ss=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: auto 0in">Trading post-punk for paranoia, Bloc Party now aggressively offers "Intimacy," an often interesting but inconsistent electronic-infused album.
Startling and abrasively catchy, "Mercury" is the best summation of the band's new direction. While the straight-ahead, jumbled guitars of "Halo" offer a familiar flashlight to committed fans, the cascades of big-beat-inspired, Chemical Brothers-esque drums leading of "Ares" will likely horrify most of the group's loyals.
"Intimacy" is more a likable mess than a disaster. The album seems rushed and confused, with little cohesion between songs. Bloc Party seems pressed to push itself, but the new material would be more compelling if the songs were clarified and the ideas a bit more refined.