Bloc Party — Alpha Games — Album Review

Alternative | Rock | Indie

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

A small chunk of my musical teenhood had been made up by Bloc Party. However, it was an important one nonetheless. Whenever I listen to previous works from the London-based rock band, namely their 2005 debut album Silent Alarm, I get a very clear sense of nostalgia indeed.

Their bright, warm, and energetic tunes really did reflect an era of the mid 2000’s incredibly well. And given that it was a time that I was spending my childhood in, its appeal to me was very apparent.

But aside from Silent Alarm (and perhaps the 2019 solo project from lead singer Kele Okereke, Leave To Remain), there admittedly hasn’t been much more of Bloc Party that I’ve particularly stuck to. However, I saw the band’s brand new album, titled Alpha Games, as a perfect opportunity to rediscover the band.

Given the aforementioned fact that the main component of what I know about Bloc Party was their 2005 debut, I was expecting their sound to be considerably different on Alpha Games. After all, the two projects are close to two whole decades apart.

However, what surprised me about Alpha Games was how it really did meet what I was familiar with in regards to Bloc Party stylistically. Quite a few of these tracks sounded as if they could’ve come out of Silent Alarm, and I wouldn’t have batted an eye. And while this seems like a cool element on the surface, it does present a problem.

Given that Alpha Games is also the first album that Bloc Party have released since 2016’s Hymns, it felt like an opportune time to really switch things up, and present us a new side to Bloc Party. And while part of me appreciates the nostalgic feels that this album presents in large amounts, it felt very much like the most predictable album that the band could have put out at this point.

In short, predictability is the biggest flaw that Alpha Games has. In the grand scheme of Bloc Party’s discography, this album just doesn’t have enough character to stand on its own. It says a lot when the band’s debut album is still the most iconic project they have brought out, despite having six studio albums at this point. It was released at a point where the Bloc Party sound was completely new to most.

While it’s admirable in many ways that the band have stylistically stuck to their guns, with so much of the musical world changing overtime, this album lacks memorability as a result of just being another Bloc Party album, and not much else.

The energy and enjoyability of the album is definitely there, but Alpha Games is just too underwhelming of an album in regards to being a creative and unique piece.

Favourite Tracks: Day Drinker | The Girls Are Fighting | Sex Magik

Least Favourite Track: The Peace Offering

Bloc Party | BMG

Final Score: 55%




My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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Joe Boothby

Joe Boothby

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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