Thursday, November 23, 2006

no one can be trusted under the age of fourteen

So, my new current obsession is the new Bloc Party album, A Weekend In The City (out February 5, 2007). The big question I had before listening to this new record was how does a band follow a near perfect first album? ...and not to mention, probably the best remix album I’ve ever heard? The answer: explore new sounds while also retaining some traditional/signature style. With that being said, A Weekend In The City begins with an unrecognizable new sound. A soft falsetto vocal introduces "Song For Clay (Disappear Here)". That is soon disrupted by a crashing guitar riff that sounds very similar to Muse. In fact, the musical style of this first track is identical to Muse’s style from Black Holes and Revelations. However, that sound is short-lived as "Hunting For Witches" takes a step back to the fast and dancable drum and bass rhythm that makes Bloc Party great. The guitar and everything else here is notably Silent Alarm sounding... perhaps one last taste of the old Bloc Party sound? "Waiting For The 7.18" is one of those tracks that showcases Bloc Party’s remarkable ability to create an amazing sounding build up track. It beings with the crisp sounding xylophone and violin as Kele’s soft vocal enters. "Waiting For The 7.18" is slower, but it still retains the mid-tone guitar riff and rapid drum beats. This is a musically beautiful sounding song, especially about midway, where all the instrument layers come together to create an incredible full-blown texture. Next is their first single, "The Prayer". This track is a great choice as the album’s first single since it is perhaps the catchiest song on the album. Claps, stomps, chants, and random synthesizer effects... what more could one ask for?

I like to think that "Uniform" is the transitional point of A Weekend In The City. It is kind of like a preview of what the rest of the record is like: a slower and softer sound, yet maintaining that classic Bloc Party style... think "Blue Light" and "This Modern Love" from Silent Alarm with an added twist. This song also features my favorite part of the record, a catchy call and response which comes at about 2: 38 ("so why did you go picking fights that you’d lose…"). A quiet drum and a continuous synthesized melody support Kele’s soft voice in "On". A great thing about this song is that the music maintains this calm timbre even when Kele’s vocal becomes louder and more emotional. A chilling, monotone-ish voice begins "Where Is Home?" With a rebellious and angry tone, Bloc Party yet again borrowed from Muse: the crushing guitar riff and falsetto vocal at 2:10. "Where Is Home?" closes with an unbelievable sounding dense relationship between the synthesizer and the drum and bass. "Kreuzberg" is the only song I don’t really care for in A Weekend In The City. Compare to the last track, it is a little too slow and a bit boring. My suggestion, skip forward to "I Still Remember", a great love song with an extremely catchy melody. Everything about this song reminds me of "This Modern Love". "I Still Remember" is very New Wave/The Cure sounding and it is definitely one of the best tracks on the album.

Just when you think that there is no possible way to top the last track or make this album sound greater than it already is, you get hit with "Sunday", a song that features a dramatic rhythm, yet a beautiful melody. The finally track, "SXRT", is perhaps the most emotional song on the album: the lyrics, along with Kele’s vocal give me the chills here. I had a problem with the closing tracks on Silent Alarm; however, the last two tracks on "A Weekend In The City" are absolutely perfect! Oh my, what more can I say? ...A Weekend In The City is just a brilliant piece of art by a very talented band. No doubt, it is a more mature sounding record; they created this new sound that expends from "This Modern Love": the slow tempo, complex drum and bass textures, melodic guitar solo, catchy synthesizer, and soft vocal style… I accept the new Bloc Party!!!

Song For Clay (Disappear Here) [wicked-cool song]
Hunting For Witches [wicked-cool song]
Waiting For The 7.18 [wicked-cool song]
The Prayer [wicked-cool song]
Uniform [super-wicked-cool song]
On [wicked-cool song]
Where Is Home? [super-wicked-cool song]
I Still Remember
[super-wicked-cool song]
Sunday [super-wicked-cool song]
SXRT [wicked-cool song]
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A Weekend In The City comes out on February 5, 2007.


Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Jackman said...

no problem!!

matthew Macowski said...

damn i missed em. can u refresh the links?

jackman said...

the songs are up for one more week!