Bloc Party
A Weekend in the City


4.5
superb

Review

by Tom USER (6 Reviews)
January 29th, 2009 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Somewhere in the middle of London...

It's often said that every city is the same, and while it's true that there are the same shops, the same buildings and often the same people, I generally find each city has its own unique feel. Sydney feels like home, Hong Kong feels industrious and exotic and London…well, London feels tired. It's been a major hubbub of world activity for over a thousand years and this great age, coupled with grisly weather and dirty streets creates a general feeling of weariness. It is this weariness and the sense of disillusionment that accompanies it that fuels A Weekend In The City.

The lyrical content of the album deals with the many facets of modern life in the city, however rather than being a social commentary it's more of an insight. From drug use to sexuality, terrorism to one night stands the lyrics are poignant yet surprisingly straight forward. The fact that the album ends with a man committing suicide is perhaps the best indicator of the tone of the whole. Lines like "feasting on sleeping pills and Marlboro reds/Self pity won't save you" are scattered throughout while the brief moments of optimism in Waiting For The 7: 18 or Sunday are subtly destroyed with "if you want to know what makes me sad, well it's hope, the endurance of faith. A battle that lasts a lifetime". For singer Kele Okereke, city life is distressing and mundane, a vicious cycle. Vocally, he pulls the lines off with impressive poeticism and emotion (or the occasional lack of) which make them all the more compelling.

However, lyrics don't make an album and it's the rest of the band that completes the picture. The most notable of them is drummer Matt Tong whose complex, dance-infused beats that deliver much needed energy and imagination. Unfortunately, the guitars and bass don't make quite the same impact but it's no complaint as they still create the atmosphere and the club-like throbs. Nothing is lost in the mix, however the guitars are sometimes a little similar, but when it's as striking as the riff in Uniform and I Still Remember, it could only have been intentional. Whether this payed off or not is debatable however and remains the only drawback on the album.

On of the most remarkable things about A Weekend In The City is its consistency. Despite experimentations with recording techniques, electronics and synths, every song obviously belongs in the same batch as the others which is a trick more artists could do with learning. Ultimately this means that there are no immediate highlights, but at the same time it is far more effective at sucking listeners into the album and its stories, taking them on a journey that is at once familiar and enlightening.


Perhaps this is what makes A Weekend In The City such a great album. Unlike most bands that make political or social statements, Bloc Party do not tell listeners what the problems are, but instead show, displaying the feelings and stories of everyday people as an examination of modern life in one of the worlds oldest and most weary cities.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Captain North
January 29th 2009


6792 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I couldn't find a way to fit in Song for Clay or Sunday.

AtavanHalen
January 29th 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Where the fuck is the review?

taylormemer
January 29th 2009


4953 Comments


Ugh. Boring.

Captain North
January 29th 2009


6792 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Eh, it was a test to see what the reaction would be. I half-expected it to be negative, but gave it a shot anyway. It was a decent writing exercise for me anyway.

Besides, a review is really just what the author thinks or gets out of the album. I get this story.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2009


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sorry Tom, it's over my head mate. And the rating is way over mine also!

Captain North
January 29th 2009


6792 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

...Wait...you don't understand the review?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2009


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

No No, probably wrong choice of wording. What I was trying to say (not very well) is that i don't get how this tells us why you have given the album such a high rating.

Captain North
January 29th 2009


6792 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ahh. Well, I would have figured that I was inspired to write a short story based on the album kinda explains that I like it. And I had, probably foolishly, hoped I'd written a powerful little piece.

Aw fuck, I repeated 'pulsing' twice in as many sentences and I can't edit.This Message Edited On 01.29.09

AtavanHalen
January 29th 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This is not a review.

taylormemer
January 29th 2009


4953 Comments


It tells me nothing. I don't come to the site to read the latest word painting, I come to read a review. I respect what you were going for, that's great, but clearly the style of choice needs changing.

rasputin
January 29th 2009


14555 Comments


Clearly people shouldn't be using the site for their own creative writing. Concept reviews are fine, but only as long as you work some actual substance into your writing, rather than a couple of paragraphs of fluff that is your own 'interpretation'.

AtavanHalen
January 29th 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

To be honest, it feels like an opening paragraph of a good review stretched out to the point of complete anticlimax.

Fugue
January 29th 2009


7354 Comments


Opening paragraph works it just doesn't seem to have any substance. It's nice creative writing but not a good review.

gaslightanthem
January 29th 2009


5209 Comments


this album is kinda boring, much much much prefer their debut

JumpTheF**kUp
January 29th 2009


2716 Comments


after all, maybe she was the one

she wasn’t the one


lmao this reminded me of Peep Show so much.
And although I agree with the sentiment that isn't really a review in that it tells me nothing, I thought it was a great bit of writing. I'm happy I spent a few minutes reading it tbh.

Nagrarok
January 29th 2009


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

So, how's the album, actually?

HighandDriving
January 29th 2009


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Really crappy.

Psychotruck
January 29th 2009


99 Comments


So, how's the album, actually?


Fugue
January 29th 2009


7354 Comments


Worst of the three, but definately a grower

SeaAnemone
January 29th 2009


20970 Comments


I don't get it.

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong



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