Bloc Party
A Weekend in the City


3.5
great

Review

by Eeyah USER (9 Reviews)
February 18th, 2012 | 18 replies | 1,647 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist


I tend to put more importance "my firsts" then on "the firsts". For instance, my Red Hot Chili Pepper album was "Stadium Arcadium" rather than "BloodSugarSexMagik" (first commercial breakthrough). I feel that I'm not alone on this; I mean, how many people first encountered the Black Keys through "Tighten Up" or "Lonely Boy" and instantly liked those more than, say, "Psychotic Girl". Which brings me to my first Bloc Party album "A Weekend in the City".

First some background, Bloc Party is an indie rock band hailing from London, England. The band consists of Kele Okereke (rhythm guitar, vocals), Russel Lissack (lead guitar), Gordon Moakes (bass guitar) and Matt Tong (drummer), Kele and Russel met in Essex while Gordon and Matt both auditioned later on. They started making waves through the UK indie scene with the releases of some EP's and electrifying live performances. After giving a copy of "She's Hearing Voices" to Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, they manage to get their big break and record a debut LP. This, "Silent Alarm", was met with instant critical and commercial acclaim. They then set out to record their sophomore release.

This rings us back to "A Weekend in the City", which I bought at the local used record store under the pretense that it was the debut. For some reason, I was associating the minimalism of "Silent Alarm"'s cover to that of their third release "Intimacy". I panicked when I found out this had 65% metascore and their debut had an 82%, I was afraid that I ended up wasting my money. Thank god, I was wrong.

Judging from Kele's bare falsetto at the opening ("Disappear Here") , I had every right to be afraid of disappointment. He sounds silly and the electronic fuzz that followed didn't help matters either. Then Matt Tong's intense drumming comes into the mix, which is then followed by an attack of the guitars that can only be described as a sound explosion. All in all, its a good opener. After this we get "Hunting for Witches", which tricks us at the beginning with a sample collage of various radio shows. Tong's dance influenced drumming comes into the song, which is then followed by Lissack's effects laden guitar riff. Kele's lyrics show us that they are no longer the party-ready youth's from "Silent Alarm", they have now grown and began addressing such topics as bombing and Islamophobia. We then get their most anthemic song, "Waiting for the 7:18", which comes off as Coldplay-esque on the first listen but you start singing with it after multiple times. The lead single "The Prayer" goes back to the dance oriented direction of "Silent Alarm", but it is still a good song in retrospect.

After "The Prayer", the album starts to introduce electronic experimentation. Whereas when Radiohead did it, it came as a shock, but when Bloc Party does it, it just seems natural. Granted, I enjoyed the guitar half more, but that's because I grew up with the guitar bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Ramones. But cheers to the boys for being brave enough to temper with their sound and possibly scare away fans. The lyrics still go in that earnest direction, such as "Uniform"s complaints against conformity and hypocrites. I have to admit, though, that I prefer the more guitar based sound found on the first four tracks against the latter part of the album. All in all though, it is an entertaining listen and it shows a band growing up. Some times they come off as overly earnest, but this can be forgiven when the songs themselves are actually very good. And after repeated visits, even Kele's embarrassing falsetto seems to be epic.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Eeyah
February 17th 2012


36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hey sorry if the review isn't that good and I overused some words at times. Please help me and give me advice!

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
February 17th 2012


3663 Comments


You don't have to review everything you rate, you know that right?

Eeyah
February 17th 2012


36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

actually, I didn't rate it. I don't rate anything, I just review it

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2012


50308 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

cool album

Digging: The Brave Little Abacus - Just Got Back from the Discomfort

Phantom
February 17th 2012


8930 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Always had a little soft spot for this band, but only really liked Hunting For Witches and The Prayer on this album.

SCREAMorphine
February 17th 2012


1752 Comments


Nice review, I loved Hunting for Witches when it came out

bloc
February 17th 2012


34847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Took a while for me to get into this album surprisingly

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2012


50308 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yeah same

iFghtffyrdmns
February 17th 2012


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

first couple paragraphs are a bit unnecessary in my opinion

Knott-
Emeritus
February 18th 2012


10195 Comments


Just to clarify, the first sentence of this review reads:

I tend to put more importance "my firsts" then on "the firsts".


Eeyah
February 18th 2012


36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah, that sentence wasn't as thought out as it should've been

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2012


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album rules.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2012


9034 Comments


Is this the album about the subway bombing?

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2012


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yep

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2012


9034 Comments


I kinda feel like that should have been given greater focus in the review.

UrAssIsMyHat
February 18th 2012


155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's only one of the themes of the album

Fugue
February 18th 2012


7353 Comments


Fucking love Uniform, song is the tits.

Eeyah
February 18th 2012


36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank god, my review is liked!



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