james debate
james debate

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Genre Indie Rock
Label Frenchkiss
Producers Alex Newport

bloc party four

It seems a long time ago that Bloc Party were the toast of the British indie rock scene. Storming out of the gates with two critical and commercial successes on their first two albums, they seemed a band with wide appeal; capable of both roof raising rock and melodic masterpieces.

Then it all went pear-shaped. Frontman Kele Okereke increasingly dragged the band towards tastelessly heavy electronica, much to the chagrin of fans and critics alike. The result was a band seemingly dead in the water until Kele departed to try his hand at a solo album, an ultimately fruitless endeavour that nevertheless appears to have allowed him to get it all out of his system.

Whatever the story, Bloc Party have returned, and the good news is that they're heading in the right direction. Four manages to rekindle some of the magic and style that made the band so special to begin with, offering songs that capture the depth of tone that has been missing in recent years.

Probably the best example is the not-quite-titular Day Four, exhibiting a melodic tenderness and soul not seen since the band's classic tracks I Still Remember and So Here We Are.

Elsewhere more upbeat songs like the excellent Truth indicate that Bloc Party have remembered how to rock out without sounding like a backed up sink. It's a change that I welcome.

So is this Bloc Party back to their best? Certainly not, but they are definitely moving in the right direction toward getting their groove back. While there are some very good songs on here indeed, they are few and far between, and much of the album ends lacking the consistency of their former glories. That said, the album is solid overall and a promising return to the recording studio for the boys from London.

Must Listen:
Day Four

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