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The Blue & Gray Press | December 15, 2017

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Band Could Stay All Week

By MEGAN KELLY

Bloc Party is back with their sophomore album, “A Weekend in the City.”  For those fans who were disappointed with the re-mixed version of their debut, “Silent Alarm,” the new album will restore faith in why you were originally a fan of this indie quartet from London.
The album is a milestone for the band, which consists of vocalist/guitarist Kele Okereke, Russell Lissack on guitar, bassist Gordon Moakes and drummer Matt Tong. Without alienating fans of their earlier work, the boys have created an amazing sound that is less techno and more rock. On “A Weekend in the City,” they have created a complete fusion of the world of rock and the essence of Bloc Party.
The first single, “The Prayer,” is not as progressive or serious as the rest of the album, which makes it good because it is still recognizable to Bloc Party fans. But it is also not an accurate representation of the album.  The second single, “I Still Remember,” demonstrates the evolution of the band.
Yes, it is important that Bloc Party has redeemed itself from the release of the remixed album. And yes, it is also important that the album portrays their growth as a band.  But after listening to “A Weekend in the City,” it is evident that this is one of the most direct and honest social commentaries to be released in recent years.
On the band’s Web site, Okereke says that he wrote much of the album while observing “all the freedom and chaos and success and tension…that swirled around him between Saturday night and Sunday morning.”
Okereke also calls the album, “a chronicle of post-millennial Britain.” But it is easily seen that everything which Okereke feels and observes can be applied to life here in the United States, and possibly to many other modern countries as well.
The opening track, “Song for Clay (Disappear Here)“ is a song of desolation and desperation for change.  It is perhaps the song which will mean the most to the current generation of young people. It illustrates the life of a person trying to make changes on his own, when everything in the world is going wrong, and he has no control.
Okereke sings, “I am trying to be heroic/ As all around me history sinks.”  What happens? Eventually, one gives up, and finds it is easier to surround oneself with materialism and ignorance: “So I enjoy
and I devour/ Flesh and wine and luxury/ But in my heart I am so lukewarm/Nothing ever really touches me.”
The fear and apprehension of the post-9/11 world is confronted in “Hunting For Witches.”  The song opens with a line about the singer becoming a vigilante after hearing on the news that, “the enemy is among us,” and closes with the lines, “There must be accountability/ Disparate and misinformed/ Fear keeps us all in place.”
One of the “lighter” songs on the album, “Sunday,” is destined to grace weekend away messages everywhere.  With lines like, “Heavy night, it was a heavy night/ I cannot remember what I said to anyone/ If we get up now, we can catch the afternoon” it could be a college student’s anthem.
Finally, “Uniform” is perhaps the most complex, forcing the listener to ask himself the question: If everyone has become a rebel, what can be considered unique?  This song weeps for a generation of apathy and disinterest.
As a generation, we continuously fight within ourselves over what we want to do, and what the world tells us we should do.  We want to fight, but we do not know what for.  We think, “I am a martyr I just need a cause.”
“A Weekend in the City”  forces us to become aware of it.  Maybe that will finally cause us to change.