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A Weekend in the City [CD + DVD]
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 23 January 2007
I've loved everything Bloc Party have done up until now and really wanted to like this new disc. There are some good tunes on it, but it just doesn't work for me. They seem to be aiming for a high concept album with varied musical influences but in too many places it just comes across as self-consciously arty and at times irritatingly pretentious. Some of the lyrics are particularly annoying and detract a great deal from what could have been a fantasic album.
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on 9 January 2007
When Silent Alarm was released in 2005, it received rave reveiws from critics, and was even voted the best album of the year by NME. A Weekend In The City is their follow up, and here is a short message to any Bloc Party fan who is worried that it wont match the success of the debut :

STOP.

This is easily the greatest album I have heard in the past few months. The band have adopted a bigger, stronger, occasionally orchestral sound, and have developed an album that just feels and sounds as if the English four-peice have really pushed themselfs and worked hard for it. The first song, "Song For Clay" starts off with a quiet ballad, until loud guitars kick in and Keles vocals reach its peak to deliver the rest of the song, carrying this style on to "Hunting For Witches", a song similar to, but deeper than, "Helicopter" from Silent Alarm. While the album employs many different styles, its always interesting enough to make every one of the 52 minutes enjoyable.

If there is one thing that A Weekend In The City shows, its that Silent Alarm was most definetly not a fluke. Watch out, other generic succesful artists, this gang is now stronger than ever.
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on 15 February 2007
Completley agree with previous comment "hunting for witches hunting for tunes". Not enough material on here to fill a single what about an album. Reall really disappointing. I hoped we would hear the same spirit present on Silent Alarm, punky and energetic, melodic and well crafted. This was not the case unfotunately, I can only see the demise of what was lone of my favourite bands. Have they been on too much charlie?
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on 24 January 2007
At first, I was horrified. Where were Bloc Party? This album is thoroughly depressing, cheesily political and...dull?!

Yes, it took some time to accept that Bloc Party have moved on. And what an interesting move it has turned out to be. Having spent the last month or so listening, I am in love with it. Afterall, theres nothing better than an album that grows on you more and more every single time you listen to it.

Stand out tracks are clearly Kreuzberg, The Prayer and SRXT. Thoughtful, truthful and touching.

I'm not too keen on Where Is Home however. It's not their best, musically or lyrically.

I've given five stars because theres just something unusually good about this band :)
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on 19 December 2006
bad first: as with silent alarm, there are a few misses, especially on the ballady songs. moreover, none of the songs on here really get that blistering, crunchy, dancy bloc party sound. somewhat disappointingly, this album almost totally lacks the super power rock-out bliss that made 'helicopter', 'price of gas' or 'banquet' kick so much ass.

that said, people who preferred 'this modern love' or 'bluest light' on silent alarm will love this record for how much more they go in that direction. the songs here are more complex, slower, better recorded, and more heartfelt. the first single is undoubtedly going to be "on", and what a single it is! the impressionistic melancholy of the lyrics and the intense mid-tempo, bass-heavy pace just never let you go. this thing is really really good. just top notch. but it's exceptional, and it makes you realise how much more they might have done.

in the end then, these guys put out a pretty solid record, but it's not going to be the one you hear at the cooler dance clubs, and you and your pals won't likely be rocking out to it at 10pm to get all hyped up for another insane night in shinjuku or roppongi. it's more early session make-out music for slightly more mainstream indie kids. which isn't bad, we all like to make out. ;)
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on 20 December 2006
having heard the entire album i will rate it like so...

-Song For Clay (Dissapear Here): 8.5/10

When i first heard this song i hated it but after a few listens it redeems itself, has one of the catchiest choruses of any bp song

(Similar to Like Eating Glass)

-Hunting For Withces: 9.5/10

Really good song, pretty amazing chorus and guitar riffs

(Similar to Helicopter & Price Of Gas)

-Waiting For The 7:18: 10/10

The second best song on the album, brilliant lyrics and the end of the song is breathtaking

(Similar to Little Thoughts & Skeleton)

-The Prayer: 9/10

Was the first song off the new album i heard and i really did not like it, but this is the song that grows on you the most and the chorus is so catchy

(similar to Banquet)

-Uniform: 11/10

Officially the best bloc party song ever, starts off really slow but gradually builds up to a really rocking climax and a great guitar solo, brilliant!

(similar to Plans which was my favourite song on silent alarm)

-On: 8.5/10

hard to gauge this song as it has a dance feel to it but a very good chorus redeems it

(similar to Positive Tension)

-Where Is Home: 10/10

Love this song for its great emotional lyrics and raw anger, sad but brilliant

(Similar to Price Of Gas & Pioneers)

-Kreuzberg: 9.5/10

Really good song that gets better on every listen

(Similar to Blue Light & This Modern Love)

-I Still Remember: 9/10

A weird song for me as its the only bloc party song i've heard thats really cheerful however they pull it off and its one of the stand-out tracks

(similar to Always New Depths & Storm And Stress)

-Sunday: 9/10

Great song, the instumental bit at the end it brilliant

(Similar to This Modern Love, The Present & Hero)

-Srxt: 8/10

A weird ending for the album as it seems out of place in the album, don't get me wrong as its a good song but just doesn't mesh well

(similar to Compliments and Blue Light engineers remix)

So there we have it, possibly the best album of 2007 and its just as good maybe even better than Silent Alarm
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on 25 April 2007
And its time to set the record straight with this album. I hadnt read a bad word about this in advance of its release, and im sure indie kids and scenesters will gladly lap it up.

there is a lot going for this record - the melodies are strong, kele's voice is still a pleasure to listen to, and the album doesnt share the tendancy of its predecessor to lose its way at times.

However, where as sonically the songs are often fleshed out more, with lovely effect laden guitar textures, this has come at the price of one of the strongest features of 'Silent Alarm'. where as that album generated excitement with burst of sound, and tunes that contained contrasting segements, the more polished sound on this record has subdued this element of the Bloc Party sound.

And perhaps most disappointingly, the lyrics. Its said often you have a lifetime to write your first record, and couple of years (if youre lucky) to write a follow up, but kele really comes unstuck here. songs like 'Eating Glass', 'Banquet' and 'Helicopter' were catchy, but contained interesting and well thought through songwriting also. much of this album works as a pop record in the background, but lyrical themes are all too samey, and the words just feel like theyve been scribbled down by a 14 year old in their bedroom. so much of the album just makes me want to cringe in this regard and cannot stand up to closer listening.

In summary - theyre not a write off for the future, and the record has its moments ('Hunting for Witches' especially), but i hope the next album benefits from a little more time being spent on it.

at the start of the year the music press was pondering which of the bands releasing second albums would be able to step out of indie circles and become truly mainstream as Coldplay did, i thought Bloc Party were a pretty safe bet, especially the way they played at 'V'. Now Editors are the only band i can see having any chance.
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on 7 December 2006
Well the first album was perfection and now so is the second one, so they really have done well. I love everything about this band, their style, lyrics, riffs.. everything. It's the only band I listen to really. Been the same since the first album came out, they are really that good. Trust me, this will never be a dissapointing buy. I love it!
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on 28 May 2007
I like the IDEA of Bloc Party. An indie band fronted by an articulate, sexy black man.....so far, so interesting. And 'Silent Alarm' was chock-full of punchy little post-punk numbers - derivative, but well-executed. So what on earth has gone wrong on 'A Weekend In The City?'

Kele Okereke says it's an album about being young and angry at the start of the 21st century. But does it have to wear its studenty earnestness like a greatcoat from Oxfam? And do we need another rich rock star telling us that "Drugs are bad, OK kids?" Or a rock'n'roll song with the word 'accountability' in it?

Even the most accessible song, 'I Still Remember', about a stolen afternoon of schoolboy love, is let down by the revelation that the action took place on a "teachers' training day" - no 'bunking off' for these boys!

'Uniform' features some risible 'social observations' that are so trite they'd make a 14 year old blush with embarrassment. Listen to The Jam or The Specials or Billy Bragg to hear how much better this sort of stuff can be done.

It's not all bad. The aforementioned 'I Still Remember' is a delight - a beautiful melody allied to a genuinely touching lyric, and 'Hunting For Witches', 'Waiting For The 7.18' and 'The Prayer' rise above the general mediocrity. The album is hampered though by the state-of-the-art production which flattens everything out and drains the songs of instrumental colour.

Full marks to the band for trying to make an ultra-modern, political rock record. Next time, remember to include some tunes eh lads?
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