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Silent Alarm

Bloc Party

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Album Review

Much more polished, serious, and straight-ahead than their initial EPs suggested, Bloc Party's debut album, Silent Alarm, reveals them as a band equally informed by taut art-punk and the grand gestures and earnestness of groups like Coldplay and U2. Though they're not quite as stadium-sized expansive as either of those two bands (yet), Bloc Party sound a lot more comfortable making proclamations like "Positive Tension"'s "Something glorious is about to happen/A reckoning!" than contemporaries like Franz Ferdinand or the Futureheads would be. Silent Alarm is also more varied than Bloc Party's early work indicated it might be, spanning edgy pop, atmospheric ballads, and angular, percussive tracks that are all served well by the album's big, layered production. The great single "Banquet" and even better opening track, "Like Eating Glass," put Bloc Party's heart-on-sleeve emotions in the service of tight, energetic songwriting that makes their earnestness a little easier to swallow. The gorgeous ballads also make the most of Bloc Party's emotional directness: "Blue Light," "This Modern Love," and "So Here We Are" are some of Silent Alarm's finest moments, with a tension and impact that show how powerful even their softest songs can be. As both the band and album's names imply, Silent Alarm is an overtly political album. Bloc Party fare better than many other bands that dip into that fray, but the results are still mixed: the well-intentioned no-blood-for-oil sentiments of "Price of Gas" are heavy-handed, but "Helicopter"'s Bush-bashing and the antiwar "Pioneers" ("We promised the world we'd tame it/What were we hoping for?") are relatively subtle, and work fairly well as political pop manifestos. As dynamic as Silent Alarm is, it's not perfect: Kele Okereke's yelpy vocals get a little grating on the less melodic songs, and the second half of the album doesn't quite sustain the momentum it had at the beginning, although the bonus remixes of "Plans" by Mogwai, and "Pioneers"" by M83 help make up for this. Although it wouldn't hurt if there were more "party" (the celebratory kind, not the political one) in Silent Alarm, it's still a fine debut album with a lot of passion and polish; it's hard not to respect, if not fully embrace, the intensity and integrity of Bloc Party's music.

Customer Reviews

My Album Review of Silent Alarm

Indie Rock could be defined by many albums this year but the fact is in my book that this was one of the best. I will rate the songs as they blast out of my computer. First of All I bought this around April and it was at an Independent record store which all people should support. Like Eating Glass- 7 1/2 stars- really fun just pretty average the end is the best part. Helicopter- 8 1/2 stars- astonishing but gets old after you've listened to it a thousand times. Positive Tension-8 1/2 stars- great bass riff interesting lyrics and one swear word make this song amazing! I cant figure out why parental advisory though Banquet- 9 stars - Like many of you this is why i bought the album I love the verses just not the chorus as much but still proves to be great after many listens. Blue Light- 9 stars- You know what I really like this song slow yet gets this awesome celtic like guitar going through it. She's Hearing Voices- 7 stars- Im sry guys but this is my least fav song on the record not as solid as I was hoping. This Modern Love- 9 stars- One Word Fun, Do you want to come over and kill some time this is truly the lyric that makes bloc party a art rock band. The Pioneers- 7 stars- Okay just not my fitting Price of Gasoline- 8 stars- I like the tropical guitar sound it feels pretty sweet after you listen to it but not one of my favorites. Little Thoughts- 9 1/2 stars- WoW i was unbelievably graced by this song and I am thankful. This was one hell of a song So Here We Are- 10 stars- Hauntingly beautiful is the only way I can describe this song loved it and still do there is no song that can capture the essence of this album like So here we are. Favorite song Luno- 10 stars- Only reason I am giving this ten stars is because of the chorus brilliantly done and fast as Gordon mumbles Luno under Kele's Voice I was dancing as fast as I could. My favorite part of the album was the chorus. But I wasnt to big on the fuzzed out bass even though it sounded good just wasnt my thing all the time. But on the Remix album Death from Above 1979 did a splendid job and I was actually suprised. Plans- 8 1/2 stars you know what this was a great song for the guitar solo and that was it really but still great. Compliments- 9 1/2 stars- Its nice to finish off the album with one of your fav songs isnt it well Compliments to me was losing my friends to drugs and drinking and it is nothing else except a beautiful droning noise in the background. The Album: Final Moment Drum Roll Please.... 9 1/2 stars I loved this album its just a fact even though there was some cons there was more pros

Oh, one of "those records".

When I first picked up Bloc Party, it was from sheer curiosity from the buzz at 2005's Coachella. I was not disappointed. Silent Alarm is so good, it's a little bit scary. I started off hooked on three or four songs and soon I found myself lovng the entire album. Listening to the record straight through is never, ever a problem. Yeah, it's one of those albums. Though Bloc Party has been labeled as one of the indie children of the new wave revolution--they are so much more. Their sound is unique and has purpose; the lyrics constantly question the expectations that surround our daily lives ("Luno") or the state of world politics ("Helicopter"). The vocals of Kele Okereke will impress you everytime you listen and the band is so right on, you'll be hooked from the first track.

Perfect

Bloc Party is one of the Englands best new bands. Their singles "Banquet" and "So here We Are" have scored big In Britan, and deserves to be big in America. The only thing that exceeds their musical prowess is Kele's vocal and lyrical genious. Tracks like "Like Eating Glass" and "Helecopter" are fast paced and your foot will not stop tapping to Matt Tong's percussion genious. Their fast songs are foiled with their a lighter side such as "So Here We Are" and "Blue Light" each with the catchiness of the rest of the album. Silent Alarm will keep the "best new band" alarm in your head ringing until you think "Your Hearing Voices"

Biography

Formed: London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Equally inspired by Sonic Youth, Joy Division, Gang of Four, and the Cure, East London art punkers Bloc Party mix angular sonics with pop structures. Consisting of singer/guitarist Kele Okereke, guitarist Russell Lissack, bassist/singer Gordon Moakes, and drummer Matt Tong, the band was formerly known as Angel Range and Union before settling on Bloc Party. Okereke and Lissack met each other through mutual friends at the Reading Festival, and discovered that they had musical tastes as well as friends...
Full Bio
Silent Alarm, Bloc Party
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Alternative, Music, Rock, Indie Rock, Electronic
  • Released: Mar 22, 2005

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