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BLOC PARTY – ALPHA GAMES – ALBUM REVIEW
It has been 6 years since Bloc Party released their last album, 2016’s ‘Hymns’. Since then solo projects, anniversary tours, pandemics and life in general have taken over, but now they are back with their sixth studio album, ‘Alpha Games’.
The group of course shot to prominence with debut album, ‘Silent Alarm’ back in 2005 and their career took them into huge venues across the world. Recent years however haven’t seen a great deal of activity from the band, with a couple of line-up changes also occurring.
It’s hard now to take stock of where the band fit into the musical landscape, are they are nostalgia act, or a creative entity still? Are they full time or part time? What direction are they heading musically?
Well, the fact we are discussing a new album demonstrates that the band still appears a viable commodity. This is great news as the band always did stand out from the crowded indie scene of the so called noughties.
Predecessor ‘Hymns’ however received rather mixed reviews, so how will ‘Alpha Games’ fare and how will it position the band moving forward?
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There are lots of questions here, but as soon as the album starts you sense the Bloc Party of old. Not in a rehash, cash in way but instead in the innovative and sonically diverse way that helped make them unique in the first place.
Opening duo ‘Day Drinker’ and ‘Traps’ set the standard early and the rest of the album manages to hold that level with only one or two slight lulls. There is a good mix of faster and slower numbers and the album flows pretty well with little drag.
This is a decent Bloc Party album that is well worth a listen, but it doesn’t really answer all the questions. Whilst this isn’t a lazy effort by any stretch of the imagination it isn’t groundbreaking either. It almost feels like the band hitting the reset button after a period of meandering change. Where they go next will be interesting.
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