by S P
With much anticipation, Bloc Party’s 2nd album is almost out. Yes! We all know Kele is gay! Yes! We all know he has a speech impediment. Yes! We all know Kele takes singing lessons, but this is too much. All of the reviews I’ve read so far focus on Kele’s sexuality and that he has written mostly about “leaving our trousers by the canal.” It seems utterly ridiculous to indulge in the notion that promiscuity exists only in the homosexual community. Do heterosexuals not sleep around? Ummm? Yeah, sure, we all still wear chastity belts.
Bloc Party’s music has become a statement for themselves and their fans. They have informed and inspired. Issues they tackle go from angst, to politics, multi-racialism, promiscuity, sexuality, suicide, and more. They reflect life in the 21st century. Life in general, with which we can identify. It doesn’t matter what the subject is. With their diversity of race and sexuality in one band, they are representatives of any major city. ‘A Weekend In The City’ is a straightforward good album with several messages underlined. For casual listeners or listeners who read every line and in between the lines, this is a poignant album with great production value.
(1) Song For Clay (Disappear Here) – kicks off with falsetto that makes uneasy listening. 15 seconds in, drums and riffs kick in. Thank God. Bloc Party are back.
(2) Hunting For Witches – seems to be the only song carried forward from Silent Alarm. Very familiar bass line with a great electronic undertone. Lyrically captures the imagination of modern life and our conflict with our parents. I guess there’s remorse in the generation gap, which is addressed. After 2 up-tempo songs comes the relief of
(3) Waiting For The 7.18 – part of its lyrics seem to be plucked out of Graham Greene’s “Brighton Rock”. Perhaps it has to do with Kele’s Catholic upbringing. The sense of love equals sin while guilt and confusion entwine. Ending the song with morning bird chirping is refreshing. Next comes the first single from A Weekend In The City
(4) The Prayer after 3 great songs. One wonders why this is the single.
(5) Uniform – commentary about our society has a nice tune
(6) On – the most profound and beautiful song on A Weekend In The City. At its best this album starts off with the signature Matt Tong drums. It builds up with strings and is orchestrated to peak with “I am hopeful and stuttered free”. Brilliant song tackling obsession of any kind, although in this song, coke seems to be the choice.
(7) Where Is Home – Speaks for itself. The superb writing starts with the most poignant thought of a child’s funeral. The questions of life as a second generation British immigrant. Musically and lyrically its gusto translates into pulsating riffs.
(8) Kreuzberg – middle of the road song with nice harmonies. Does it get any better? On track
(9) I Still Remember kicks off with the best hook and with the now famous and controversial words. I Still Remember makes proper blokes blush singing to it. With the infectious sound, this is the most melodic song in this album. Even manly blokes will be singing to this and prancing around.
(10) Sunday – again great drums with lower tempo “Head on my chest a silent smile, a private kind of happiness”. Fabulous love song with charming lyrics throughout. A Weekend In The City ends with
(11) SRXT – ending the album with the theme of depression and suicide will not be the choice of many bands. Nonetheless, A Weekend In The City ends with an apologetic note.