Silent Alarm is one of my favourite albums mainly because it's an album from my time, one that somehow i feel connected to. The edgy, urgent tracks are as catchy as anything (Like Eating Glass, Helicopter, Banquet, Luno), but the more emotional-based tracks are just as good (Blue Light, This Modern Love, So Here We Are). The album is also incredibly solid all the way down to the last track (with maybe the exception of Price Of Gas). The lyrics may seem pretty inconsequential at first, but upon further examination Kele's lyrics are pretty exceptional for a debut album (take a look at Pioneers especially.)
A Weekend in the City was slightly disappointing, as they seem to lose their edgyness, as well as some lyrical subtlety. I still find myself listening to that album a lot though, as despite the obviousness of those lyrics, they contain some really great stories/messages that i can connect to. For example, the post 9-11 media based paranoia in Hunting for Witches and the critique on modern youth culture in Uniform. Kele struggle with his own sexuality in Kreuzberg and I Still Remember is both brave and touching.
I'm not sure what the problem you have with Kele's voice is, but i find it's perfectly fine. I mean it's not a great voice by any means, but it's not exactly a focus of their music most of the time.
In the music blog scene, they'd be one of the most remixed artist (probably just behind Justice), with a plethora of fantastic indie dance remixes. Silent Alarm Remixed, rather than a mere cash in on the originals' success, is almost as good as their debut, with some of the tracks in fact strengthening already great tracks and making them totally dance-able.
Bloc Party are probably my most played artist because of the sheer broad appeal of their music. Look in one of my dance playlists, Bloc Party will be there (or at least a remix of them.) Rock? Helicopter and Banquet are staples in there too. Mellow emotional playlist? Bloc Party: check. All of these things make Bloc Party one of my favourite modern rock bands.
To be honest I haven't given them a real look on an album-to-album basis, so that will certainly be something to do. My opinion is largely based on overview of the band, so I very well could be forming unfair opinions about certain things (based upon which album I've heard more from).
Their lyrics have always just seemed so heavy-handed to me. I understand that he's trying to touch on things that you can relate to, and things that are real to them, but it just seems to come out so artlessly on too often a basis. I know I touched on this before, but it feels like it's simply ready to break out, the lyricism and band as a whole, but just gets too clumsy. I'll be sure to follow these guys, because they really do seem too promising to give up on - and, to be fair, I'll look back at Silent Alarm to see if it makes me feel any differently .
You mentioned Banquet there, and just as an example, I think it's a perfect illustration of why I'm not a fan of Kele's voice. The instrumentation is outstanding, and then he hammers into it with a voice whose tone just doesn't suit the band, at least in my opinion. Is it awful? No - but I truly do believe it could be better.
Their catchyness is something I can appreciate - and lord knows they have that down pretty well. Based on that, the remixes you were talking about sound pretty promising.
^ yeah i noticed that bloc party has a wide array of fans
I listened to "illinoise" and "black sheep boy"
great albums - and i listened to aeroplane
i like it - just not my fav i guess.. it's hard to relate to
Also Andrew Bird. Gotta second that suggestion. Absolutely.