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THE REGULAR REVIEW: Bloc Party – Four (Frenchkiss)

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Bloc Party - Four

By Princess Stomper

There’s nothing wrong with FourIt’s a collection of solidly written, flawlessly performed indie rock songs that sound almost exactly like Muse, and therein lies the problem. There just isn’t any reason for Four to exist. I’d say it had a lot of energy, but it doesn’t really – just sequences of chords played quickly, which is not the same thing. It wouldn’t be bad if it didn’t sound like a weaker version of Foo Fighters on a good day. I wouldn’t have listened to this at all were it not for Daniel Thackray’s unorthodox review. What’s most surprising is that I don’t hate it at all. It’s not offensively bad, or even really bad. It’s just … unnecessary. As superfluous to pop’s great canon as Necessary is essential.

Of all the records I’ve ever heard, Four is one of them.

I’m listening to ‘3×3’. Muse’s existence makes Bloc Party redundant. (Muse and Radiohead never nullified each other because Muse zigged when Radiohead zagged; Muse simply picked up the slack when they changed direction. If Muse bounded off into Venezuelan flute jazz, there might be a vacancy for Bloc Party, but I don’t see that happening soon.) ‘Octopus’ continues in the vein of every other track on here: each meticulously-arranged, competently performed, glossy and inoffensive coffee table slab of radio-friendly complaint rock.

“If God is Got then why is he secret?” they ask on ‘We Are Not Good People’. It’s boil-in-the-bag existential angst for people who thought The Butterfly Effect was deep. It’s rock for the rock heat of The X-Factor. It’s Gap Music.

By ‘Day Four’ I’m actually starting to feel depressed. Time is precious and I’m wasting this on Glee-rock. (A perverse smile creeps over my face as I imagine Rachel’s autotuned overwrought earnestness. The “spontaneous” corridor dance moves. A duet.) I can’t imagine anyone other than Muse fans who’d need this in their lives: I’m purely reviewing this because now we had your attention I thought it was only fair to give it a decent hearing.

Can I in all conscience recommend this? To the Muse fan, sure. To anyone else? It’s not awful – but every single second you spend with this is a second you could have spent with this

or this

or this

or this.


Related posts: REVIEWED IN ABSTRACT: Bloc Party – Four (Frenchkiss)

8 Responses to THE REGULAR REVIEW: Bloc Party – Four (Frenchkiss)

  1. Debbie Harry August 16, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Really well written. I mean it. You’ve honestly made me question what it is I love about one of my favourite bands in Bloc Party. Really don’t get the Muse comparison, though.

  2. Everett True August 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Eh? How’s that possible? You got that comment up before I’d even posted the review.

  3. Debbie Harry August 16, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Time continuum.

  4. tom_violence August 17, 2012 at 3:00 am

    i take it back…the firsr review was fine.
    sounds like a mediocre record indeed though nothing like Muse or the Foo Fighters (thats cruel)

    Not sure what the point of posting that josef Mullholern video though. any second spent listening to him is wasted when you could be listening to the first two patrick wolf albums.

  5. Princess Stomper August 17, 2012 at 5:40 am

    LOL! Horses for courses and all that: while I appreciate Patrick Wolf is an accomplished songwriter, his music just leaves me completely cold.

  6. Princess Stomper August 18, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Wait, Muse doing the “dubstep” thing? Jeez, guys, I was kidding! O.o

  7. dan August 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    tom, i’ve actually had the pleasure of hearing joseph mulhollen’s music (and i’ve seen him live which i suggest you get a chance to do if he is ever performing in your area) and while this song does perhaps have a little bit of an industrial edge to it, which is also prevalent in some of wolf’s earlier work, they actually sound nothing alike, aside from the fact that they are both excellent singers. joseph’s music in general has more of a rock edge to it (though i see how you can take this particular song and compare it), and while he may not be the instrumentalist that wolf is, i find his songs to be much more heartfelt and dynamic, with much better lyric writing. i love patrick wolf but his lyrics are cheesy as hell.

  8. Princess Stomper August 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Oh, I hadn’t taken Tom’s comment to mean that they sounded alike, merely that he thought Wolf’s music was better than Mulhollen. My inclusion of the last four clips was indeed to suggest that those songs were, I felt, a better use of my time because they add something unusual to the musical mix. Mulhollen is the only hipster-folk-industrial chap I’m currently aware of. William D Drake makes a sort of caricatured Englishness that doesn’t really exist any more and probably never existed at all. Daft Punk, sure, sound a lot like Hans Zimmer, but with a unique twist that sets them apart. That Marc Almond track … hands down, never heard anything like it. I’d say it’s the sort of thing Foetus might come up with, but you might recognise the percussionist.

    *bounds off to check out Patrick Wolf’s early stuff*

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