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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 19 November 2006
On First listen this seemed nothing spectacular. First impressions to note were only on the stand out tracks Hunting Witches and On.

But as you listen to it more you get a feeling of the journey this band has been on. Musically they have upped a notch or two, lyrically they still maintain the poetic/cryptic elements of Silent Alarm, now however the music now matches the depth.

Kreuzberg is an amazing song, beautifully crafted, like the whole album, well written, well played, well produced. You get the impression that this is not a bunch of their best songs thrown on a CD like so many other albums in this genre.

A weekend in the city is like an artwork that has been worked on and chiseled away at to present something beautifully crafted. I cannot really note one weak song, as those that initially seemed weak come alive on subsequent listens. This truly is a great album.

Special.
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on 12 September 2008
Ok, silent alarm is an amazing album and not easy to follow up and i don't think trying to make silent alarm 2 is the way to go but what made silent alarm so good was it didn't sound like coldplay,doves,snow patrol etc-however good those bands are. one of the main reasons fo this is Kele,s vocals. on silent alarm they are like another instrument and immediately make you listen. it was so refreshing to hear silent alarm for the first time partly because of this. However, with a weekend in the city, i think a decision was taken to use the album to push bloc party up a notch in popularity which i think is why they produced it so differently. Kele,s vocals are toned down and altogether the music is smoother than silent alarm. This is really dissapointing that they seemed to have done away with the main characteristics of the band that made me like them in the first place. All that said there are some really good songs on the album with a constant theme running through them. After many listens i now really like a weekend in the city albeit for totally different reasons as to why i love silent alarm, i just wished they had kept some of the "differences" that set them apart from other bands around at the moment. Fortunatley, the next album will redress the balance somewhat but overall a weekend in the city is worth buying but don't expect it to come anywhere near the debut.
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on 28 August 2008
Bloc Party are not everyone's cup of tea, I didn't like them when I first heard them, but then again, I don't think they intend to be liked by everyone or that would make them conformists to popluar culture.

Personally, I think that the album is amazing. It has some, what I can only describe as thumping riffs and superb climaxes as well as some more mellow tunes all of which are in careful balance of one another. We're slowly introduced to a more electric side of Bloc Party showing they are able to broaden their horizons in the music they produce. It's not all about the music though, it is the lyrics as well. So if you appreciate the lyrics, you appreciate the music more. So perhaps to some this would be a grower.

If you like music that is easy listening and about nothing, don't get this album. But if you like to dig deeper and enjoy indie music with meaning, it may be worth trying this. Any Bloc Party fan is bound to love it.
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on 23 January 2007
I cannot stress how good this album is! As a band they have seemed to have matured some what since silent alarm which I have listened to about 10 thousand times. I have had this album around 2 months now and even now I still listen to it sneakily at work all day on my ipod. Any Indie/Punk genre people this is a must buy....

PS: "SONG FOR CLAY" IS AMAZING!!!
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on 5 April 2007
Wow! This album really establishes Bloc Party as a great modern band. There has been a lot of negative talk about 'A Weekend In The City' and how it doesn't live up to its predecessor, but people who say that are looking for the wrong things.

Although, i must admit 'Helicopter' is never matched, many of the songs here are devastating in their own way. 'Hunting For Withches' recreates the crunchy guitar sounds of 'Silent Alarm', as does 'Song For Clay' and 'Uniform'.

Tracks like 'where is home' and 'Kreuzberg' are full of beautifully melodic guitar tab to create an veru haunting effect, and the riff on 'I Still Remember' is excellent.

While many bands succumb to mediocre albums while under the glare of mainstream sucess and lose their edge (ie- Snow Patrol, maximo park, razorlight), bloc party are safe for now.

The lyrical content could put off potential fans who want something more light hearted every now and then. But that is really the only down side i can find with this album.

fantastic second album!!!!!!
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on 29 January 2007
if theres one cd you buy in your whole life, it should be this. period

best song: hunting for witches

quite weird how many reviews there are for this album before its even been released..... ahem
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on 10 March 2007
I thought that Bloc Party's first album was excellent and I wasn't sure the second one could be anywhere near that good. I was optimistic enough to buy it on vinyl when it came out and I've played it so much that I'm buying the CD as well now!

This is not an album that you'll appreciate on first listen, much like "Silent Alarm". You'll walk away and think, yeah, it was okay. On the second listen, you'll get in the zone and be nodding along with that amazing drumming and killer riffs. Then you won't be able to leave it alone. This really is a superb album that's packed with emotion and fresh songs making sure Bloc Party are a world away from the Keane/Oasis/Kaiser Chief clones. Excellent stuff.
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on 21 February 2007
I loved Silent Alarm, one of my fave albums. When I found out that Bloc Party were releasing a new album I couldn't wait! I pre-ordered as soon as I could. Then I got the album, and listened to it for the first time. And I was actually very dissapointed. But as this was the same band that made the great album Silent Alarm, I gave it another listen, and I started to change my mind. Now after 5 listens, I LOVE IT!!! Stand out tracks for me are On (my fave song), Song for Clay (Dissapear Here), Hunting for Witches and Uniform. I'm seeing them live and I can not wait!! One thing though, the DVD you get with this, it's ok, but nothing special. Not like the DVD that came with Silent Alarm.
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on 11 February 2007
I had become disillusioned with the current crop of insipid similar sounding (British) indie guitar bands. What I did not expect was this masterpiece. I bought the album without hearing a single track having long ago stopped listening to the Radio. What I was rewarded with when I placed the record (yes Vinyl) on the turnatble after the first couple of pops and hisses was a staggering work with an emotional core and incredible heartfelt lyrics.

I cannot praise this album enough. It is the first great album of 2007 and eclipses Silent Alarm by light years without tampering with the trademark Bloc Party sound. In parts it reminds me of TV on the Radios Return to Cookie Mountain in the way the sounds are multi layered but that is where the similarities end. Every track could easily be a classic and it will not be long before you hear them on every TV commercial and incidental music, which will unfortunately lead to accusations of populism and commercial sell out but quite frankly this music is simply incredible and will transcend criticism.

If you think you have to make a choice between this album and The View or the Klaxons then I say there is no choice. I am 38 years old and grew up listening to Punk and New Wave. Novelty is a rare thing in music and it takes a lot to get me excited.
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on 7 April 2007
Thanks to the fine institution that is the 'Later... with Jools Holland' homepage, I can tell you that the first time I ever heard Bloc Party was on Friday 19th November 2004. I must admit I was not greatly impressed with them (and I don't even remember Interpol appearing, that's awfull) - I was probably more enthralled with Keane. Bloody Keane. All I can say is, oh how times have changed; whilst there's nothing Keane could do to grab my attention shy of releasing an album of AC/DC covers, my love of Bloc Party is now boarding on the near-obsessional. But then I think that's the sort of devotion that the band inspires, because they're a passionate group who want to make interesting and important music.

In it's subject matter, 'The Prayer' is classic out-on-the-town fare, however it's Bloc Party's skill with music and Kele's with lyrics that help them avoid all the indie clichés. The opening vocal riff and thumping drums recall Dizzee Rascal more than anything seen in skinny jeans, and lyrics such as "Lord give me grace and dancing feet / And the power to impress" have a tender vulnerability to them not heard in the lad-rock of Kasabian and The Twang.

"East London is a vampire / It sucks the joy right out of me" Kele wails towards the end of dramatic opener 'Song For Clay (Disappear Here)' and it's this sentiment that informs most of 'A Weekend In The City'; a man looking around himslef, seeing fads and frutility and dreaming of something more. 'Uniform' is an attack on the London scenesters Kele so quickly tires of; "...All the young people looked the same / Wearing their masks of indiference / Commerse dressed up as rebellion", while 'Where Is Home?' is Kele as a second generation Nigerian immigrant contemplating his posision in society ("In every headline we are reminded this is no home for us") and expressing his anger at the unfairness of it all ("I want to stamp on the face of every young policeman / Break the fingers of every old judge").

Fans of 'Silent Alarm' will quickly notice a change in tone for Bloc Party with this album, a change I think that brings with it greater heart and emotion. The most lyrically candid moment is certainly 'I Still Remember', as Kele tackles sexuality for the first time. The tender image of two schoolboys conveyed in the line "We left our trousers by the canal / And our fingers they almost touched", followed by the empassioned cry "You should have asked me for it / I would have been brave" are refreshingly far removed from the high-camp, media friendly image of the 'ambiguous' Mika and the openly gay Scissor Sisters, though Kele doesn't let his guard down for long. The angular post-punk riffs and driving rhythms of their debut are still in place (the glorious 'Hunting For Witches' especially) however someone's definitely developed an electro fetish, as keyboards and drum loops are added to the Bloc Party sound. It all makes for a richer, more epic sounding album that sees Bloc Party growing musically and emotionally as a band. They have something about them this group and I could see them becoming one of the UK's, and the world's, most important bands. The next Radiohead? I want to kick muself just for saying it, but it might just be true.

(Just a word about this CD/DVD edition - the DVD contains the videos for 'The Prayer' and 'I Still Remember', both of which I think are rather bland affairs that I've only watched once, but are quite a nice inclusion. The 'making-of' documentary is similarly uneventful and made incredibly frustrating by the absense of any proper interviews. The most we hear from Kele is Gordon asking him about his favourite guitar for about two minutes. The majority of the film consists of entire songs from the album soundtracking shots of Bloc Party racing toy tricyles, sat on sofas reading magazines or at the desk twiddling dials. At one point we see an old amplifier being hurled off the roof of the studio and the the ensuing destruction recorded, which was nice, but I have no idea why they did it or where it was used. It's all interesting to see and provides a small insight into their world, but it's not hugey entertaining, unlike the DVD that accompanied Muse's 'Absolution' album, that was both entertaining and informative. As somewhat of a compleatest however I would still recommend this version. The red slip case is quite pretty anyway.)
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