Bloc Party 

A Weekend in the City (Vice/Atlantic)

Bloc Party has officially moved beyond the indie-dance-punk found on Silent Alarm to brilliant discussions of urban-kid confusion on A Weekend in the City. Kele Okereke bravely discusses a schoolboy crush in "I Still Remember," tackles weekend drudgery with "On" and addresses racially motivated violence in the heartbreaking "Where Is Home?" Dance beats still litter the album, but searing rock guitar lines balance Okereke's distinctive, plaintive vocals, and backing harmonies and chanting play up occasional religious imagery ("Uniform"). Weekend's first single, "The Prayer," and "Song for Clay (Disappear Here)" still exhibit most of the Brit-pop pretension evident on Silent Alarm, but Bloc Party largely parlays some of its attitude into mindfulness, composure and an album that — despite its seemingly depressive topics — holds within it inklings of hope.

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