Everybody Else Is Posting It, So Why Shouldn't We?: Bloc Party - "Mercury"
Based on the ridonkulous enthusiasm that the new Bloc Party track is getting throughout the blogosphere, I'm pretty sure we're going to get kicked out of the Nerdy McNerdington music club if we don't write about this song. Can't you hear the cries of "one of us! one of us! one of us!". Ian, block the door! April, grab the pitchforks! We gotta fight the powers that be! By which I mean we have to assume that bloggers are angry enough at us to actually leave their dark, cavernous basements from where the dwell to hunt us down and kill us. Fat chance of that happening.
Bloc Party's first record, Silent Alarm, was an album that rang the bell on the post-punk revival of the early aughts. The album's brash, youthful exuberance manifested itself into smart, bratty quotations of The Pretenders, XTC, Gang of Four, and a whole host of other post-punk acts. Driven by sharp, treble-y guitars, and fast tempos, Silent Alarm impressed many. Its follow-up, A Weekend In The City was a bit more divisive, because the group had jettisoned many of Alarm's charms to create more straightahead, anthemic album.
I guess that, in the span of an album, or whatever it is that will follow-up "Mercury" (remix record?) Bloc Part have gone from driving to Brighton to the weekend, they're going to arrive late to Williamsburg. This song almost has too much going on. It practically screams "EXPERIMENTAL THIRD ALBUM". Perhaps they were a bit stung by cries of sell-out based on the overt commercial calculation of their last album. As a result, it seems like Bloc Party decided to become overtly ambitious in an entirely experimental way. I thought City was an album that, while having incredible peaks, including the Morrissey-esque wit of "The Prayer", and the working-class sympathy escapist anthem "Waiting For The 7.18" (sweet jesus, I love that track), it was an album that ultimately sunk underneath its intentions. "Mercury" does the same. They've thrown in everything but the musical kitchen sunk. Ironically enough, nothing seems to stick.
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