Sound — 6
Bloc Party have never been a band to re-use formulas on each album as you will soon find out after giving this album a few listens. The band take a very different turn on this album going for a variety of sounds that include heavily distorted guitars, less electronics (than past albums) and a more raw yet polished sound. I Can't help but noticed how they draw some influence from "Death From Above 1979" on one or two tracks. It seems as if the band went with a more mainstream sound on this instead of the crazy effects and lyrics we have come to expect from Bloc Party. The mix of the album did sound rather plain and boring.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics were well written but at the same time are very generic. Gone are the lyrics about failed relationships, London and general life in todays modern world. Kele does deliver the lyrics with great effort and that is one thing I can always complement him on as he has been an amazing vocalist and lyricist on all albums so far. At times his vocals are a little drowned out with effect or just lost in the mix.
Overall Impression — 6
If I really had to compare it against the previous studio albums this would definitely be last after the first three albums. Songs to look out for are "So He Begins To Lie", "3x3", "V.A.L.I.S.", "Kettling", "Team A" and "We Are Not Good People". I respect the band for trying out a new sound but this does not have that 'Epic' feel of the previous albums. It's a must for Bloc Party fans but I don't think regular indie fans would give this a few spins. I love the band but this album didn't really do it for me.