Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Bloc Party: A Weekend in the City [Vice, 2007]
Many second-level pop stars have looked dumber agonizing over their own success than Kele Okereke. But however obsessed he may be with the celebrity fleshpots he frequents so unhappily on the lead cut, they remain a cliche to which he adds nothing, including a decent tune. Elsewhere he bemoans his inability to love, and so it goes. Okereke is singing with size and emotion, and producer Jacknife Lee noises things up nicely. But Bloc Party's beaty songcraft was never as intrinsically attractive as their multiracial image, and though the new bunch are sharply executed, they cry out for killer choruses now that they're not just outcries of generational frustration. The terrorist paranoia meditation "Hunting for Witches" is brought home by such a chorus, as is the strung-out "Sunday." But too often Okereke relies on his celebrity and production budget to make us listen. He should ask Brandon Flowers--this doesn't work. [Rolling Stone: 3]
"Hunting for Witches" Choice Cuts