“A Weekend in the City”
Bloc Party’s sophomore album, “A Weekend in the City,”
picks up where the band left off with their debut album only this time around,
they aren’t holding anything back.
In 2005, Bloc Party released an EP featuring the song,
“Two More Years,” bearing the message of a life put on hold with a story that
couldn’t completely be told. Now, two years later, Singer Kele
Okereke has stepped out of the closet and released an
album that finally lets his story unfold.
“A Weekend in the City” is a revealing album stitched
together not with angst, but with a sobering perspective on a generation that
stands on a shaky foundation. The band’s first album, aptly named “Silent
Alarm,” broke out on to underground music scene and quickly made its way into
the mainstream market. Bloc Party established themselves as the next wave of
sound to come forth from a generation raised on pop-culture with their uncanny
ability to take a pop song and transform it in a way that disguised it as
On “A Weekend in the City,” Bloc Party takes it a step
further as Okereke never abuses his British charm as
he unabashedly slices through notes few would have the courage to reach and
wears his wounds on his sleeve backed by Guitarist Russell Lissack’s
epic hooks and Bassist Gordon Moakes guides the
rhythm with his undeniably danceable bass line while Drummer Matt Tong pounds
out some of the cleanest and technical beats heard on an indie-pop
record to date.
The album begins unapologetically as Okereke
makes what would seem an uncomfortable falsetto work and there’s no turning
“Hunting for Witches” begins with a sample mash-up and
picks right up where the band’s first hit “Banquet” left off. The production,
thanks to Jacknife Lee of U2 and Snow Patrol fame, is
spectacular, but never overcompensates, only accentuates, what the band is
“The Prayer,” easily the best song on the album, launches
haunting vocals and an entrancing rhythm that makes you believe every word Okereke effortlessly utters as he pleads “tonight make me
unstoppable/ and I will charm, I will slice, I will dazzle them with my wit.”
And he does.
Bloc Party is clever, tongue and cheek and can describe
the morning after better than anyone ever has, only they don’t act like it. The
record isn’t pompous or angst ridden, and while they easily could’ve, they
didn’t fall into the trap that is often set out for those who attempt to
successfully follow an unforgettable debut album.
— Jess Peregoy, managing editor