A couple of weeks on from the release of Bloc Party’s fifth album, I have collected my thoughts on a career defining album following the changes in style due to a band reshuffle.
First I must state, that for any fan of garage or the more ‘punk’ sound this is not the album for you. Bloc Party seem to have let go of thrashy street sound that has been a theme throughout their albums of yesteryear. No longer will we hear the pure raging guitar sound of Bloc Party favourites such as ‘Helicopter’ or ‘We are not good people’. The departure of drummer Matt Tong has obviously had it’s repercussions on the sudden change of style employed by Okereke.
One metacritic user described the change as a “loss of urgency”. This is down to the much more downbeat lyrics used in the new album. Altogether their music has shifted down a couple of gears, and for me that is a huge shame.
The opening track ‘The Love Within’ is a powerful opening track, stating their intents for the future. It is obvious from the start which band member has departed due to the lack of heavy bass. A much substantial influence from the dance/pop scene is used in this track, and for me, got the album off to a rocky start.
Immediately when a early released track appears on my Spotify feed I usually jump for joy, but as ‘The Good News’ popped up a couple of weeks before the album release I held back. Knowing that a change in style was imminent I listened with little expectation. Despite not resembling anything produced before by the London group, it gave me a pleasant surprise. It doesn’t stand up to the popularity of previous records but offers a different sound. With a pinch of blues influenced mixed with a lethargic rhythm it is the only track of the album of jumps out at me.
The final thing I will pick up on is the spiritual element of the album. Kele Okereke has deneid these claims, although surely even the title justifies it. Aside from that, this is an album I wouldn’t recommend, it goes against all that Bloc Party have produced in the past 11 years, unless you able to accept the change, this album is a total disappointment,