Bloc Party - Four - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Bloc Party - Four

by Nathan Fidler Rating:8 Release Date:2012-08-20

And so to another pivotal band of the 00s - Bloc Party - who sagged and waned on their last two albums, deciding to give it one last throw of the dice to determine their relevance. As it happens, they might just have created the album which should have followed their brilliant debut, Silent Alarm. Four sees the indie outfit reunited, with frontman Kele Okereke back in the fold after much speculation on his future. Indeed, it seems his foray into the wild world of frontmen-gone-solo has taught him a thing or too.

This is the most staggering and energising thing about the new album. Kele is much bolder and utilises a far greater vocal range. 'Real Talk' reveals a more tender and open side than on previous albums, professing: "My mind is open and my body is yours". In contrast he also ups the ante in terms of venom in his style. 'We Are Not Good People' has him screaming and wailing "We're not good people, this is a warning".

In fact, the whole band up their game, leaving behind the electronic and synth sounds which burdened thier music and bored us on A Weekend in the City and Intimacy. Now they burst forward into anthemic alternative rock on 'Kettling' with the howling catchy line "We can feel it in our bones". The riffs almost make it to metal on the half-acoustic 'Coliseum'. The indie-dance drums are gone, although 'Octopus' is close to the old style of a Bloc Party song, with glitching guitars bouncing around. A tapped guitar solo seems odd for this band but it blends well into the song.

The bits of raw conversation and clips of talking in the studio are a bit contrived and don't add anything, but this is only a slight criticism. Without them, this would be a sleek and sharp album. You can't help smiling with the knowledge that Bloc Party have managed to pull off such a return to form.

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