First impressions of Intimacy

I guess that 'Signs', track six, was the first time on 'Intimacy', the rush-released new record from Bloc Party, where I thought "What the fuck is this?". 'Kid A' style bells, lyrics about ravens and bluebells? That said, by the time the huge strings arrive, I'm won over. I still don't like 'Mercury', though, with its shout-outs to hipster neighbourhoods and the word "retrograde". That one aside, it's a pretty solid record. 'Ares' is a jarring opener, one of their fastest songs yet. I like 'One Month Off' and 'Halo' because they sound, as promised, like first album 'Silent Alarm' songs.

'Biko' is slower but with its heart in the right place. There's a lot (a LOT) of programmed beats, which work reasonably well throughout the record. They sit nicely over the huge wall of choral voices on 'Zepherus'. I thought 'Trojan Horse' was okay, reminded me of 'Where is Home?' from the last record. Loops carry 'Better than Heaven' until it bursts into life, which is especially thrilling but does it make up for a dull first three minutes? Nearly. The last track builds nicely, sounds a lot to me like 'Always New Depths' was in mind when they did this one.

I seem to be among the minority when I say that I quite liked 'A Weekend in the City', but 'Intimacy' comes off as a pretty good album on the first listen. And considering nobody expected a new Bloc Party album a few days ago, let's be thankful and dance like bastards.

[Bloc Party myspace / official site]
[buy 'Intimacy']


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