Bloc Party Intimacy

Bloc Party Intimacy
Bloc Party's third album lunges at fans that kept their sophomore disc, A Weekend In The City, at a distance. It does this by turning loose that familiar stampede of grinding guitars and savage drumming early and often. Tapping that aggression stomped out the urge for too many flowery ballads, which frees up room for riskier experiments such as the unhinged "Mercury." Electronic bleats stammer and seismic-sized drums thunder as lead singer Kele Okereke copes with our dystopia. With the horns woozy and warbling, it all makes for a messy but evolutionary track, even if that growth is jagged. A great lyrical leap is made on this album, however. When Kele bares his heart and fangs within the first two bars of "One Month Off," that's clear. "Tell me what the others can do that I can't/Translucent and sunburned skin... when did you get so L.A.?" Many of album's better tracks - among them "Trojan Horse" - teeter effectively between that blunt and bitter tone. Sadness sweeps through "Biko" as Kele begs a dying friend to "toughen up." Its details are disturbing and it benefits from intrusion - pulsating drum beats barge in midway and organs wail only after Kele cries out "Resist!" Elsewhere, and coming at the end, Bloc Party trudge forward with the spastic and spiritual "Better Than Heaven" and closer "Ion Square," a sprawling number that shows how lush a sound they're capable of delivering over six minutes. Forcing intimacy is tough; this album is cosy. (Atlantic)