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Bloc Party has a strong following comprised of two types of fans: there are fans that embrace their constant evolution and fans that want them to record Silent Alarm over and over and over again. After listening to Four - an album Okereke says got its title not because it was the band`s fourth album, but rather because it was a raw sound of four guys playing in room together - this record will both satisfy fans from both camps, and alienate some fans from both camps. Interested in always evolving, Bloc Party ditched both of their former producers, Jackknife Lee and Paul Epworth, and recruited producer Alex Newport of Mars Volta fame. Newport suggested that Bloc Party make a record the old-fashioned way: no ProTools, no layering, no over-synthesized effects. The outcome is a record that, at times, rocks harder than anything that the band has ever done.Read more ›
Frontman Kele Okereke has emphasized in interviews how 'Four' is just about four guys just jamming it out in the studio. He isn't lying: the production is minimal, the tracks go off in all sorts of directions (sometimes quite heavy) and there's nary a trace of their usual electronic influences to be found. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as a mediocre Bloc Party jam session is better than most band's best efforts, but by this post-punk foursome's standards they are phoning it in. The whole album smells of contractual obligation to me.
That's not to say there aren't good songs on here. Your mileage may vary (as evidenced by other reviews here) but for my money I find 'Real Talk', 'Kettling' and 'VALIS' quite enjoyable, while stuff like the opener 'So He Begins To Lie' feel derivative and forgettable. Mediocrity from Bloc Party? Say it ain't so!
There are tracks I dig on this album but I feel like the production (can it be called that? it literally sounds like they just turned on the soundboard and started playing) doesn't serve them well. Kele's got one of those unique voices that has to be handled carefully, and here it is too often buried in the mix or standing out above everything else, and not in a good way.
After several years full of rumors of the band's demise, I'm glad to see an album from them in any form.Read more ›
Where more indie-rock groups have decidedly gone more electronic in recent times, Bloc Party's FOUR is raw in comparison. Even with the beginning of the album, the band has taken an approach that is messy and streamlined: "So He Begins to Lie" gives a false start before launching into the song proper. The track leads into "3x3," a song that picks up the pace even further. The album-promoting single "Octopus" serves as a highlight of the album, and it's a good representative sample for the rest of the album (guitar-centric, with the vocalist pleading with his trademark vocals). FOUR's first downtempo song, "Real Talk" is a great detour that veers in some unexpected places. The Philip K. Dick-inspired "V.A.L.I.S." is a decent enough song, but it's head-bobbing, hand-clapping beat is infectious. The lyrics here aren't nearly as revealing or heartbreaking as they were on previous albums (particularly A WEEKEND IN THE CITY), with much of the content here focusing on anarchy and paranoia.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't know they had it in them, Silent Alarm still remains to be one of my favorate albums in history, very powerful, very punchy post punk/ new wave/indie, incredibly... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Chase Enjoys Music
There are a couple decent tracks, but it's kind of bland compared to the first two albums.Published 7 months ago by Jason Walker
If you like Bloc Party's first album, which is simply brilliant, then you'll love this one too. Following in the same vain, but sufficiently more complex and deep to add enough... Read morePublished on May 21, 2014 by Tony A in the USA
It alternates between slightly aggressive rock sounds and lighter ballads, but entertaining from start to finish. Read morePublished on December 31, 2013 by o
I am shocked that Bloc Party felt this was an album worth releasing. I've been a huge fan since their first EP, and, sadly, have to say that Four is nothing I can imagine... Read morePublished on October 1, 2013 by Eric Bradley
I love Bloc Party! This album would be great if you like the band and their great music, and for your collection.Published on August 6, 2013 by Now