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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 1 November 2008
I'm generally only moved to commit to a review on the basis of being moved or repelled, and this album has done the former to such an extent that it has completely redefined my opinion of Bloc Party in much the same way as it seems to have disappointed ardent fans of Silent Alarm.

When an album comes along that divides opinion so profoundly the one thing you can't accuse it's creators of is resting on their laurels and playing it safe, and obviously the comparisons with Radiohead aren't far behind for any band daring to experiment or change direction, being as they are, arguably, the benchmark by which musical innovation often seems to be judged. From the moment Ares kicks things off to the closing Ulrich Schnauss inspired strains of Ion Sqaure bleeding out of the speakers this album grips without letting go. Tracks like Halo, Trojan Horse, One Month Off & Talons are like a jackhammer to the solar plexis, punchy, tightly executed guitar driven slabs of utter adrenalyn fueled power. Scattered among the high octane riffing of the former are beautifully conceived moments of melancholy such as Biko and Signs, a brace of songs which give this album an extra dimension, the dreamlike glockenspiel and plantive electronic bassline of the latter providing an anchor to Okereke's mournful falsetto vocals.

The deliciously compressed, skittering drum tracks which have found their way onto tracks like Biko & Zephyrus are probably the flashpoints which polarise opinion as they exhibit an overt inclination towards electronic production, but personally speaking it is that fusion on this album which makes it such an exciting experience, being a longstanding fan of IDM, when I hear production elements that wouldn't sound out of place on a boards of Canada, Telefon Tel Aviv or Boats record in a place I'd never expect to hear them it's a thing to savour as it outlines that the most disparate musical genres can work harmoniously together given the right vision, and fear or snobbery toward one or the other limits the musician as much as it does the listener.

What this album does is quite simply entertain which is after all why we listen to music, is it Bloc Party's kid A moment? No I wouldn't say it is because while it's a change of direction it's not particularly innovative but consequently it's hugely accessible whilst by no means being dull or derivative. It seems to me that what Bloc Party have done is make exactly the music they wanted to make, setting aside all other considerations and the result is thrilling, packed with integrity, and destined, I feel, to go down as their finest moment.
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on 13 October 2008
I find many original Bloc Party fans mind-boggling. Bloc Party turns out some of the best, most innovative music of any band these days.

In an era that celebrates terrible artists like Katy Perry and Jon Mayer, we should feel lucky to have a Bloc Party to offer us quality.

The truth is, this album is absolutely excellent. From Silent-Alarm-like songs like "Talons", "Halo" and "Trojan Horse" (three songs produced by original producer Paul Epworth), to excellent and very original songs like "Better Than Heaven", "Ion Square" and "Signs" (a wonderful track featuring a glockenspiel and a mellotron), the album delivers over and over again.

Many people are one-dimensional. They want Bloc Party to look to the past and make "Silent Alarm" over and over and over again. We already have a Silent Alarm, move on. I love Silent Alarm passionately, but let's evolve with the band.

To be fair, I don't care much for the opening track "Ares", a high-powered song obviously made for fans to get crazy at live shows, but the rest of the album is fantastic.

Bloc Party continues to excite... they continue to innovate. You should flat-out ignore these so-called fans who want Bloc Party to have a career consisting of fifteen Silent Alarm albums, and open up your mind and you'll be rewarded. I've been mentioning these songs and have already been excited, and I haven't even mentioned the album's finest track "Biko" yet.

I miss Matt's drums too, but they'll return. I mean, Bloc Party always evolve, they always innovate, and if they continue to make electronic music over and over again, that's stagnation, which Kele openly opposes.

Funny, recently, a few people have marked my review as 'not helpful'. Funny that those very people wrote comments about how it doesn't sound exactly like "Silent Alarm". I rest my case.
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on 3 November 2008
Best album to date. Not an easy conclusion to come to, but this doesnt have the one or two weaker tracks that silent alarm had e.g. compliments (WITC is very good, but a bit low-key to compete i think).
At first I thought that 'Ares' was pretty poor, but its really grown on me. It sounds a bit Chemical Brothers and is really high energy.
I really respect the fact they have moved on from what was a very popular and lucrative style and expanded into different styles without losing the plot.
There are songs that will appeal to silent alarm lovers Talons, Halo, Trojan Horse and Zepherus, but even these have a much more electronic sound.
Im trying to pick a standout track, and Halo would be the easy answer on first listen, but the more i listen the more difficult it becomes.
This is an album for the car, the gymn, the bedroom and the party; buy it!
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on 19 January 2010
I've reviewed a handful of albums on Amazon because most of the time albums have had enough support without me adding to it. I find that Intimacy could do with the help.

Firstly, the album itself got no favours from the band by having a low-ley release. Secondly, the choice of Mercury as lead single was brave to put it mildly. Foolish to put it more pragmatically.
Thirdly, they go and put the weakest two tracks at the start of the album. And not just week tracks, tracks that risk putting people off. They are brash, awkward, experimental and difficult.

Especially given the majesty that follows. Any of the following 8 tracks would have made a better single choice than Mercury.

The music that follows is on a par with most of what Radiohead have released in the noughties. It's true that Kele doesn't have nearly as great a voice as Thom Yorke but he manages to conjure beauty, none-the-less.

Signs, Trojan Horse, Better than Heaven, Zepherus, Talons, Biko - there you have 6 songs that are filled with multiple ideas.

Signs is just the most beautiful thing they have ever done, all minor key with heartbreaking lyrics.

Talons you probably know but it equally complex with clarity and space that is way beyond the work of most other bands.

Trojan Horse has an addictive chorus and an exhilaration guitar solo.

Zepherus is dark and seductive and reminds me of Bjork.

Better than Heaven is an electo-tinted dream with a fantastic climax.

Biko is all keening and longing.

If, like me, you were disappointed in A Weekend in the City then you might fall in love with this.

And outstanding album and nearly as great as Silent Alarm. I listened to it yesterday and am still dumbfounded by it's lack of success.
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on 30 May 2009
I rate Bloc Party's debut Silent Alarm as one of the greatest albums ever. Its sound and production bring to mind early 80's post-punk while still sounding very original. However, the second album A Weekend In The City was very disappointing. The production by Jacknife Lee resulted in a flat and lifeless sound, further impaired by uninspiring songs. The subsequent singles seemed to be going further away from what I liked, so I didn't even bother buying Intimacy when it came out.

I finally bought it last week - what a revelation. Bloc Party have got their edge back and are writing interesting songs again. Many of the tracks here (particularly Halo, Talons and Better Than Heaven) are reminiscent of Silent Alarm tracks, while showing a progression. Even the Jacknife Lee-produced tracks have a cutting edge this time. It doesn't match Silent Alarm - I doubt they ever will - but this album sounds better each time I listen to it, and is a genuinely compelling and thrilling listen.
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on 20 February 2009
This album personifies why i love music, constantly pushing the boundarys, constantly evolving. Yes its not silent alarm, but why is that a bad thing? If you love Silent alarm so much just put it on repeat and listen to nothing else. And now a few tracks i love:

Zephyrus is a truly amazing song mainly made of layered vocals and wonderful electronic drums. Signs is also different using a clever combination of glockenspiel riffs and electronic drums, for a strange kind of ballard. Trojan Horse is a fast paced rock inspired with guitar riffs but effect heavy with synths kicking around in the background.

The lyrics are still very reconisible as silent alarm style. Every song is brilliant and refreshingly different. If you prefer your boring standard rock bands get the killers new album, and stop moaning that it isn't silent alarm. Its better in my oppinion.
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on 19 November 2008
When I bought Bloc Party's new album 'Intimacy' I was very sceptical. I didn't particularly enjoy 'A Weekend In The City' but I loved 'Silent Alarm'. The latter was much more energetic and interesting whereas AWITC felt a bit sterile in places (particularly 'Flux')

However, upon the first listen I knew that this would be my favourite Bloc Party album and several listens have only confirmed that. This time around the electronics feel much more natural and make the music so much more interesting. The high tempos and excitement of 'Silent Alarm' are much more present this time; particularly in the opener 'Ares', 'Halo' and 'Talons'. The slower numbers in this album however are the real masterpieces, 'Biko', 'Signs' and 'Zephyrus' are amazing. Each has a fantastic anthematic quality and creates a nice contrast between the other songs. 'Mercury', the lead single, is the most "electronic" track on the album and while it is nowhere near the best it does well in grabbing your attention.

The album isn't perfect however; 'Better Than Heaven' is quite simply a bad track and is obviously filler. Which is a shame because it completely loses your attention whereas the rest of the album really kept you on hold wondering what was going to happen next etc. In fact, if you listen to the album as a whole (as I often do) you may miss out on the last track, which is superb. But, while this is annoying, it can be overlooked as the quality of the rest of the album completely over-rides this fault. Totally worthy of 5 stars and completely worth your money.
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on 29 October 2008
Bloc Party are getting better with age. In 2005 when they released their debut album, 'Silent Alarm', they caught the music press attention for their spiky indie infused music. It was original and fresh. However, if anyone had been asked whether they had it in them to truly innovate their sound I think most would have said not. How wrong they would have been.

'Intimacy' sees Bloc Party take their winning formula and move it forward. It is, for want of a better description, and electro-indie album. Don't be put off by the Chemical Brothers inspired opener 'Ares' (it will grow on you, I promise) or first single 'Mercury'. Instead the real heart of this record rests in the more reflective and electro moments of 'Biko', 'Signs' and 'Zephyrus'. No other band around today is making music like this. Bloc Party really are carving out an innovative and inspiring niche for themselves.

This doesn't mean that there aren't moments of 'Slilent Alarm' type punk indie. 'Halo' is as good as anything on that album and 'One Month Off' will ring in your head for days after even just a couple of listens.

However, what really makes this album is its subject matter. It really is intimate and almost every track deals with loss in one shape or form. A lot of criticism has been thrown Bloc Party's way for their lyrics but I think this is totally missing the point. They write lyrics that are refreshingly honest and direct. For example, on 'Biko'- a song about someone dying of cancer- goes "I left your blueberries in the fridge/ The little things that I can do". It really is a truly moving song. The album is full of these very direct, honest and at times slightly jarring lyrics (the second verse of the album highlight 'Ion Square' being the best example).

Bloc Party have got better with each album. They are not afraid to experiment yet at the same time have not completely disapeared into their own world of unpenetrable creativity. Bloc Party are a special band and 'Intimacy' is their best album yet. In fact, I think this is probably the best album of the year. Go buy it, you won't be disapointed.
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VINE VOICEon 7 November 2008
OK I love Silent Alarm as well. It's one of my all time favourite albums and It gets a run out on the iPod at least once a week. Having said that, bands need to evolve and the fans need to evolve with them. Intimacy is the perfect blend of old and new Bloc Party. Classic BP tracks like "One Month Off" and "Ares" are mixed in with tracks such as "Mercury" and "Biko" that reach almost electronica levels. The combination of old and new means this is, by far my favourite Bloc Party album so far. Ion Square is a 6 minute masterpiece and would be worth the money on it's own. Please get past the Silent Alarm hang-ups and give this superb album a play - it will not let you down.
Silent Alarm
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on 3 November 2008
Ive come to the conclusion that this is actually a really good album with some solid tracks. After the release of AWITC i lost a bit hope in Bloc, but this album really delivers with a good variety of songs- the outstanding tracks being 'Halo' Trojan Horse' and 'Better than heaven'. This one mixes up both previous albums and chucks out both relaxing and energetic tunes which are very listenable to all fans of Bloc Party; does however take a bit of growing, but you wont regret the purchase.

The only track i dont like is 'Zephyrus' its basically just a crapper version of 'Where is home' but the rest- thumbs up :)
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