Bloc Party - Intimacy
If 'A Weekend in the City' established Bloc Party as a band who refuse to be pigeon-holed, then 'Intimacy' takes that notion and gallops with it; here, there's more experimentation, curious dips into unexplored territory, and lyrical depth than the quartet have possibly ever produced. There's also a forceful current of electronica flowing through this album's veins, effective when employed to its full potency (the almost Chemical Brothers-like Ares) and bubbling under with a glitchy menace when reined in (the supremely danceable Trojan Horse, the tense buzz of lead single Mercury). And still, 'original' fans will surely be happy with the numerous tracks that hark back to the 'old' days: Halo's frantic, grimy rock, One Month Off's zippy indie, Signs's soft swell of strings.
Where Okereke and co. really impress, though, are on songs like the stunning Zephyrus, where a mass of ideas (programmed beats, a subtle synth riff, the ghostly operatic chanting that comprises the backing vocals) culminate in dazzling brilliance.
So then, the fact that Bloc Party 'pulled a Radiohead' and announced 'Intimacy''s imminent arrival with just a few days notice may not be the only thread that binds the two bands together; this may not be the best album of their career, nor is it their most accessible - but it's definitely their most exciting. And is it worth getting your hands on early? Yes, it most certainly is.
'Intimacy' is available to download from here now. Physical copies will be released on October 24th 2008.
Review by Lauren Murphy | 09:00 | Friday 22nd August 2008 | Album Review
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