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Bloc Party - Intimacy (Cover Artwork)

Bloc Party

Bloc Party: IntimacyIntimacy (2008)
Vice Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: red_eye_incred_eye_inc
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Surprise! New Bloc Party album. Just a year and a half after A Weekend in the City showed a more balanced, less single-oriented band, they return with the release of Intimacy, an album as eccentric and interesting as anything they've released. We'll skip the part where I pontificate on the quick rel.
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Surprise! New Bloc Party album. Just a year and a half after A Weekend in the City showed a more balanced, less single-oriented band, they return with the release of Intimacy, an album as eccentric and interesting as anything they've released. We'll skip the part where I pontificate on the quick release method because it's not that interesting, and, frankly, it's not all that innovative anymore. The music's what matters, so off we go.

This time around, the band's shifted from chopping and delaying their guitars to chopping and shifting singer Kele Okereke's voice. There's a lot of dubbing and repeating Ă¡ la the previously released single "Mercury," yet they still manage to make it sound like an actual band playing and not a programed studio back track. Lead track "Ares" mixes pounding drums with Okereke's call-and-response vocals for a nice intro to the album. Guitars are sparse but the winding riff keeps the song moving at a brisk pace. In a bit of a sequencing flub, "Mercury" is next, and with two similar songs back-to-back, many might guess the band's completely abandoned the dance-rock sound that's served them so well.

The next few tracks are more "classic" Bloc Party. With the uptempo "Halo," they take the standard rock song and put their own dramatic stamp on it. It's the cut everyone's waiting for at first listen, and it delivers. Next up: ballad time. The slow cooker "Biko" has all the electronic hiccups and barrage of faded background vocals you'd expect from the band's slower tunes. We get to see this bag of tricks busted out again in the similar "Zepherus" a few songs later. More jagged guitars and spiraling riffs await on "Trojan Horse" and "One Month Off," but the sparkling melodies make it seem less like a rehash and more like a successful style. Okereke sounds as good as ever -- his deep, pining voice really gives the band's buried instrumental complexity the dynamic it needs to elevate these songs from simply standard fare to truly great.

It turns out to be a bit of a blessing that this thing's only 10 songs long; there's no time for bullshit. "Better Than Heaven" starts with a keyboard and drum simmer but builds to a rock freak-out. "Ion Square" ends things on a really high note. It accomplishes what few bands in this genre can by taking mid-tempo pace and making into into an epic and intense closer.

So, it's definitely a Bloc Party album. No squealing guitar solos, no chug-a-chug breakdowns, and no sappy radio-tailored love songs. This band has forged a sound of their own from familiar building blocks and they've grown comfortable enough in their writing to be able to push their boundaries without sounding like they're forcing an experimental record. By this point you know what you're getting into with Bloc Party: a solid band with distinct riffs, unique melodies and an unconventional approach to crafting clever and interesting songs. This album delivers the goods, and is a truly solid addition to an already stellar catalog.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Bloc Party - A Weekend in the CityLifetime - Jersey's Best DancersLemuria - Get BetterLemuria - The First CollectionHoly Roman Empire - The Longue DuréeRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Latterman - No Matter Where We Go..!Bloc Party - Silent AlarmCross My Heart - Temporary Contemporary

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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.
yummygrass (May 22, 2010)

See, you like Bloc Party but hate Jack White? Okay.

yourwifesboyfriend (September 15, 2009)

Fuck this band.

ireviewmusic (November 3, 2008)

shit sucks.

Johnny_J (November 3, 2008)

To "Scruffy",

I think you might be referring to Blood Brothers 'March On Electric Children' cover album. They're pretty similar.

fallingupwards84 (November 2, 2008)

horrific album cover

Wesley_Snipes (November 1, 2008)

Intipussy

ilovelamp (November 1, 2008)

im gonna have to go with Kurt on that one, that comment doesnt even make sense.

and believe me, i have listened to weekend more than i even wanted to. theyd play that album every fucking day at my work, and it never grew on me. in fact, it became more and more annoying each time.

KurtTGS (November 1, 2008)

"if you haters had any real musical background experience you'd appreciate the input established in that album."

Stupidest comment I've ever read on this site. Fuckface.

thisanddontgivemethat (October 31, 2008)

this album is pretty great. it brings in a mix of silent alarm and a weekend in the city. and weekend was fantastic. even though it was different it was had several moments. although several songs took time to pick it was worth it because you could feel the emotion involved, if you haters had any real musical background experience you'd appreciate the input established in that album.

Babrook (October 31, 2008)

Love Silent Alarm, I consider Like Eating Glass one of the best tunes ever written, I find Intimacy better than Weekend, but falls short of Silent Alarm.

"Halo" is brilliant.

ConsumedByMusic (October 31, 2008)

I bought weekend in the city, and am contemplating if it's worth the 40 or so megabytes it eats up on my hard drive. First album is great though.

Archangel (October 31, 2008)

This has some neat moments, but it's disappointing overall. More songs like "Like Eating Glass", "This Modern Love" and "The Pioneers", fewer songs like "Helicopter" and "The Price of Gas".

hate_the_scene (October 31, 2008)

they should stick to singles or eps. all their albums have too much filler.
especially a weekend in the city.
this album sounds like chemical brothers collaborating with the faint

shanholtzer (October 31, 2008)

no matter how long i stare at that album cover, it doesn't happen

Cos (October 31, 2008)

ilovelamp--I think most people feel as you do.

Scruffy (October 31, 2008)

Is it the Blood Brothers, Every Time I Die or The Bronx that this album cover reminds me of?

wearestillalive (October 31, 2008)

this album is fucking terrible except for 'signs'. and silent alarm is awful, but a weekend in the city is surprisingly brilliant.

ilovelamp (October 31, 2008)

am i the only one who loved the first album, but found weekend in the city virtually unlistenable?

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