Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bloc Party Intimacy (Review)

Contributor to AWD Randy Washington took on the task of giving us his review on the latest Bloc Party album "Intimacy".


The Boys from london, Bloc Party, have recently released their third full length album entitled Intimacy. This ten track stack of guitar driven jams comes packing mad heat. This album rocks different, new musical concepts and feels, lyrically, as if it gets to the point faster than the bands sophomore album A Weekend in the City.
This was a surprise for many BP fans as they kept this album release pretty quiet. I attended their final US tour stop in New York last month where Bloc Party front man Kele Okereke ominously ended the set with the words: “I have a feeling we will be seeing you all sooner than you think.” Looking back now, it all makes sense.
Musically, Intimacy contains more dance elements than either of the bands previous LP releases. The throbbing, house-like beats on the track “Signs” resemble the song Flux which was an early 2008 EP. Flux, however did not make it on to this album and will join the ranks of the ever growing stack of the band’s EPs.
One of the first things that I thought about when heard the record was that it is going to be highly remixable. If anything, this album sounds more like the late 2005 remix album dedicated to Silent Alarm. There is a perfect blend of dance elements and classic Bloc Party rhythm and pace (see track seven; One Month Off).
There are also a handful of concepts that they have never really brought to the table. The platter’s first single, Mercury, is backed by a sample of a marching band horn section and a dirty ass synth riff that could easily be the bastard cousin of the brown note.
Another sign of experimentation would be track eight (probably the best track of the ten) called Zepherus. This apology song gets its point across sans guitar, bass, and standard drums. All we get is synth, drum machine and a massive adult chorus. If this song doesn’t give you goosebumps, I recommend going to the doctor because you are dead.
Lyrically, coming off of 2007’s A Weekend in the City, Intimacy is a refreshing change of pace. Where Weekend is only one track longer than this new release, Weekend feels like it starts to drag towards the end, hammering its listener repeatedly with its concepts of death and the realization that death is inevitable. Intimacy however opens with a track called Ares which starts off light and goes into rolling, distorted guitars. The first words, cleverly, out of Kele’s mouth are:

“War! War! War! War!/ I want to declare a War!”

This record rocks ten solid tracks of battle and love anthems that fans can rally around. Intimacy shows the band’s musical and lyrical maturity over their three albums. Bloc Party is FAR from done impressing.

Bloc Party has not listed a US tour as of yet but will be in beautiful Scotland for the equally beautiful Hydro Connect festival on August 30th with The Roots, Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand and tons more.