Four - Bloc Party

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. Aug 28, 2012
    It turns out to be the best thing they've ever done--yes, even better than Silent Alarm.
  2. 83
    [Four] checks all the boxes - urgent yelps, nervous rhythms, knife-crease guitars. It's all there, even if your own asymmetrical haircut is no more. [Aug 31, 2012, p.74]
  3. Aug 29, 2012
    The vicious "We're Not Good People" stuns with a pulsing, near-metal urgency that will lead you to act on your darkest urges - prior to playing the album again. And if you're not stupid, you will. [Sept 2012, p.88]
  4. Aug 29, 2012
    On Four Bloc Party manage to make their affecting and dizzyingly devilish music sound relevant and exciting again.
  5. Aug 28, 2012
    For the most part it's good. Very good.
  6. Aug 28, 2012
    This combination of sounds and personalities diagnoses the band and album number four with bi-polar disorder. Let's pray they never recover.
  7. Aug 28, 2012
    Four is better [than debut album, Silent Alarm]. Or at the very least as good.
  8. Aug 28, 2012
    Four may not be as cohesive as Silent Alarm, but it just might be more vital.
  9. Aug 28, 2012
    At its best this is the sound of a band rediscovering what made them so special in the first place.
  10. Aug 28, 2012
    [Four] reinforces that Bloc Party continues to be one of the most innovative, vibrant bands to emerge in the last decade.
  11. Aug 29, 2012
    The band's new jolt of stylized catharsis, attempt to engage with issues both personal and sociopolitical, and Mr. Okereke does his part to level the field, inflating some and cutting others to size.
  12. Aug 29, 2012
    The years spent pursuing other musical projects refreshed Bloc Party, and the unofficial reunion record finds the band making an intense comeback.
  13. Aug 29, 2012
    [Four has] the density that made Bloc's angular edge so full, rich and round in the first place. [No.90, p.54]
  14. Aug 28, 2012
    Bloc Party is back. Four years on the sidelines seems to have re-energized the lads-their sound is as frenetic as when they left us.
  15. Aug 28, 2012
    Four may be 2012's most exciting guitar album.
  16. 70
    At its best [Four] excels with a glut of sensitive pop tunes which, although no substitute for exhilarating, provocative post-punk, prove Bloc Party are still capable of depth.
  17. Aug 28, 2012
    A record that's more focused than the last two Bloc Party albums and one which finds the group in top fighting form, its fists balled up and its collective stare cold and unshakable.
  18. Aug 28, 2012
    Their best record since their 2005 debut.
  19. 70
    It's a jerky, dark, and layered record, complete with the kind of adept musical craftsmanship the London band first built its name on. On Four, Bloc Party learns the valuable lesson that sometimes the only way to move forward is to go back where you came from.
  20. Four sounds like an album created by a talented band that finally got back in a room together after a long time apart, and just seemed to put together all the various ideas they've all had without stopping to think too much about them.
  21. Aug 29, 2012
    Four may be too diffuse and rough around the edges to qualify as a knockout comeback but it shows a band relocating their purpose and promise by changing their habits. [Sep 2012, p.96]
  22. Aug 29, 2012
    Ultimately Four is an album of two 9uneven) sides). [Sep 2012, p.89]
  23. [Four] sees them rediscovering guitars with a vengeance – and many tracks here come with the sort of epic quality that has helped Muse filled arenas.
  24. Aug 28, 2012
    They return to remind us that there's still one side of dance rock they haven't tried: rock. On Four, Bloc Party turn up their amps and tune down their guitars.
  25. Aug 28, 2012
    As defiant as this gang of four wants to be, they can't help but humbly return to their strengths.
  26. 60
    Bloc Party's touchstones remain firmly rooted in their indie upbringing.
  27. Aug 28, 2012
    They hit a peak with Team A, a street brawl of limber bass and volatile guitar, but plunge a low every time the pace slackens.
  28. Aug 28, 2012
    That Four is laced with some of the band's hands-down strongest work, then, makes its weaker moments and occasional in-your-face insistence all the more grating.
  29. Aug 28, 2012
    Bloc Party once came with something to prove, and the conviction necessary to prove it. Four takes the audience's interest for granted, and refuses to step out of line to draw more interest. So much for a revolution.
  30. Aug 30, 2012
    The songs are assured, strident and catchy, but often fairly cringeworthy too. [Sep 2012, p.73]
  31. Aug 28, 2012
    Though Four does contain some sweet spots, it's largely an exercise in throwing projectiles at the proverbial wall with the hopes that something, anything, will stick. Four is a vacant display of miscellany.
  32. Aug 28, 2012
    It's ultimately debatable whether or not Four is the "real" Bloc Party, but revisionist history isn't supposed to be a duller version of the real thing.
  33. Aug 28, 2012
    The album is never able to build its momentum as it gets jostled between a fight over noise rock and soft sleeper cells.
  34. Sep 6, 2012
    The album suffers some of the worst adjectives any musician can hear: boring, forgettable, and embarrassing.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Sep 18, 2012
    The record that should have gone between 'Silent Alarm' and 'A Weekend in the City', this is a return to basics for the band. It is louder and harder than their previous work and has little to none of the over done electronic music Intimacy had. Welcome back Bloc Party. Full Review »
  2. May 24, 2013
    A lot easier to listen to then Intimacy, however seems a little more average/bland than their usual sound. Having said that, there's still really good tunes (Day Four, Leaf Skeleton) and it's markedly better than most of the years other releases. Overall a really solid album, albeit not as diverse and amazing as Silent Alarm of A Weekend in the City. Full Review »
  3. Sep 26, 2012
    No one expected this band to outdo Silent Alarm, and with the progressively experimental sounds from A Weekend In The City and Intimacy it was clear they weren't necessarily interested in doing so. Nevertheless, while some consider this a nice step back to their roots, it's ultimately a disappointment. It's harder but not fun. Grittier but messy. Simplistic but not memorable. That's not to say there aren't high points. "Day Four," "Truth," and the oddly placed "Real Talk" all offer classic Bloc Party with a little something new. At the end of the day, though, I'm left wanting more. Full Review »