainly no different. The down-tempo ballad “On” shows just how much Bloc Party has grown. Like it or not, a song like this has the ability to put Bloc Party in the rarefied air of mainstream rock.

The album’s second half shows the ever-growing somber side of the band. Tempos, for the most part, stay on the relatively slower side. Songs like the aforementioned “On”, “Kreuzberg” and “Sunday” all show the band to be quite comfortable in their newer skin. In fact, “Sunday” should be a mix-tape delight. Lyrically, A Weekend In The City is more emotional and contemplative. Lyrics of personal and social alienation abound. The band’s home, London, continuously seems to provide some of the emotional desolation referred to throughout the album. However, as the second half of A Weekend In The City plays on you can feel a sense of hopefulness and acceptance rising from the music.

A Weekend In The City rides the wave of the band’s diverse ability to remarkable results. The album will not immediately hit you like Silent Alarm. However, A Weekend In The City is certainly on the level of that album. It’s an album that proves Bloc Party, unlike many of their peers, are here to stay for the long haul. The band has moved far past their initial post-punk tags. Bloc Party are now a rock band and a damn good one at that.

RIYL: The Cure, The Futureheads, Blur

Listen:

Bloc Party – Waiting For The 7.18 (mp3)

Bloc Party – The Prayer (mp3)

www.myspace.com/blocparty

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Responses

  1. I’m not loving them, but I do like “Song for Clay Disapp..” out of all the songs on their myspace.


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