Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Best Albums Of 2008 #8

Bloc Party-Intimacy

Bloc Party has run the gamut from indie darlings in the early-aughts to future saviors of music in the mid-aughts to supposed has-beens in the late-aughts. And that’s based on a handful of EP’s and only three (!) full-length albums. The London-based band has essentially been a victim of being built up to ridiculous expectations. Their latest album, Intimacy, has been alternately adored and dowsed in gasoline in the press. Depending on who you listen to, it’s either the sound of what’s next or a desperate last-gasp of a band on their way “out.”

The release of the amazing single “Flux” in late ‘07 (The track is, thankfully, included on many pressings of Intimacy) gave a huge clue as to the future direction of Bloc Party. So, the advance single “Mercury” came only as a mild sucker-punch with its keyboard-driven verses and funky chorus. But it’s at least an intriguing direction and one that comes as a surprise for a band that was touted as part of the post-punk revival. While many of their contemporaries are flaming out (Jack White) or falling off the radar (The Strokes), Bloc Party is at least trying to move forward, which is a welcome sign of things to come. Intimacy is a weird album, for sure, but it’s a great one.

“One Month Off”

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