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Review: Bloc Party reverts to non-electro sound

 

The past few years have been rife with uncertainty for Bloc Party fans. While the British alternative collective was on hiatus, rumors of a break-up began to circulate. But all is right in the Bloc Party camp as they return with their fourth studio album, the unimaginatively titled “Four.”

Bloc Party’s latest work sputters out of the gate with two forgettable tracks coming in the form of  “So He Begins to Lie” and “3×3.” Both cuts reflect a heavier sound than was found on “Four’s” electro-reliant predecessor, “Intimacy.” The group appears to have dropped the synthesizer schtick altogether and returned to their guitars.

The album eventually clicks into the proper gear with songs “Real Talk,” “Day Four” and “V.A.L.I.S.” These tracks recall similar aesthetics to those found on the group’s stellar 2005 debut, “Silent Alarm.” On an album brimming with power chords and thunderous drum cadences, these songs offer some reprieve from the auditory onslaught. Softer and more intricate guitar lines give the tracks a playful feeling and step away from the harder trend found throughout “Four.”

And of course it wouldn’t be a true Bloc Party record without some politicking. “Kettling” and “We Are Not Good People” sport direct references to the recent rioting in London and the post-Occupy movement in America. No better example can be found of Okereke pandering to current events than when he screams, “You can be the one percent if you wanna!”

Overall, the album takes on an interesting bipolar nature, oscillating between anger and love. Fans will have fun with “Four” as they figure out whether they’re fans of the hard-rocking Bloc Party or the more sensitive, romantic Bloc Party.

Overall rating: 3 stars

The past few years have been rife with uncertainty for Bloc Party fans. While the British alternative collective was on hiatus, rumors of a break-up began to circulate. But all is right in the Bloc Party camp as they return with their fourth studio album, the unimaginatively titled “Four.”

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