Wednesday, February 14

Track Review: Bloc Party

“I Still Remember”
from “A Weekend in the City”

A couple of weeks ago, I was pretty excited for “A Weekend in the City”, Bloc Party’s sophomore album. Their first album, “Silent Alarm”, was an all around solid indie/dance rock record and one of the nice surprises of 2005. The production was a little on the thin side, but I believe it added to the band’s overall sound, as the songs could’ve easily gotten pushed into the “overproduced” category. Also, the band just kept releasing strong singles one after another with “Helicopter,” “Banquet,” and “Pioneers.”

Bloc Party’s first single, “I Still Remember” in the US for A Weekend in the City, though, sucks. A lot. First of all, it does not even come close to reaching the tempos or energy of any of the songs from the previous album. And why does it start out with just ambience? And then a weak guitar intro that could easily be mistaken as a Coldplay riff? In no way should this be a single, it lacks any energy whatsoever and does not make people excited and want to hear more from this band. So far, there are already three horrible decisions with this song, and I’ve only gotten twenty seconds into it.

With the slower tempo, most of the instruments have loosened up significantly, especially the drummer. This is a little disheartening, as I had loved the rhythmic precision and overall tightness of the entire band all throughout "Silent Alarm". Oh well, at least the vocals make up for it, right? No. Kele Okereke is singing like he’s tired and wants to go to bed. He is just sitting and laying back on the notes and words, while he really should be pushing the song forward when no one else will. And the lyrics? Really really sappy and cheesy.

Nothing much goes right in this song, from all the forgettable guitar parts to the plain and uninspired performance from the drummer and all around. Even the production is off; it seems like they’re trying to polish their sound too much, and it comes out a little like The Killers. It really is a shame, as this is not how I wanted to feel just before the release of “A Weekend in the City”. I refuse to buy it now, and I’ll have to be pretty impressed with the rest of the material before I think about buying. And judging by “The Prayer” (The UK single), those chances aren’t likely.

Bloc Party - I Still Remember

- John Higgins -

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