Saturday, 22 December 2012

Best Of 2012: #4

#4 - Bloc Party - Four

Conveniently coming in at #4, Bloc Party, a four-man band, come back with their fourth album, titled Four, with four circles on the cover... OK I'll stop now. But let me say, welcome back, Bloc Party. After branching out to electronic and industrial sounds on Intimacy (which I loved), and letting lead singer Kele Okereke let out some dance-y music on his solo album, the band are back to simplistic, guitar music. As they put it, they wanted it to sound like four guys playing in a room, straight from opening track So He Begins To Lie, which manages to sound slightly smooth even though it's quite a heavy track, particularly during the breakdown! They even include some ill-advised breaks on Real Talk and Team A where they put in random studio chatter - breasts and spider bites come up - but even without them, it sounds like they have achieved their goal. There is a bit of a heavier element to the album, such as the downright weird style-shifting Coliseum, the punky track dealing with last year's riots, titled Kettling,  or the absolutely gargantuan finale We're Not Good People. Elsewhere, we have straightforward pop tracks in first single Octopus (turning out to be slightly boring in light of the rest of the album), V.A.L.I.S. (how can you not enjoy a song that rhymes epiphany, philosophy, methyl amphetamines, conspiracy, theophany and phenomenology?!) and Truth, which has some slightly hilarious ooh-wooh-ooh moments, but stands out as the best on the album. There's also the amazing but weird 3*3, with its epic guitar, but incredibly creepy lyrics which are hoarsely whispered for the verses (It's about group sex, apparently!)And there are also more heartfelt moments, such as Real Talk, which has Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody's approval, or so I hear; Day Four, which is a decent chill-out tune, and is worth listening to just for the beautiful ending, and The Healing, which comes as a complete contrast to its successor (the previously mentioned monster of We're Not Good People). But, in summary, it's a welcome back for Bloc Party. Fans of Silent Alarm and not much else, take a listen to this one!

RECOMMEND: 3*3, Truth, We're Not Good People
LOW POINTS: Kettling, The Healing

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