After a long hiatus there was a lot riding on this album for Bloc Party's rep as one of Britain's best Indie bands.
While perhaps the vision and ambition was there in their previous album (Intimacy), the song writing was poor and the songs often seemed cluttered. Four has no such problems. The songs vary between two extremes: heavy as hell balls to the wall fast paced short, snappy tunes (about as heavy as you can get without bringing in double kickers, start talking about the devil and ending lines with "NGHYEAAAAUUUUHHH" Hetfield style), and mellow, emotional and ethereal ballads This Modern Love style. The songs that fall in between the two extremes are the weaker tracks, but are by no means bad. Kele's voice has improved; something he showcases on tracks like 3x3, Day Four and The Healing. Four's lyrics are lightly political as they have occasionally been on other albums, but are mainly focused on difficult relationships and emotions.
I'd give this album a 9/10. Not sure if it is better than their first two albums, but it is definitely close.
For me, the standout tracks are- Day Four, Team A, The Healing and We Are Not Good People.
On a side note, the track on the bonus album 'Leaf Skeleton' is absolutely excellent. In the same way that the Silent Alarm (Bonus tracks) edition was worth buying just for Two More Years, the bonus track edition of Four is worth buying just for Leaf Skeleton.