Intimacy - Bloc Party

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Rushed it may have been, but here Bloc Party seem to accurately reflect post-relationship blues: confused, introspective and stung.
  2. Intimacy is not quite the radical statement its makers might think it is (I’m not sure what could be given the group’s evident ambitions), but it’s definitely a little bit of invigorating redemption at a time when doubts were beginning to cloud what was, initially, a flawless reputation.
  3. While Okereke has described Intimacy as a break-up album, it feels like more of a document of a band disconnected from itself.
  4. Brave, individual and heartfelt, Intimacy offers treasure for fans old and new.
  5. 70
    Intimacy offers the most ideas that Bloc Party has ever put on display. Skip the first two tracks and you'll find more hits than misses.
  6. At times, Intimacy feels rushed and predictable, and at others, it's almost painfully ambitious.
  7. Replacing Bloc Party's distant cool with vivid honesty, Okereke makes Intimacy a confident new peak for his band.
  8. Released on the web fully two months before it hits record stores, Bloc Party’s third album is as gleaming and hermetically sealed as one of Kubrick’s monoliths.
  9. 60
    In truth, though, there's not too much here to alarm the undergraduate population.
  10. 60
    Even as Intimacy gets sonically or lyrically precarious--'Zephyrus' recalls 'Jesus Walks,' for Christ's sake--it does so while reaching hard toward something exhilarating.
  11. Bloc Party disavows their history and start at a musical Year Zero. But the band hasn't adequately replaced their former selves to justify jettisoning their pervious strengths.
  12. The rewards are there--it just takes some work.
  13. Intimacy, as an album, is hit-or-miss.
  14. At its best Intimacy is taut and claustrophobic or movingly sentimental, but for the main part it is repetitious and bafflingly poorly realised, especially given that they could have had an extra six months to work on it.
  15. Despite their third album's title, however, they largely focus here on frantic postpunk aggression that's not necessarily bad, it just isn't what they do best.
  16. Intimacy is the English dance-punk outfit's most urgent-sounding effort yet, and frontman Kele Okereke and his bandmates probably couldn't bear the thought of waiting two or three months for it to be heard.
  17. At times the music, like the lyrics, does illuminate the problem of a band taking itself too seriously. But Bloc Party has always favored drama, and there’s plenty of precedent for overblown sentiment when it comes to pop and broken hearts.
  18. Intimacy might not actually be all that intimate, but it is a thing of rough, recycled beauty. And if that isn’t worth getting beat up for, I don’t know what is.
  19. On Intimacy his ambition often outpaces the execution.
  20. This vicious playfulness extends to the music as well, which trims off the magisterial excesses of "Weekend" while keeping the band's recent noisy electronica crush intact.
  21. Bloc Party has a lot of ideas on Intimacy, but the band should have given itself more time to figure them out.
  22. They are so solid and so confident that it seems inevitable that they will get many chances to slowly drift into more daring lands. But without more risk, they may be destined to make albums like Intimacy--accomplished and intriguing, but not life changing, not classic. [Year End 2008]
  23. 80
    Boldness has its own reward in the big grime beats, tension-filled horns and cold self-loathing of Mercury. [Nov 2008, p.104]
  24. Intimacy is arguably Bloc Party's finest moment thus far, offering sweat and circuitry, savagery and submission, and a captivating energy that's severely lacking in many music scenes on the planet. [Dec 2008, p.144]
  25. 60
    Here, they simply sound jittery, putting romantic complaints to studio-worked music that's oddly brisk and busy, with a dissonance that drowns out the emotion. [Nov 2008, p.73]
  26. Bloc Party remain a band with the greatness they seek still hovering somewhere on the horizons. [Nov 2008, p.112]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. MattA.
    Oct 3, 2008
    Let's just stop comparing both this album and A Weekend in the City to Silent Alarm. It is ridiculous to hold Bloc Party to that. Taken on its own merits, this is a solid, interesting album. The lead singer's lyrics are still pretty bad but they weren't great on their debut either and no one seemed to have a problem then. The thing that has always elevated Bloc Party is their energy. It was admittedly more abundant on Silent Alarm than it was on A Weekend in the City, but they have regained some lost ground with this album. So again, don't expect Silent Alarm and you will have much to enjoy here. Full Review »
  2. Oct 6, 2014
    It is hard to understand how an album that opens with wailing sirens, screeching vocals, masterful drumming and a daring falsetto bridge could be dismissed as boring or uninspired. After the god of war is set in motion, we're moved onto the brass filled, infectious 'Mercury', only to later change style numerous other times with Silent Alarm-esque rock anthems glazed in electronics (Halo,Trojan Horse One Month Off), and delicate heart tugging escapades (Biko, Signs).

    The album shape shifts through various dynamic styles, while retaining an electronic and sometimes sterile edge, blunted by catchy choruses and intelligent instrumental build-ups. The album really turns into something special toward its end especially, with the sprawling 'Talons', as rich in atmosphere and tension as it is in anthemic gusto, followed by 'Better Than Heaven' and closed with 'Ion Square', the former building toward heavenly synthased climax, and the latter serving as a poetic end to the record.

    Overall, despite its various themes, the album still feels connected in the sense that all of the songs share an electronic undercurrent which makes a powerful statement. It not only shows how capable the band is of changing their style, but also shows how dedicated they are able to be when they do it. The production of the songs is what makes them unique, and Bloc Party produce the whole of Intimacy which such a vibrantly new face that it's hardly surprising it caught so much criticism.

    Love it or hate it, this album made it clear that Bloc Party are not a one trick pony. There are parts of the album that may seem questionable, but its innovation (especially evident on repeat listens) makes it as credible as any band trying to break new territory, and they broke it outrageously too.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 7, 2011
    The third album by the band. Their least commercially successful but I think its a really good album. Marginally better than A Weekend in the City and not quite as strong as Silent Alarm but the band showed consistent progression with their sound from album to album. All facets of the records are strong and it's very hard for me to pick out faults except there is a lack of killer singles that were present on their debut. It's such a pity that they have seemed to stop at this record with Kele going solo (bad move in my opinion). They've been one of the few "promising indie hopefuls" from the mid 00's that actually followed through on their potential and grew their sound. Full Review »