Four

Studio Album by released in 2012

Four review

Bloc Party have come round

A band’s true front man is a standout figure, most influential member who, in certain cases, is capable of bringing his collective to success on his own and, also solely, putting an end to its prospects. Dark-colored lad Kele Okereke became a perfect performer to a part of vocalist, leader, hero and… almost a slayer of popular English band Bloc Party. After a successful start in shape of two excellent full-length records, the ensemble entered a troubling period of creative uncertainty. Kele, too much into synthesizers and electrical sounds of each and every thing, was too persistent, which caused Bloc Party album number three to be extremely experimental. While some were delighted by it, others swore to never turn to the band. However, the band itself was on the verge of never turning to the audience as shortly after that release the members parted their ways to tend individual projects. Time told them that none of those initiatives stood chance to be a substitute for Bloc Party, and after a long hiatus the ensemble resumed activity. Four years after the previous release, the four Englishmen presented their fourth album which they could not but name Four.

More complexity, more rawness, more heaviness

They say, the restored band held the first rehearsals without their vocalist, who allegedly came to his senses timely and hurried to end his synthesizer games coming back to Bloc Party. Kele seems to have also become more cooperative: we can hear all kinds of new things on Four, none having anything to do with quantity or quality of electronic components in the music. Instead, Okereke sings in his real voice, doing without computerized assisting, upgrading or uplifting, which looks as part of the producer’s decision to offer a raw, truly rock and roll sounding. Indeed, there is a great variety and amount of rock and roll here. Four is totally dominated by guitars which are commanded by the refreshed and encouraged bassist Gordon Moates, who kept fit with a hardcore project. Drummer Matt Tong also put all his efforts in this record as he reduced standard consequences to minimum and replaced them with more interesting and difficult combinations. In fact, Bloc Party’s whole music has become more complex, and in some songs, like Coliseum, it leans towards a progressive indie rock genre. Old fans will be astounded by tracks Team A, and We Are Not Good People. With stuff as heavy and aggressive like those you can easily perform at the universal headbangers Wacken festival.

A lot of work ahead

Despite all the efforts made by Bloc Party to establish a new sounding, the new album’s best track is Octopus which is executed by example of the ensemble’s old hits. On the whole, the musicians seem to be having a chaos in their heads as if they have not yet agreed on what to play and how to play. Four kicks off confusingly leaving listeners lost in their guesses, and it continues the same way as it offers at time very nice pieces, which, alas, lack a common stylistic basis. That is why alongside rough, purely guitar-driven, tracks we come to discover ballad The Healing, airy Day Four, touching Real Talk, and directly pop-styled V.A.L.I.S. These sings convince that the musicians still remember how to write and play good material, but they will need a lot of time to regain the past enthusiasm and creative impulse that helped them enter the music elite so confidently. So far, we have Four, making us happy with the very fact of its existence as a sign of Bloc Party back on track and the band’s great desire to bring back the days of past glory.