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Bloc Party - Intimacy Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 7.25
Production 9
Creativity 7.75
Lasting Value 6
Reviewer Tilt 7
Final Verdict: 78%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 8
Production 8.58
Creativity 9.58
Lasting Value 8.58
Reviewer Tilt 8.75
Average: 87%
Inside AP.net

Bloc Party - Intimacy

Reviewed by: Daftendirekt (11/23/08)
Bloc Party - Intimacy
Record Label: Wichita (UK) / Vice (US)
Release Date: October 28, 2008


As a band with a contract that covers four albums, and with four members, Bloc Party decided that each album would have more input and influence from each of the four. Intimacy has more input from their drummer Matt Tong. Only a year since A Weekend In The City, which was considered a weaker outing than Silent Alarm according to many, the band have seemingly struck the middle ground between these albums' differing emphases, while also adding a newer, electronic drum beat and sampling element, similar to their single "Flux."

Intimacy was released back in August on digital download, where it featured only 10 of the songs. The retail version was released in October, and contained 3 more tracks, as well as "Flux."

Okereke's lyrics on this album are mainly concerned, rather directly, with his recent break-up in his relationship. The way in which he discusses his previous relationship is very direct and honest. Vocally Okereke barks out the lyrics more than he sings them, as he did in A Weekend In The City for most of the songs, which adds a greater energy and vibrancy to the songs. The band also samples his voice to the point where it almost becomes an instrument in itself. His voice also therefore fits in much more successfully with the rest of the band.

The first and second tracks, "Ares" and "Mercury," draw heavily from the Big-Beat style of the mid-90s, recalling Chemical Brothers. "Ares" is a war cry, starting with processed guitars, and then Okereke "War, war, war, war/I want to declare a war." A bleak chorus of "We dance to the sound of sirens" is repeated throughout the song, which seems especially appropriate with the electronically rendered accompaniment. "Mercury" is the lead single for the album, and opens with "M-Mercury's in retrograde" unaccompanied. This song is a classic Bloc Party build up, starting with the voice (which has been used throughout the song, electronically), then adding the drums, and then the horns. It's unlike the remainder of the record, and I have no idea why it was the lead single. "Halo" is a more usual Bloc Party offering, not dissimilar to anything on Silent Alarm, a guitar driven rocker type.

After this, the best song on the album, "Biko." This is one song where Okereke's softer singing actually works well, and the lyrics "Biko, toughen up" are probably the most emotional and heartfelt on the album, especially when they're coming from the softer background voice. The song builds up really well, adding in stronger drums throughout the song. "Biko" is not overly sappy or sentimental; rather it is poignant and feels like a deep feeling has been liberated from Kele.

After this the album is a sort of mish-mash of what's been before, in no apparent order as in Silent Alarm, probably reflecting the rushed nature of the album as a whole. "Trojan Horse" and "One Month Off" are fast paced, electronically influenced tracks, whereas "Signs" and "Zephyrus" are slower, higher-pitched, more introspective, with odd bells and choral chanting with strings respectively occupying the backgrounds. "Talons," the second single on the album (which also wasn't on the initial digital release) starts electronically, but then progresses naturally into guitars and drums, with Okereke singing about a cryptic arrival of some description (I don't know what). "Ion Square" is another Silent Alarm-style builder, slowly increasing the tension using repeating percussion which the the track pace, while "Better Than Heaven" is a slow electronic increase to a intense finale, but is less successful than "Ion Square."

This is an album that will divide. The experiments on "Ares" and "Mercury," the digital release, and the way in which, musically, it falls between their other two albums all contribute to the sense that this is not quite what the band had hoped it might be. It seems in someway unfinished, in spite of the added songs. The songs on this album are good, but there's nothing life-changing here. Hopefully on their next release they can use the proper preparation, such as touring the album first, and settle down on what they are good at; seeing as it is Okereke's influence which will be prevalent, the hopes are high.

Recommended if You LikeBig Beat style drums; previous Bloc Party, particularly Silent Alarm; cleverer indie rock

myspace.com/blocparty
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 15
05:41 PM on 12/05/08
#2
mexicanjesus
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I LOVE this album, it's no Silent Alarm but leaps and bounds greater than a Weekend in the City. One of my favorites of the year
09:22 PM on 12/07/08
#3
trash zoo
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"As a band with a contract that covers four albums, and with four members, Bloc Party decided that each album would have more input and influence from each of the four. Intimacy has more input from their drummer Matt Tong."

that's interesting if it's true
which member correlates to the other 2 albums ?
10:06 PM on 12/07/08
#4
mycuban
hermits.bandcamp.com
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i dont like this record very much. but to each his own.
10:07 PM on 12/07/08
#5
markcanole
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i loved weekend in the city, almost but not quite as much as silent alarm, cant wait to check this one out.
11:04 PM on 12/07/08
#6
sexcells
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i am going on sunday to see them in phoenix. ya i know i am lucky.
06:24 AM on 12/08/08
#7
princesschad
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This album is so good. It trumps A Weekend in the City easily, and at times is better than Silent Alarm.
06:39 AM on 12/08/08
#8
redsand62
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This album took a little while to get into, but it's more than worth it. I've had it on repeat for quite awhile now. Right now it's currently my favorite bloc party record (we'll see a few months from now if silent alarm goes back on top)


and im assuming that silent alarm was more guitar driven while a weekend in the city was more of the bassist having the input? if that's true.
07:33 AM on 12/08/08
#9
xName Takenx
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"As a band with a contract that covers four albums, and with four members, Bloc Party decided that each album would have more input and influence from each of the four. Intimacy has more input from their drummer Matt Tong."

that's interesting if it's true
which member correlates to the other 2 albums ?
I have also heard this, except I was under the impression that Kele's design was for Weekend in the City...
08:02 AM on 12/08/08
heyozzie
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i've got a late pass to this band but i'm so glad i gave them a shot. i've been hooked on this cd since it came out. seeing them at lolla really made an impression on me.
10:17 AM on 12/08/08
Phil507
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I like this band, though they take themselves WAY too seriously.
10:29 AM on 12/08/08
arsulli01
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great album....was hoping it would gain more recognition as people gave it time to sink in. It may catch you slightly off guard at first but if you have some patience with it you will find new aspects of the record to enjoy with each listen. Definitely staying in my rotation heavily for a while.
01:30 PM on 12/08/08
con40dmitri
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not a fan thus far, this one might take some time to get used to for me.
07:30 PM on 12/16/08
Daftendirekt
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I think AWITC was Russell's influence.
06:05 PM on 07/07/13
SILYW
Canadian Mall Marriage 6000
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I have also heard this, except I was under the impression that Kele's design was for Weekend in the City...

Anyone found a source that this concept is true?
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