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Bloc Party 

A Weekend in the City Vice Records

Wednesday, Mar 7 2007
A crush can be such a mushy and inelegant experience. Unrequited love feigns the poetic even as it's pathetic. And full-on obsession has its big-budget explosions. But a band reaching for a tingling inkling of intimacy is like a romantic comedy: stammery as it is sincere, and inevitably soft in the middle. A Weekend in the City, the sophomore full-length by East London quartet Bloc Party, is like a crush, shifting from a dramatically confrontational mode to a fawning and heavy-handed mood.

Now, it's often laudable when artists stop hiding behind issues and delve in to why they have issues. But there's a disconnect between Weekend's overloaded rhyme and reason, and the newly sickened post-punk band's formerly wiry grounding. Definitive gestures are U2 (or at least Coldplay) sized, but the disc's production flutters on the edge of distracting affectation and frontman Kele Okerele's awkwardly crooned aspirations shy further from the universally identifiable. Bloc Party debuted all angular kiss-off physicality, but now the group sounds more overcompensating, in a haze of kiss-and-tell sentimentality. A band's adolescence doesn't last, but puberty's pleased-with-itself prose is a bitch to sit through. — Tony Ware

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Tony Ware


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