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Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloc Party return for A Weekend In The City, 6 Feb. 2007
This review is from: A Weekend in the City [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
Introduction:

A Weekend In The City is Bloc Party's long awaited and long overdue follow-up to Silent Alarm. It features 11 brand new tracks, including the current top 5 single "The Prayer". I have been looking forward to this album for quite some time but was put off slightly by the single, which I don't particularly like. Thankfully, the rest of the album is better than that one song suggests and includes a plethora of decent tracks.

Highlights include:

"Hunting For Witches" - a rather fitting title for the song because the main melody is somewhat haunting. This is perhaps the rockiest track on the album

"Uniform" - one of the longest tracks on the album at a little under 6 minutes. The opening 2 minutes are mellow but then suddenly the song increases in tempo courtesy of a bass line that's introduced and gradually develops into a glorious ending with decent guitar solo

"Kreuzberg" - a mellow track that is a delight to listen to and very emotive

"I Still Remember" - this will presumably be the second single because a music video has already been made, as shown on the bonus DVD (which I shall mention in a minute). I can fully understand why this would be released as a single because it's an infectious song and definitely one of the strongest on the album. It's a mid tempo track with some pop sensibilities about it

The album does feel quite morbid in places (especially the final track which is pretty depressing) but it's enthralling and insightful. It feels a lot more personal this time round and I get the impression Kele is singing about real-life experiences in most of the songs. The production values have improved from the previous album making it feel different to their debut. This is still recognisably Bloc Party in the style of music on offer but the edgy stripped-down sound that worked so well on the debut is less apparent on this release. That's not to say it makes this one weaker because I think on the whole this album is possibly more accessible.

There are currently two versions of A Weekend In The City on release. The standard no-frills version and also a limited 2 disc version with bonus DVD (which can be differentiated by the red case is comes in). The bonus DVD includes a behind the scenes look at the making of the album and two music videos.

On the bonus DVD:

Making of the album - a 20 minute behind the scenes feature, filmed during the recording process in summer 2006. It's not very insightful and hardly reveals anything about the making of the album, as the title would suggest. I've seen it once and don't think I will ever feel compelled to view it again. Most of the film features a montage of clips with their album tracks playing over the top but the camera angles and direction are so poor that it's hardly worth watching

Music videos - there are two music videos on offer, "The Prayer" and "I Still Remember". The latter is a very impressive video to a very impressive song and certainly worth watching. However, the video for "The Prayer", much like the song, is pretty forgettable

Summary:

Overall, A Weekend In The City is an impressive sophomore release for Bloc Party and I feel their fan base will continue to grow. Expect this album to enter the charts highly (early indications strongly suggest number 2) and deservedly so. How does it compare to the debut album? It's fairly similar in quality but I'm not sure if there are as many layers to explore in this album - I think there is less variation on the whole. So all in all, probably not quite as strong as their debut (but only marginally so), yet still a very good album and comes highly recommended to new and existing Bloc Party fans. I don't think too many people will be disappointed.
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