"Four" by Bloc Party

Bloc Party
Four

Frenchkiss Records
2012

Review

I think that Bloc Party has been trying to get back to the popularity level that they were when "Helicopter" was blowing up the radio. Their post-debut albums have not been great and though this one is nearly a return to form it is brought down significantly by Bloc Party's attempt to metal-up the place.

Press play. Immediately when "So He Begins To Lie" you think "OK, this sounds like it's going to be some classic Bloc-Party" but then the song is a bit noisy and sort of all over the place. It gets worse on the following track "3x3" which is I think Bloc Party's version of Norwegian Death metal? It's very loud with clashing guitars and Tricky-like growling. But it ain't metal and it ain't classic Bloc Party. "Coliseum" opens promising enough but then again devolves into a clashing guitar mess. Finally, "We Are Not Good People" is a terrible Queens Of The Stone Age homage.

...yeah, maybe don't do heavy Bloc Party!

Now, take these metal-wannabe excursions off the record, and there lies a record that is Bloc Party's return to classic form. Maybe Bloc Party is bored with their old sound? "Octopus" sounds like old Bloc Party but the song opens with an audible yawn (that's not hyperbole, by the way. Kele actually yawns into the microphone).

Classic Bloc Party there is, though. "Real Talk", "Day Four", "V.A.L.I.S.", "Truth", and "The Healing" are some of the best songs the band has every made! Surprisingly, it's the ballads that stand out to me the most.

I do think that Bloc Party is trying to branch out a bit but unfortunately their attempts to revitalize their sound haven't worked for me. I'm not sure they can do a complete "Killers" style reinvention. Maybe it's me? Being such a fan of their first album, I keep wanting more of THAT. There are some bands where you hear them and it's the same over and over again and you get bored of it (for me, that would be "Coldplay" and "Red Hot Chili Peppers"). I usually say of those types of bands, "I think I've heard everything you have to say". But sometimes, there are bands that you WANT to keep doing the same thing. For me, Bloc Party are a band that I want to stay the course. So please, Bloc Party, stop doing "heavy" and give me more "Real Talk".

3.750 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. So He Begins To Lie (03:34) 3
2. 3x3 (02:38) 1
3. Octopus (03:05) 4
4. Real Talk (04:13) 5
5. Kettling (03:41) 4
6. Day Four (04:11) 5
7. Coliseum (02:29) 2
8. V.A.L.I.S. (03:20) 5
9. Team A (04:46) 4
10. Truth (04:00) 5
11. The Healing (04:19) 5
12. We Are Not Good People (03:20) 2