So Bloc Party are back and better than ever, Kele has said in interviews that this is (essentially) a back to basics album, just four guys in a room making noise. After four years since their 3rd album 'Intimacy' they streamed the album for all of the world to hear on Tuesday, we've been listening to it and this is what we make of their latest efforts.
The heavy opening song 'So He Begins To Lie' sets the tone for the album with a sharp and dramatic entrance, effectively welcoming you to the new sounding Bloc Party. This song is then followed by '3x3' which could easily one of the best songs they've ever made, everyone here are at their best, Russells signature guitar playing away, Kele yelping once again, Matt going crazy on the drums and the crisp pulsating bass from Gordon. The album does have some more 'heavy' tracks such as the closer 'We're Not Good People', 'Kettling' and especially 'Coliseum' which sounds like a Southern-Metal track with a slow start and a sudden drop into the thick of the madness - "The empire never ended" - Kele yelps and then it just goes heavy from there onwards, this may just be their most defining tracks as far as I'm concerned, they have balls to do a song like this! Hat's off to them!
The album isn't only just them going a bit Hardcore on us, they have their melodic tracks such as
'Truth' which is pretty gorgeous, and reminds me of a new-age 'This Modern Love'. However 'Day Four' takes a while for you to love it, the ending when Russell's guitar is left on it's own makes the track for me, that vocals and the strings making it so stunning to listen to. One track that I'd say is in the middle of the 'heavy' and 'lighter' sounding tracks is the lead single 'Octopus', this is pure 'dance' Bloc Party, in this song they've still kept the 'Intimacy' formula in making a hit song but have left the synths behind and gone back to their roots and made a track that 'Banquet' fans would love!
'The Healing' is going to be a grower, especially if you got into the band via 'A Weekend In The City' or 'Intimacy'. It's a slow jam, but I'd hate a band that made an album of the same shit, wouldn't you? This song has a 'Silent Alarm' B-Side feel to it, a track to stick on after a break-up, a track to listen to and fall in love with, Kele and the gang have seriously nailed this one on the head! Some people have mentioned that 'V.A.L.I.S' sounds like an AWITC B-side, and I can see what they mean, I absolutely adore their B-Sides to all of the singles on that album, and seeing them make a similar sounding one on an actual album made me fall in love with it straight away, I can see this song doing well as a future single as it is straight down Bloc Party!
Overall I'd say that this was well worth the wait, four years is a long time to wait! Especially considering that the gaps between 'Intimacy' and 'Four' is bigger than 'Silent Alarm' to 'Intimacy', well worth the wait? YES, go out and buy the thing, an album of the year, I just know it!
Bloc Party - Four
Out of 10: 9.5/10
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