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Bloc Party “A Weekend in the City” Vice Records Grade: A

Bloc Party

“A Weekend in the City”

Vice Records

Grade: A

 

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 anything but.

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 back.

“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 capable of.

“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


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