A Weekend In The City

  • Record Label: Vice
  • Release Date: Feb 6, 2007
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 304 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 72 out of 304

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  1. LeroyB.
    Aug 15, 2008
    4
    Kele's vocals have been brought to the forefront of the arrangements....... big mistake! , the guy cant sing particularly well and his lyrics are laughable. When Kele's not singing the band are at their best. Awesome drummer , great lead guitarist , why aren't they building they're songs around these things?
  2. Alex
    Feb 6, 2007
    5
    This is absolute bordedom compared to Silent Alarm. Nothing Impressive.
  3. DP
    Feb 8, 2007
    4
    Gone are the visceral guitar riffs, explosive drums and Keles' uplifting stream of consciousness lyrics. In come a pedestrian pace and overwrought lyrical musings. RIP Helicopter, Banquet, She's hearing voices.
  4. DecepticonPom
    Mar 12, 2007
    6
    Musically, it's like one of those dreams where - BRILLIANT! - you're Superman. But you can't actually fly properly or take off...
  5. AndyC
    Mar 7, 2007
    5
    A massive dissappointment - rather than build on the promise of Silent Alarm, Bloc Party have come back with an album that for the most part is a dour, self-indulgent, unlistenable shambles.
  6. BoM
    May 10, 2007
    4
    What happened guys? Silent alarm was right on the mark: energetic, powerful, and crisp. Weekend in the City is boring, self-important, and whiny. Where did the simplistic genius go? Why does this new album remind me of 9th grade? When was the turning point where Okereke decided that he would strain his voice beyond hideous IN EVERY FREEKIN SONG!?! If he wanted his vocals to sound like What happened guys? Silent alarm was right on the mark: energetic, powerful, and crisp. Weekend in the City is boring, self-important, and whiny. Where did the simplistic genius go? Why does this new album remind me of 9th grade? When was the turning point where Okereke decided that he would strain his voice beyond hideous IN EVERY FREEKIN SONG!?! If he wanted his vocals to sound like hoobastank, then I guess he made it to the big leagues Expand
  7. RaphaelE
    Feb 15, 2007
    5
    Very average album, couple of good songs but rest are instantly forgettable. Not one I'll copy for the car, probably one for ebay!
  8. JasonC.
    Feb 5, 2007
    5
    I realize that they have to "mature" and that some people think that any objections to this album are ignorant because they don't recognize some sort of growth. I'm all for maturing but this is just boring. The melodies are unbelievably similar from song to song and the energy of classics like "Positive Tension" is nowhere to be found. There are definitely redeeming moments, in I realize that they have to "mature" and that some people think that any objections to this album are ignorant because they don't recognize some sort of growth. I'm all for maturing but this is just boring. The melodies are unbelievably similar from song to song and the energy of classics like "Positive Tension" is nowhere to be found. There are definitely redeeming moments, in which the epic brit-pop sound works somehow, but this is generally a really dragging bunch of songs that is only made cohesive by the fact that they all sound the same. Expand
  9. Pfttt
    Feb 5, 2007
    5
    I can't "fail" Bloccers for this because Silent Alarm was so good...but when I heard that poxy bonus track after SA's intial release "Two More Years " I became very worried about the production values of AWITC. Sure enough, from Kele's contrived vocal intro on Song for Clay...my stomach churned. This is U2-esque overproduced pap; any goodness is completely overshadowed by I can't "fail" Bloccers for this because Silent Alarm was so good...but when I heard that poxy bonus track after SA's intial release "Two More Years " I became very worried about the production values of AWITC. Sure enough, from Kele's contrived vocal intro on Song for Clay...my stomach churned. This is U2-esque overproduced pap; any goodness is completely overshadowed by Kele's inability to sing well and what has to be the most pretentious bag of lyrics I've ever hear. They even voxed some of the lyrics for crying out loud. Whereas I waited until U2's "All That You Can't Leave Behind" (which turned out be everything!) to switch them off, I get the feeling it may start here with Bloc Party - no longer my beloved Bloccers! They'll probably have a best of out next year!!! Expand
  10. Andy
    Feb 7, 2007
    4
    So disappointing. The lyrics are just downright cheesy at some points and evey song sounds like they're trying to create some sort of epic masterpiece. It comes off pretentious and dull. What happened to their pop sensibilities?
  11. BryanW
    Feb 9, 2007
    4
    Serious disappointment, esp. after seeing them absolutely kill it at McCarren Pool in Bklyn this summer.
  12. MattH
    Feb 9, 2007
    6
    To be honest, I think it's the users here who've gone off-base and the critics who've got it right. The album might be a change in direction, sure, but it's just not interesting. Whilst there are good songs (I particularly enjoy Song For Clay, The Prayer and Uniform), the rest of the bunch are fairly weak by comparison and some - Waiting For The 7:18, Sunday and SXRT - To be honest, I think it's the users here who've gone off-base and the critics who've got it right. The album might be a change in direction, sure, but it's just not interesting. Whilst there are good songs (I particularly enjoy Song For Clay, The Prayer and Uniform), the rest of the bunch are fairly weak by comparison and some - Waiting For The 7:18, Sunday and SXRT - are nothing but dull-as-dishwater album filler materlal. The thing that made Silent Alarm great was that it bristled with energy and anger. The way Helicopter, Banquet, Positive Tension and Luno built up and exploded was fantastic. Only in sparse moments does A Weekend In The City match that kind of energy, and it's no coincidence that those moments are the ones fans seem to be enjoying the most. I would agree with it being a grower, and it grew on me. This time last week I would have given it a 4. Despite the good moments though, I can't help but be seriously disappointed by an album which should have been much better. Expand
  13. ScottI
    Feb 21, 2007
    4
    The album is either too quiet or too bombastic. I personally can't find much beauty in Okereke's voice either - he doesn't enunciate or have much eloquence/subtlety. Their louder, more intense tracks work for the most part. Hunting for Witches is a highlight and there are some other songs that have a nice driving riff. But this is a very inconsistent and a sloppy second The album is either too quiet or too bombastic. I personally can't find much beauty in Okereke's voice either - he doesn't enunciate or have much eloquence/subtlety. Their louder, more intense tracks work for the most part. Hunting for Witches is a highlight and there are some other songs that have a nice driving riff. But this is a very inconsistent and a sloppy second outing for Bloc Party. Expand
  14. Mr.Hankey
    Feb 5, 2007
    5
    Silent Alarm wasn't on the menu, I didn't want it anyway. A Weekend in the City is a mediocre mess of glitchy trance pop and distorted '80s synth prog. Yes, it sounds different than their impressive debut but that doesn't mean that it's as good or even close.
  15. HotChip
    Feb 6, 2007
    6
    His 'philosophical' themes. Quite. Bad teenage poetry set to passable music.
  16. matth
    Feb 7, 2007
    6
    Huge step backward for the band. An example of the sophomore slump of nearly "Sam's Town" proportions. Middle-of-the-road music and preachy lyrics. If this sounds like your cup of tea, by all means rush out to buy this one.
  17. ColbyS
    Feb 8, 2007
    4
    Damn you, Jacknife Lee. I am a die-hard Bloc Party fan, won over by their amazing Silent Alarm. Leave it to Jacknife Lee to go screwing around with something that already worked beautifully. He did it to another of my favorites, Snow Patrol, turning them from vibrant, rough-edged indie to sappy, overplayed radio pop. I almost fell asleep listening to this. I'm not saying Bloc Party Damn you, Jacknife Lee. I am a die-hard Bloc Party fan, won over by their amazing Silent Alarm. Leave it to Jacknife Lee to go screwing around with something that already worked beautifully. He did it to another of my favorites, Snow Patrol, turning them from vibrant, rough-edged indie to sappy, overplayed radio pop. I almost fell asleep listening to this. I'm not saying Bloc Party doesn't make good slow songs, but there should be a balance, perfectly evidenced by Silent Alarm. Why would he (and I'm assuming it was Lee, he being the producer and all) try to twist Kele's amazing, character-filled yelp into a soft, crooning whimper for an entire album? The formidable wiry guitar work of Russell Lissack is masked as background when it should be showcased; it's what won myself and many other fans over with the first album. In short, I'm near-incensed-- not at the band, but at the producer. They were herded away from their roots to be more "accessible"? If accessible means weak sauce, I understand completely. I'm expecting later work they're capable of. The only songs I enjoyed were The Prayer and the two bonus tracks, Once and Future King and Secrets. Expand
  18. BobA
    Feb 9, 2007
    6
    Definitely a step back for Bloc Party. I thought the first half was quite good - a natural progression of their sound to something a little slinkier, slicker, sexier (albeit at the expense of the immediacy and energy that made Silent Alarm so addictive). But things fell apart towards the end, when they started to settle for some pretty plain and forgettable arrangements. I sort of get the Definitely a step back for Bloc Party. I thought the first half was quite good - a natural progression of their sound to something a little slinkier, slicker, sexier (albeit at the expense of the immediacy and energy that made Silent Alarm so addictive). But things fell apart towards the end, when they started to settle for some pretty plain and forgettable arrangements. I sort of get the impression that they miscalculated their strengths and weaknesses: Kele Okereke is a good vocalist on the more bombastic numbers, but he's NOT a good crooner. His vocals have lost a lot of their bite. And the de-emphasis of the rhythm section on some of the numbers was also disappointing, although drummer Matt Tong gets a chance to shine on several numbers. Expecting another album of Silent Alarm-quality may have been unreasonable, but this isn't even close. Still a worthwhile listen, but pretty forgettable. Expand
  19. GaryM.
    Feb 9, 2007
    6
    The problem with this album is that I have no idea what direction Bloc Party wants to head towards to. But, by no means is this a Fall Out Boy (yuck!), or any other of those s*****y bands, kind of album. So, I'm not really recommending that you buy it or not. Decisions, decisions... Well, check out "Song For Clay (Disappear Here)" and/or "I Still Remember" and judge for yourself. If The problem with this album is that I have no idea what direction Bloc Party wants to head towards to. But, by no means is this a Fall Out Boy (yuck!), or any other of those s*****y bands, kind of album. So, I'm not really recommending that you buy it or not. Decisions, decisions... Well, check out "Song For Clay (Disappear Here)" and/or "I Still Remember" and judge for yourself. If they don't really appeal, then Bloc Party has got a big problem on their hands. Expand
  20. MusicNut
    Apr 25, 2007
    5
    Doesn't touch Silent Alarm...
  21. JermA
    May 25, 2007
    4
    Who the fuck are these 10's? People are really rating this album 10/10? On the flip side this album is shitty, but it doesn't deserve a 0/10. I would rate it a 5 or maybe even a 6 because the music is decent. Unfortunately Bloc Party's last album was so great that in comparison A Weekend in The City gets a 4.
  22. LukeM
    Feb 15, 2007
    6
    I was a huge fan and consider this album a big disappointment. The first album was fun, catchy, and different - this one's just different. Except for "Hunting for Witches" this album is a inundated with the slow/mysterious whiny-voiced ballads that only took up a couple tracks on the debut (and were a welcome change of pace). This album strives to be more serious - "hey lets start I was a huge fan and consider this album a big disappointment. The first album was fun, catchy, and different - this one's just different. Except for "Hunting for Witches" this album is a inundated with the slow/mysterious whiny-voiced ballads that only took up a couple tracks on the debut (and were a welcome change of pace). This album strives to be more serious - "hey lets start the song slow for 3 minutes, and then suddenly pick up the pace!" - but falls flat. Expand
  23. matt
    Mar 14, 2007
    4
    so disappointing after their first record, typicl sophomore screw ups - over produced, etc...
  24. May 2, 2015
    6
    For Bloc Party, following up their seminal debut album 'Silent Alarm' was always going to be a challenge. After only two years out of the limelight, 'A Weekend in The City' was released in early 2007. The album definitely sees a progression in Bloc Party's music. It's quite impressive how much they matured musically in just a two year period, with a much more electronically driven soundFor Bloc Party, following up their seminal debut album 'Silent Alarm' was always going to be a challenge. After only two years out of the limelight, 'A Weekend in The City' was released in early 2007. The album definitely sees a progression in Bloc Party's music. It's quite impressive how much they matured musically in just a two year period, with a much more electronically driven sound than 'Silent Alarm'. Despite some notable high points with the music however, it's certainly the lyrics that let this album down. Kyle Okereke trying to be almost too realistic in a lot of these songs, and almost comes across as cringeworthy at times. After getting off to a fairly reasonable start with 'Songs for Clay (Disappear Here)', 'Hunting for Witches' and 'Uniform', the album is somewhat let down by a collection of very weak songs towards its latter stages such as 'Where Is Home', 'Kreuzberg' and 'Sunday'.

    One particular bright spark; the single 'Flux' which was part of the re-release is one of the best songs Bloc Party ever produced. An electronically driven indie classic. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the entire album, but writing another album which was up to the standards of 'Silent Alarm' was always going to be a challenge in itself.
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Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Those hoping to be converted are likely still to doubt the 'voice of a generation' tag.
  2. Under The Radar
    80
    It's a given that some people will miss the raucous Bloc Party, but there are enough in-your-face moments and hidden gems to keep A Weekend In The City on regular rotation. [#16, p.90]
  3. Urb
    70
    A post-electronica, post-rave production that jettisons genres and cherishes uncut creativity. [Jan/Feb 2007, p.77]