A Weekend In The City Review

artist: Bloc Party date: 07/18/2008 category: compact discs
Bloc Party: A Weekend In The City
Release Date: Feb 5, 2007
Label: Wichita
Genres: Indie Rock
Number Of Tracks: 11
The guys took it serious working on A Weekend In The City, not hurrying anywhere in the process, treating the album like their baby.
 Sound: 8
 Lyrics: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 8.5
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reviews (8) 38 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
A Weekend In The City Reviewed by: UG Team, on february 21, 2007
6 of 15 people found this review helpful

Sound: So here's the moment of truth -- after a successful first album the band releases its sophomore record, bringing in a verdict if they're worth something or it was just a one-hit wonder. The second album from English indie rock band Block Party hits the store shelves a year after their debut, it is out on Vice Records and is titled A Weekend In The City. Is it just a waste if time or a revolution in music? Let's find out. Time has made its job, Block Party are not that silly and happy as they were on Silent Alarms. They've grown up a bit and now everything is darker and more depressive, with more attention to the lyrics. While the music often refers to Radiohead, the guitars borrow the sound of U2. The songs are unpredictable, you never know what to expect after the next chorus or even within it. Sometimes it is so evident, that it seems the parts of one song were taken for different tracks or composed by different bands and it was some weird joke to put them all together. Block Party started working on A Weekend In The City January 2005 and by the end of the process they probably were a different band, carrying totally different ideas about their own music, which found reflection in the album. It's hard to describe some particular tracks as every one of them has something to talk about. Every song is a little experience, involving you to taste it. There's powerful orchestra crescendo part in the last track SRXT, incredible guitar work in Uniform. The weirdest track, and at the same time closest to the debut Silent Alarm, is Hunting For Witches with danceable rhythms and sounds invented on the raise of electronic era. // 9

Lyrics: When it seems that love is a restricted topic for musicians as the subject has been sung about a million times, being described all possible ways, Block Party manages to do something impossible -- they sing about love as nobody has ever done it! Their I love you in the morning/When you're still hungover touches deeply. What more can you ask from a person if he loves you even when you're hung over! Apart from that A Weekend In The City has songs on more serious subjects -- like terrorist attack-influenced Hunting The Witches. Radiohead comparison is most appropriate when it comes to the vocals. Following Tom York's way of singing, the emotions in Kele Okereke's voice are barely evident as he sings in a very melancholic way. At the same time he has a deep, rich for overtones voice. When he tries to change the usual way of singing, there's pity (opera-like falsetto in the opener Song For Clay (Disappear Here) and hysteria (desperate screaming in Waiting For The 7.18). The back vocals are living their own life in the songs, not only ignoring the main lyrics, but often leading a different melody. // 9

Overall Impression: The record is thought-out in every little detail and thus really polished, sometimes even overproduced. The guys took it serious working on A Weekend In The City, not hurrying anywhere in the process, treating the album like their baby. They've spent more than a year deciding, among other matters, how loud the rhythm guitar should be, what order the tracks should appear, changing the track titles and picking up the artwork for the CD cover. The tracks are often complicated and tightly stuffed, as if the musicians were afraid not to put every single idea they had into the album. It's hard to swallow such a huge amount of information at once, and every time you'll listen to the album, you'll find something new. At least until you get to learn all the songs by heart. A Weekend In The City is really different from the band's earlier efforts and thus very difficult to compare and judge. The band is maturing, changing their music as they grow. Whether you'll like the album or not is a matter of your own preferences and being ready for a challenge. Let yourself a little trip through the album's thoughts and moods and you won't regret it! // 9

- Kosh (c) 2007

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overall: 9.3
A Weekend In The City Reviewed by: toolemerica, on february 21, 2007
2 of 10 people found this review helpful

Sound: Bloc Party definetly has a certain sound to them. They have a brit-rock mixed with electronic sound. The majority of the songs on this album a very catchy. This is one of the few albums that you can listen all the way through without getting bored. The only song that I don't completely like might have to be I Still Remember, which is prolly going to seem wierd considering that it is this CD main hit. I also recommend getting their other CD, Silent Alarm. // 9

Lyrics: I love this singer! He has a great British accent and most of these lyrics are just completely original and havee never been done before. 01. Song For Clay (Dissapear Here) - this song starts out kinda slow and boring, but after about a minute it gets better. 02. Hunting For Witches - actually this might be my favorite song on the album! it's very catchy and has a cool little guitar riff. 03. Waiting For The 7.18 - this is a really cool song that sounds terriffic during the bridge and the chorus. 04. The Prayer - this song, now that I am listening to it again, is kind of cheezy. 05. Uniform - this song is a great one! Once again it is very catchy and just a song that's fun to chill to. 06. On - this is probably my 2nd favorite song on this album, it's fun has energy to it and it's the next anthem. 07. Where Is Home - a cool song with a great chorus and another fun chill song for times that your mad or stressed. 08. Kreuzberg - might be the slowest song on the album but very relaxing. 09. I Still Remember - I personally do not like this, kinda reminds me of U2, but most people do so I guess I'll give it this rating. 10. Sunday - kind of a plain song actually. 11. SRXT - a slower song but very catchy and the last two minutes are great! 12. Cain Said To Abel - right when you think all of the more energetic songs are done this one comes on, this song is again, catchy, and a great ending to the CD. // 10

Overall Impression: This CD is awesome but I still thought that their other one was much better and more of their own style. Still, this album still sticks out from others and is all together catchy and one you can listen to over and over again. If this was stolen I would definetly buy it again. If I would suggest any song it would be Hunting For Witches. // 9

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overall: 8.7
A Weekend In The City Reviewed by: numb82, on september 25, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: After explosive debut release (Silent Alarm), Bloc party have picked up where Radiohead left off, with a beautiful blend of Smith-esque post punk with cold Electronica smothered in amazing musicality which make 'Weekend in the City' an amazing album, their originality come out with Songs such as 'Hunting For Witches' in which an intricate guitar Drives the lyrics and drums, while 'The prayer' Brings a cold beauty to the Album, the Experimentation of this album with sampling, Guitar and Bass Effects (Octave Divider and Fuzz)and Drum machine give a dynamic to the sound and create an atmosphere of sound and emotion. // 9

Lyrics: One thing the Band have been criticised for is their sound and lyrics slight resemblance to "Radiohead", and Kele Okereke delivery on the first album gives you that sense with Lead guitarist Russel Lissack's Jonny greenwood look and sound. This album has proved that they have out grown talking about life and Love in their songs and now touch on subjects such as Drug abuse, Immigration, latent Homosexuality, Casual sex, Terrorist attacks and Black British community which are intricatly hidden behind Metaphors of Witch Hunts, Infidelity, and love with much edgier lyrics on 'WITC'with lines Such as 'I'm sitting, on the roof With a shotgun'(Hunting for Witches) or 'Feasting on sleeping pills and Marlboro Reds' (Song For Clay (Disappear here)). // 8

Overall Impression: This Album is must have for serious Music lovers, who enjoy a rush of music to their ears, this album will definitely become addictive, it has become for me and is one of my great love and most probably one the best albums of 2000's. My overall impression has changed tremendously with this album turning them from silly post punk boys, to Politically and socially aware musicians who have courage to experiment and have a voice through a large landscape of sound which is heard on 'A Weekend in the City'. // 9

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overall: 9
A Weekend In The City Reviewed by: FenTel, on february 22, 2007
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound is much darker than the last album. Darker and with more electronica influences. As the sound is highly influenced by Radiohead, with lots of effects and also the guitar sounds, I don't think it is as original as the stuff they came up with in Silent Alarm. They also bring in som violins for the track "On." Sounds excellent. Kele's singing is better than on their debut and the use of second voices are excellent, often just humming on a completely different melody. Sounds great! // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics is the absolute best part of this album. They describe citylife in London really well. They seem to have matured quite a bit since Silent Alarm. The lyrics was the only thing I liked right from the start except from the drums. they're darker, more realistic and more mature. // 10

Overall Impression: My overall impression of this album is a 9. Absolutely the best album out so long this year in my opinion. It's obvious that they spent lots of time on it to perfect it. Most impressive songs whould have to be "Song For Clay (Disappear Here)", "On" and "Where Is Home?" The best part is, as I've mentioned before, the lyrics. The way Kele explains things will give you chills. And yes I whould indeed buy it again if it was stolen. I'd even catch the thief so tht I had two of them. // 9

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overall: 8.7
A Weekend In The City Reviewed by: tothelighthouse, on march 13, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 8

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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)'. // 9

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overall: 4.7
A Weekend In The City Reviewed by: Gwynnell, on october 29, 2007
1 of 7 people found this review helpful

Sound: A band can't survive on one album alone, the big rule of music, the next album has to be better than the last, and like it says in the title of the first song disappear here. A Weekend In The City is very poor. Something tells me this is not Bloc Party, this is the record label, perhaps too scared of failing, to do what many bands such as Fightstar have done, ditch their label to make the record that they want. 'Silent Alarms' was nothing short of amazing, stomping riffs and powerful songs that brought Bloc Party to the public attention but 'A Weekend In The City' is the sound of a band selling out. My problem with the album is not the band, it's the industry. // 3

Lyrics: Lyrically I have never felt Bloc Party have excelled, often talking about very cliche subjects, mainly love. In this album, the topic hasn't been extended by any real margin. The lyrics are OK, they flow, they're sung well but aren't anything remotely special and don't set them apart from other bands in the whole 'indie' area. // 6

Overall Impression: Bloc Party are all talented musicians, which they have proven in the past. The album is a sell-out, one of 2005's finest albums was 'Silent Alarm', one of 2006's biggest shocks I found was the lack of edge in 'Weekend In The City'. Only noticeable track is 'I Still Remember' the rest of the album in all honesty is rubbish, expect gigs to be filled of middle-aged screaming women. If I lost the album I wouldn't replace it, a must see for 2005 has turned into an avoid for the future. // 5

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overall: 9.7
A Weekend In The City Reviewed by: FuddMuffins, on july 17, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Bloc Party creates a beautiful soundscape of indie/dance music on Weekend In The City. Synthesizers are used to create a rather atmospheric sound, but there are still amazing, very much rock, guitar riffs that drive the songs, Russell's playing also adds a great element that is very unique. The songs are very intricate and have many different parts that are memorable and sometimes it's hard to remember which ones are from which songs, but that's why it is such a great album, not necessarly individual songs, but the whole album is great. // 10

Lyrics: Great lyrics. Hunting For Whitches has a very good message about the post-911 western world and how paranoia and uneasiness leads to racism and bad decisions. Uniform could be the official Indie anthem, whith its lyrics about everyone seeming the same and wearing the same clothes and what not. Waiting For The 7.18 is personal favorite in terms of the lyrics they are very moving, about just enjoying the simple pleasures in life. // 9

Overall Impression: The most impressive songs would have to be I Still Remember, Waiting For The 7.18, Hunting For Witches, and Uniform. I love it's sincerity and epic music, rememberable choruses, great and unique guitar work. I would definitely buy it again, it is one of my favorite albums of all time, highly recommended. // 10

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overall: 8.3
A Weekend In The City Reviewed by: AGowans, on july 18, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I'd like to start by reinforcing the point that I have actually listened to this album, a task that seems a little beyond reviewers before me. Sophomore syndrome, the magical effect that seems to plague every band as they attempt to follow up the 11 or so tracks that placed them in the ear of the public to begin with. On first listening one could easily shake their head and run riot with disapproval when placed side-by-side with it's older sibling Silent Alarm. However, more than a year has passed since A Weekend in the City failed to reach our expectations, but then are our expectations always properly placed to begin with? This is less raw that Silent Alarm, more polished in every shape way and form, but the what may easily be mistaken as lack of emotion and energy, is the band merely demonstrating it's capacity from control and maturity on a musical level. The track listing splits the album into two very different approaches. The first half of the album retains the energy and excitement that has defined Bloc Party for so long. As the snare drum enters Song For Clay the hairs on the back our neck raise slowly as it becomes evident that this is the Bloc Party we love and know. However it also draws to our attention that the hooks are gone, 'catchiness' has been replaced by close to 5 minutes of spectacular song writing and production, and until we reach track 8 the album retains an electronically dance charged progression. We then reach the brick wall that is Kreuzberg, as it it becomes obvious that ones breath needs to be caught somewhere in the 57 minutes of this album. Kreuzberg & I Still Remember epitomise the entire point of maturity and control that Bloc Party have found within themselves to release. Upbeat, mid-paced songs that never fail to progress beyond their means or needs, highlighting that simplicity can be as effective as the sonic soundscape that has graced our ears so often. // 8

Lyrics: A Weekend in the City, as wrongly pointed out by others commentators is not about Love. It is about growing up, living and existing within todays society in London, and rarely offers a glimmer of hope, unfortunately another point other commentators have failed to pick on. Briefly, Song For Clay reveals the inner determination to live up to societies expectations of what our appearances should be, and again provides a foundation for the rest of the album, with an ever increasing realisation that the tone is one of discontent and unhappiness of the pressures of society. Hunting For Witches of course highlights the sense of fear and discontent that has thrived in London since July 2005, reinforcing the media and the governments influence of our interpretations of those around us on a daily basis. Uniform is the insight into losing ones mind, through the pressure of societies influences. It acts as the voice of discontent and emotion from the youth of today and how obvious pressures may take their toll on the inner psyche. Existence makes up the fundamentals of this album, often more at times more personal than others, for example Kreuzberg, however lyrically this album is relevant, charged and more of than none, spot on. // 9

Overall Impression: This album is not Silent Alarm, nor is it the follow on many of us expected. However, after 15 months of listening this is a more than worthwhile follow up from a great band. // 8

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