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Bloc Party - A Weekend in the City (Cover Artwork)

Bloc Party

Bloc Party: A Weekend in the CityA Weekend in the City (2007)
Vice Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: MarkRowanMarkRowan
(others by this writer | submit your own)

If you like your bands putting out the same album three or four times than you should probably stop reading here and pick up the next tiresome indie flavor of the week. With that said, Bloc Party's debut Silent Alarm was one of my favorite albums of 2005 (hell, I listen to the remixes and remixes ar.
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If you like your bands putting out the same album three or four times than you should probably stop reading here and pick up the next tiresome indie flavor of the week. With that said, Bloc Party's debut Silent Alarm was one of my favorite albums of 2005 (hell, I listen to the remixes and remixes are lame) and I would be lying if there wasn't a part of me who wanted to hear more of that post-punk UK rock that I came to know as Bloc Party, but A Weekend in the City is not Silent Alarm 2 and I would like to thank Bloc Party for avoiding releasing such a sequel.

A Weekend in the City is a deeper, darker, more powerful, more developed and an all-around better record than Silent Alarm. That album had substance, but it was hard to take in Kele Okereke's lyrics when one was too busy using the catchy guitar work and danceable drumming on party mixes. On this album the band gives you no choice but to take these words in, and now that they have your attention Bloc Party delivers something even more significant.

If you can't tell by the name of the album, Bloc Party attempts to capture different voices that one would run into living in a typical metropolis. The voice on track one is not the same that is speaking on track three, and that's what makes this album so engaging. The record touches on being engulfed by work in "Waiting for the 7.18" and feeling a lack of identity as a black person in Britain on "Where is Home?," among other subjects.

Then skip to "I Still Remember" and you essentially have a love song (or missing-out-on-love song), but give it another listen. Okereke himself sums it up best on blocparty.net: "The idea of two straight boys having an attraction, or there being an attraction that's unspeakable. When was the last time you heard an interesting pop song that actually tried to give you a different perspective on desire?" With that said and lyrics like, "You should have asked me for it / I would have been brave / You should have asked me for it / How could I say no?" and Bloc Party just blew my mind.

"Sunday" is the closest we get to a real love proclaimed on Weekend as the protagonist says, "I love you in the morning / When you're still hungover." While not nearly as potent as "I Still Remember," this track will win the hearts of all as it finds it way on mix-tapes around the world.

The closest song that dwells in Silent Alarm territory, and if you're just joining us I mean swift, attractive riffs and dance-inspired drumming that you would expect from UK indie rock, is "Hunting for Witches." With lyrics like, "The newscaster says the enemy's among us / As bombs explode on the 30 bus / Kill your middle-class indecision / Now is not the time for liberal thought" one can tell that there is more to this than the instrumentals lead you to believe. The song is reflecting upon a terrorist attack on London; however, it is a theme Americans can easily relate to with the last line "Fear will keep us all in place."

There really isn't a terrible track on the record, but to quickly touch upon some others I haven't mentioned yet... "Song for Clay (Disappear Here)" is the opening track and sets the mood in faultless fashion. Bloc Party hits the subject of cocaine's appeal on the track "On" and again touches upon it quickly in "Uniform." "Uniform" is up there with the best on the release and seems to be commentary on the trendy subculture that plagues big cities. Instrumentally speaking the track is also a standout, as guitar and drum work go along great with the lyrical buildup.

If you fell in love with Bloc Party two years ago you're going to initially find yourself disappointed with their newest release, but if you sit down with the lyrics in hand, listen to it for a second time and still find yourself disappointed, then you have failed. I'm sorry, but this album is a luminous piece of work and everyone who said 2007 has been mediocre so far has just been woken up. As of now the whole album is streaming on their MySpace; enjoy.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Bloc Party - Silent AlarmThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionThe Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home AboutRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteAlexisonfire - CrisisLess Than Jake - Borders and BoundariesDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeBear Vs Shark - Right Now You're In The Best Of Hands. And If Something Isn't Quite Right...

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
moistphily (May 29, 2010)

my favorite band of all time, not just because of how talented the four of them are, but also because of the absolute genuinity and honesty in Kele's amazing lyrics

thisanddontgivemethat (October 31, 2008)

extraordinary album. includes so much, you can tell that there was much input involved and its just exceptional. absolutely

Anonymous (February 11, 2007)

This album is hands-down the best album so far of 2007, and might possibly stay that way the rest of the year.

To the fans- if you don't know, theres ELEVEN songs that didn't make the album but are recorded...almost every one of them is as good as what you'd expect from Bloc Party...go find em.

kamikazepilot42 (February 8, 2007)

I agree with the other people that like this band.

I have to listen to it more before I say whether I like it better than Silent Alarm. At first listen I say no. At the same time, however, it's definitely not disappointing at all. It's different than Silent Alarm, yet still very much what I like about Bloc Party. My final verdict isn't out yet, but I enjoy this album a great deal.

Anonymous (February 8, 2007)

this time around the sound is a little bigger and a little more expansive, not as much punch or urgency as silent alarm. that being said, who wants to hear the same songs over and over again (reference: infinity on high)?
i like this record a bunch and wasn't disappointed at all.
-TOBB

youwinalemon (February 7, 2007)

Silent Alarm was better.

But this is still pretty good. Really, really top-heavy, though. There's no reason for pretty much every song on the second half to be five minutes long.

ryanbolger (February 7, 2007)

best track? clearly, it's their cover of "crazy train".

i'm digging this.

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

Solid gold is now available for 8 bucks at Circuit City. And it is this album.

inagreendase (February 6, 2007)

Look at Moneen. Now those guys need to learn to stop a song while they're ahead.

They did. Their last album is like 46 minutes long.

NoUse4aScnName00 (February 6, 2007)

I totally disagree with Scott. I mean these songs aren't long or plod along. Look at Moneen. Now those guys need to learn to stop a song while they're ahead. I think he likes those guys too.

NoUse4aScnName00 (February 6, 2007)

I totally disagree with Scott. I mean these songs aren't long or plod along. Look at Moneen. Now those guys need to learn to stop a song while they're ahead. I think he likes those guys too.

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

Best record of 2007. "On" is definately the best track.

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

what i dont get about america is, the UK has some pretty sweet punk rock bands and none of you really rave about them, yet you bum bloc party who in fairness are shite.

maverick (February 6, 2007)

This record is soooooooo long. The good songs are really, really good, but most of the songs are far too long and a lot just plod along.

-Scott

Swarley (February 6, 2007)

favourite album of the year so far

Deadpan (February 6, 2007)

This band is horrendous.

The drummer is the only good thing about them, and even then, he apparently can't keep time live.

i-type-poorly (February 6, 2007)

I listened to the AOL stream and got bored after 2/3s of it. Bloc Party has never really done anything for me. I like their arrangements and beats, but the vocals are boring and they draaaag songs out. Silent Alarm held my attention all the way through, but I didn't see the big deal in it. This one gets tiresome after a few songs.

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

Gang of Four > The Fall > The Pop Group > This Heat > Joy Division > The Cure > Bauhaus. Bloc Party doesn't even rate.
-Osloboditelj

Cos (February 6, 2007)

"Bauhaus > Gang of Four > Pop Group > Joy Division > the Cure > Block Party"

Come on now, you serious? Fucking Bauhaus? Over Gang of Four and Joy Division???

Bauhaus wouldn't exist if it weren't for Joy Division. Its like saying "Bloc Pary>U2" or, to a lesser extent "Bloc Party > New Order"

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

Although, Bloc Party > New Order.
-feeeding5000

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

Don't say that they're famous because they've got "many races" in the band. That's racist. That being said,
Bauhaus > Gang of Four > Pop Group > Joy Division > the Cure > Block Party.
-feeeding5000

StormShadow (February 6, 2007)

"Silent Alarm" kind of annoyed me, but I really like what I'm hearing from "Weekend in the City," especially "The Prayer." I think I'm going to give them another chance and pick this album up.

Torgo (February 6, 2007)

Hi we're bloc party we're only known because we have many races in our band

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

bloc party > lifetime

it's not even worth debating

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

""When was the last time you heard an interesting pop song that actually tried to give you a different perspective on desire?"

Its called "Ask Me" and its by the Smiths, Kele."

So... 20 years ago?

This band blows, though.

-Will

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

lol @ blacks

SuperRad (February 6, 2007)

I like and dislike this band.

baseball (February 6, 2007)

i didn't like their last album at all, but the review makes it sound pretty interesting

think i'll give this band another chance

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

great work , better than silent alarm-oldpunker-

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

Those lyrics are dire.

insinceredave (February 6, 2007)

I'm looking forward to getting my grubby little hands on this

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

Well, I can tell you like the over-sincere, trying-too-hard lyrics, but how about reviewing the music too? On that side, it's dull and derivative of a style that was inventive about thirty years ago. No thanks.

-Osloboditelj.

Cos (February 6, 2007)

"When was the last time you heard an interesting pop song that actually tried to give you a different perspective on desire?"

Its called "Ask Me" and its by the Smiths, Kele.

danperrone (February 6, 2007)

score is for the first four songs

the last seven get a three or so

Anonymous (February 6, 2007)

that i still remember song is damn good.

Archangel (February 6, 2007)

Score is for the fact that this review is here. Thanks, Punknews.

SunKing (February 6, 2007)

i really like this album.

thebouncingsoul (February 6, 2007)

hated it on the first listen

can't get enough of it since

nocigar (February 6, 2007)

I enjoy this album

BrendanKelly (February 6, 2007)

I like watered down post punk too!!!

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