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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Bloc Party
A Weekend in the City

Rating: 8.5/10 ?

March 2, 2007
If 2007 has revealed anything, it's that the indie darling status placed on the collective heads of so many over the past few years was well deserved. Sophomore efforts from bands like The Arcade Fire and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have only served to support the critical praise garnered on the debut releases of each. Now, Bloc Party finds themselves up to bat.

A Weekend in the City stretches itself wider than its predecessor, Silent Alarm. After all, the former album was hailed for its ability to party and rock simultaneously, with its infectious dance-rock signaling a welcome change on the indie scene. Now, vocalist Kele Okereke and company have crafted a decisively experimental, somber approach to ruminate on topics like sexuality, drugs, and depression.

Changes in hand, Bloc Party still largely succeeds. Weekend's opener "Song for Clay (Disappear Here)" finds Okereke's falsetto leading the listener ear-first into Matt Tong's relentless snare before guitarist Rusell Lissack's throbbing riffs take over. It's a welcome individual introduction to the group's members until Okereke takes center stage again, flatly declaring that "East London is a vampire."

"Uniform" takes a more straightforward approach than most of Bloc Party's traditional fare, sounding more like The Killers created a rock opera. "The Prayer" espouses spiritual overtones with its monastic chanting atop handclap samples. The combination works well and the lead single is on one of the decidedly darker tracks on Weekend.

As one might expect, the most poignant moments on the album are also the most experimental. "On" rings out like a B-Side from Hail to the Thief and finds the standard Bloc Party build toward the end with strings and all. "SXRT" closes the album with a Euro-rock vibe that Sigur Rós would be proud of.

Even with the changes, Bloc Party clearly emerges as another indie band able to escape the sophomore slump. A Weekend in the City showcases what all the band's initial buzz was about, but twists and filters what might have been expected, leaving them open to praise for different reasons.

Reviewed by Matt Conner
A contributing writer, Matt Conner lives in Anderson, Indiana.

See other reviews by Matt Conner



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