Bloc Party – Four (2012)

23 Oct

[ALBUM REVIEW]
[Album: Four]
[Label: Frenchkiss / 2012]
[Rating: 7.2]

Much like past Bloc Party efforts, Four polarizing in its ambition. It’s riddled by the split persona of rockstar and indie pop idol. Trying to satisfy both needs, the band often fall short of satisfying either.

Continually, Bloc Party aim for anthemic, stadium-ready rock songs that never seem to capture the pop-glossed buoyancy of Silent Alarm (re: Banquet and Helicopter). Instead, their efforts seem to suffer from a muddy dissonance, lacking in the shimmering pop appeal found on Silent Alarm. That said, where Bloc Party continually make it seem easy, and where they are subsequently most infectious, is when they embrace the melodic centerpiece that is Kele Okereke’s voice. This becomes exceedingly clear on Four.

Their first three records embraced this formula to an extent (re: This Modern Love, On, Signs) – but on Four the band finds particular infectious fulfillment. Which is why it’s so disappointing that the album’s highlights ‘The Healing, ‘VALIS’, and ‘Truth’ are surrounded by noise-rock-ear-shitters* like ‘Kettling’ and ‘We Are Not Good People’. (*not official English)

And yet, when you hear the four-four thumping break-in on ‘Truth’, you feel forgiveness for the noisy expression of surrounding filler – because they continue to doing something right. So take what you can, and enjoy the brilliance while it lasts. Just make sure to listen at a reasonable volume, because you’re never sure whether you’ll be hearing ear-filling bliss or stool-induced cacophony.

P.S. The vibe on The Healing reminded me of an old favorite ‘Dictionary’ by Belgian duo The Go Find. Get into it.

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One Response to “Bloc Party – Four (2012)”

  1. Dixon Cordell (@dixoncordell) October 25, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    ‘Trying to satisfy both needs, the band often fall short of satisfying either.’

    A fine sentence any music reviewer might stow away in their tool kit after reading this review. The plight of the modern band. Well done, Dave.

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