HUNTING FOR WITCHES: With a rhythm built around vocal samples, this track confronts the cultural aftermath of the 7/7 London bombings. Okereke mocks one particular tabloid: "The Daily Mail says there are enemies among us/Taking our women and taking our jobs".
WAITING FOR THE 7:18: A snapshot of city life, 'Waiting for the 7:18' is set on the London Underground but aims to capture the alienation of modern living. "We’re surrounded by people all the time, yet we sit in silence", muse Bloc Party over an intense chorus of harmonies.
THE PRAYER: Over crunching beats and humming backing vocals clicked together with crunk-style production, this examination of insecurity turns weakness on its head. "Is it so wrong to crave recognition?" wonders Okereke before begging a higher power: "Tonight, make me unstoppable and I will charm, I will dazzle, I will outshine all".
UNIFORM: This description of identikit mall-rats slowly drowning in mindless consumerism initially feels like another look at hedonism. Then, after a stark key change it suddenly dives lower, looking for a deeper cause. "I am a martyr/I just need a motif", howls Kele as Bloc Party ponder the dangers of where a need for fulfillment might lead.
ON: Pulsing beats open this very personal song charting the buzzed-up high of falling in love. With references to London pubs and the singer feeling "hopeful and stutter-free", soaring strings slip into the track, taking it to a euphoric and optimistic climax.
WHERE IS HOME?: Another autobiographical song recalls the funeral of his 18-year-old cousin Christopher Aleneme, who was killed in a racially motivated attack. The lyrics articulate the "second generation blues" of British-born children of immigrants like Okereke. "In every headline we are reminded this is not home for us," he laments.
KREUZBERG: Matt Tong’s urgent drumming creates an out-of-control atmosphere for this song which is set on a night out in Berlin. The singer is disillusioned after mistaking a drunken sexual encounter for love: "After the sex the bitter taste of being fooled again."
I STILL REMEMBER: Beginning with a chiming guitar, this is a delicate but joyous head-rush which recalls lost love. "You should have asked me for it/How could I have said no?" belts Okereke, not with regret, but with happy memories.
SUNDAY: "It was a heavy night/I can’t remember what I said", sings Okereke. With atmospheric guitars and stirring drums, it celebrates the little things that make life worthwhile. "I love you in the morning when you’re still hung over", goes the smile-inducing climax.
SRXT: The closer starts off with brooding guitars, before a Sigur Ros-like wall of sound crashes in. "I called up Eugene/Told him I was drowning", cries Kele as this unexpected finale draws together the album’s themes of insecurity and alienation, yet remains inspiring and hopeful.
NME article typed up and all artwork created by members of AlwaysNewDepths.com