Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Bloc Party – One More Chance

Indie-house meltdown of indeterminate sexuality alert!


Anthony Easton: I’m not even going to give you a chance to finish the song.

Martin Kavka: Hiding behind a piano-house beat from 1997, Kele Okereke proves that when he has nothing to say except hackneyed TrustMeICanChange-isms, a dumped queer man (bi, questioning, whatever) can be just as pitiful as a dumped straight one. I suppose that this is progress, but I don’t at all enjoy admitting it.

Kat Stevens: I’ve always been so disappointed with Bloc Party – while there’s nothing wrong with their production or attitude, their songs are just… not good enough. This is the best track of theirs I’ve heard so far, but it’s still sadly forgettable.

Michaelangelo Matos: These guys have always struck me as fundamentally boring, and this disco grind doesn’t convince me I was wrong. That said, the singing isn’t that much worse than lots of early-rave records I enjoy for sentimental reasons alone–but it’s blanker. I can’t tell if he’s too wary of exposing itself too much emotionally or a hair too passionately flailing for his own good, but either way it ain’t happening.

Alfred Soto: This catchy queer-disco hybrid PiL’s “Swan Lake” and a Fine Young Cannibals track from 1986 restores much of this fading act’s urgency. But it’s hard to accept that “this time it will be different” when Kele Okereke can’t summon half the urgency of, say, Antony Hegarty.

Martin Skidmore: The piano backing is occasionally appealing in an old Italian house sort of way, but the vocal is horrible – very flat and unusually posh (“chaunce” particularly raised my hackles, for some reason) – and the music very clumsy.

Iain Mew: Very much ‘intersting diversion en route to next album’ rather than ‘killer standalone’, but fun nonetheless. To some extent it’s the flipside of “Mercury”, taking its busy repetition and using it to set up a groove to play around with, rather than bludgeoning with the force of its chorus. Hits its height when floating up on the simple piano loop and making space for a dizzying array of stuttering vocals and effects take over, before the final chorus brings things slowly back to earth.

Chuck Eddy: As far as I can tell, they’ve totally lost their modicum of Gang Of Four-ish staccato bite since. Though as Brit bands who presumably play their own instruments go, they still seem moderately propulsive here.

Jonathan Bradley: That house piano is actually a rather effective hook, even if it turns out to be a pretty lazy one; “One More Chance” lacks the depth of this band’s best tunes (“This Modern Love,” for instance, or “Banquet” and “I Still Remember”). Yet, though the band’s appropriation of dance music sounds is as tinged with the same balance of enthusiasm and awkwardness as previous efforts at the same (for instance, earlier non-album single, “Flux”), their earnest desire to step outside their comfort zone is laudable. Since they have a keen facility with rhythm, if not always a good grasp of how to use it, it makes sense. The largely graceless 2008 album Intimacy was an occasionally rewarding mess; “One More Chance” could be an indication that record was a transition rather than an endpoint.

Alex Ostroff: Like most recent Bloc Party tracks, this would be great if only Kele weren’t on it. On Silent Alarm, he filled the space between the riffs almost intuitively, but has since completely lost the ability to adapt his voice to the needs of an instrumental, dominating the song and awkwardly emoting all over. This is a shame, because underneath his wailing, the band has finally gone full-out house, with a lovely bouncing piano riff and pounding drums that deserve far better.

Edward Okulicz: The piano is briefly lovely until you realise this sounds exactly like Audio Bullys’ first album, but not as good, and possibly with poorer singing – I’d never noticed how bad Kele Okereke’s voice was before.

One Response to “Bloc Party – One More Chance”

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