Bloc Party: Four – album review

Bloc Party: Four (Frenchkiss)
Released 21st Aug

The fourth album by Bloc Party is due for release in a weeks time & we got hold of a pre-release copy which we sent over to Bloc Party fan Katie Clare. What follows is her review of the record.

Four is the smallest composite number that is equal to the sum of its prime factors, the same named offering from Bloc Party is also composited by it’s prime factors, however it does not entirely feel equal.

Opening proceedings on this long awaited release with’So He Begins To Lie’ is an interesting choice. It musically acknowledges the bands early influences with more than just a head nod as it has blistering guitars throughout and floating around floor-level a hazy layer of indie-synth electronica. However it lacks conviction, a feeling which continues to prevail into ‘3×3’.

By now I’m starting to wonder just how ambiguous this album will be when it hits it’s mark, admittedly just off centre. ‘Octopus’ is like a helium and caffeine fuelled collision between a Moog and Telecaster. It continues in this striking manner with some juicy guitars and nonchalantly delivered, sordidly lascivious lyrics. While none of the next few songs stand out as anthemic, as an album ‘Four’ defiantly delivers some solidly creative and intriguing tracks.

By the time we hit ‘The Healing’ we’ve taken quite the journey. Its been a steady climb for the most part but you do get the feeling you’ve done so after taking (musical) directions simultaneously from Robert Smith, Omar Rodríguez-López and Keith Flint, both whispering and bouncing off walls in the background. That’s not to say ‘Four’ is not original. It sparkles with intent and it hit’s the target more times than it misses. V.A.L.I.S for example is not only endearing in it’s simplicity but packs a deceptively fizzy punch. The atmospheric ‘Day Four’ is a heart beat away from a torch-song as Kele Okereke laments “Anything it gives it will take back”.

Over all ‘Four’ is a worthy release but worthy of Bloc Party? Sure it’s sound is unexpectedly opaque and the flow feels a little uncomfortably deviated and twisted at times, but it holds it’s own for the most part and as the world at large listens to music in more fractured ways rather than listening to albums straight through I can see the flaws and faults already blurring into a hazy past contemplation.

‘Four’ by Bloc Party is released August 20th 2012 and the band will embark on an eight date UK tour in October. Tickets for a nineth show next year on February 22nd at Earls Court, London go on sale August 17th. You can pre-order the album & get further details about tickets for Bloc Party’s gigs via their website.

Bloc Party are on Twitter as @BlocParty and are on Facebook here.

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