A Weekend In The City
Exactly what Bloc Party fans were expecting with the band’s sophomore release, I won’t venture to say, but why A Weekend In The City has been getting criticized is the result of music critics making it virtually impossible for a band who has had a successful debut to follow it up with something equally as good (or, god forbid, better). Many critics are like fickle fans who love to discover a band first, build them up as the greatest thing to come along in decades, only to tear them down and throw them away when something else comes along. The curse of the sophomore slump is a falsehood created by journalists unwilling to stick with a band beyond the first record.
Guess what? I liked The Strokes’ second record better than Is This It?. And The Bends, not OK Computer is by far my favorite Radiohead which was worlds better than their first album!
This may be a good time to point out that though I write reviews I do not call myself a critic. Penny Lane was not a groupie, she was a band aid; I am not a critic, but a music commentator. I listen to a lot of music, I go to an absurd number of live shows and I have thoughts that have to get out as a result, but that’s all they are. Because I don’t take my words to be anything more than one music lover’s opinion, I am free to love or hate a band not because I’m supposed to, but because that’s how I feel.
Getting back to Bloc Party’s A Weekend In The City, I hear an extension of the art rock ideas begun on Silent Alarm. Their first release was a band searching for who they were, this long anticipated follow-up is a band becoming the idea they have in their minds. They’re not there yet, but they’ve taken huge steps in the direction of greatness.
“Hunting For Witches” and “The Prayer” are two of the best songs Bloc Party has written to date and they stand up to anything on Silent Alarm. And once more, it is the drumming of Matt Tong that really drives these songs, and this band’s music, into another realm.
Bloc Party: www.blocparty.com