Bloc Party - Hymns: A return to form

It's easy to forgive the band that produced the seminal Silent Alarm anything, but in recent years, Bloc Party has still been cause for concern.

Bloc Party are back
Bloc Party are back

You could count on maybe two to three tracks to wow on each of their subsequent three records, but overall, disappointment cancelled out those six or so glimpsed minutes of brilliance.

Last year’s line-up change didn’t exactly settle nerves either (founder members Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack are now joined by Justin Harris and Louise Bartle).

And yet, Hymns is a triumph. The Love Within is half tinny arcade game, half soaring, gleeful indie dance tune that makes you want to run and leap and dance around your living room like a total mad thing.

The only confusing moment is on the opening of Exes, which weirdly mimics The Smiths, Okereke doing his best Morrissey homage.

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    He comes over all lofty voiced choir boy in Fortress, which builds achingly, all layered with slow, shivery phrasings (“Pull me under, under the ocean”), Different Drugs draws on Eighties synths, spiralling into a high keening bridge, while the restrained, muted Living Lux swallows you whole (lyrics about lobsters included).

    What a return to form.