Released on the web fully two months before it hits record stores, Bloc Party’s third album is as gleaming and hermetically sealed as one of Kubrick’s monoliths.
Rating: 7 / 10
Ed Power, 09 Sep 2008
Released on the web fully two months before it hits record stores (remember those, kids?), Bloc Party’s third album is as gleaming and hermetically sealed as one of Kubrick’s monoliths. Baroque grooves dart in and out of ear-shot, Kele Okereke’s falsetto sounds as if it was recorded at the bottom of a very deep mine-shaft – even when they try to cut loose, such as on the Interpol-go-Prodigy opener ‘Ares’ and the clattering single ‘Mercury’, clots of ennui are on hand to occlude the light.
To a degree, Bloc Party are reacting against last year’s toweringly portentous A Weekend In The City – where that record was plodding and self-serious, Intimacy is instinctive and sometimes even a little throwaway. But in other respects the two are perfect companion pieces: Okereke appears in the grip of an ongoing long-dark night of the soul; the LP explores similar themes of moral disgust and decay. Still, Intimacy does occasionally shake the lethargy out of its hair: the New Order-ised throb of ‘Ion Square’ is one of the prettiest things Bloc Party have done; ‘Signs’ and ‘One Month Off’ tip-toe through minor-key melancholia with goosebump raising results.
Key Track: ‘Ion Square’