Sound — 8
After collaborating with producer Paul Epworth for 'Silent Alarm', I was certainly anticipating a blend of slow, mellow indie songs and the odd all out rock one, but I was surprised when I heard 'A Weekend In The City'. It starts off with a vocal solo from Kele to what seems like a relatively laid back song; but then the riff kicks in and you are taken back to old memories of songs like 'Helicopter' and 'Luno'. Song For Clay (Disappear Here), certainly is a good way to kick start an album and reintroduce Bloc Party after an absence of 1-2 years. As the album goes on you start hearing the old Bloc Party with a new twist. Synths are used much more prominantly and have been brought to centre stage in some of the songs, while there are still the wild effects used by Russell to add real ambience to the music. I got the impression that they have moved on a bit from 'Silent Alarm', but are still holding onto the sounds which caught the public's attention a coupl of years ago.
Lyrics — 9
This time round, Kele has had more of a chance to show off his vocal ability, and listeners will not be disappointed to hear Kele and Gordon's harmonising. In some of the songs, Garrett 'Jacknife' Lee has used a choir like texture to make a big sound using Kele and Gordon's voices to powerful effect. You also get the sense when listening to 'A Weekend In The City', that Kele has become more thoughtful and precise about his lyrics; and it has paid off. The lyrics are observant, intruiging and you really feel that he is talking to the people about the things that are wrong (and right) about this generation. He also writes songs with powerful sentiments that you can really relate to. On tracks such as 'Sunday', 'I Still Remember' and 'On', Kele shows his romantic side of lyricism, but without being cliche.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, 'A Weekend In The City' is an improvement on 'Silent Alarm'. It is a more focussed sound and I felt that they have really found themselves. My favourite tracks would have to be: 'Sunday', 'The Prayer', 'I Still Remember' and 'Song For Clay (Disappear Here)'.