London based indie-rockers Bloc Party have released their new studio album Hymns.

Hymns is the group’s follow up to their 2012 album Four. It comes after the band’s two year hiatus and features performances by their two new members. In 2015 Bloc Party revealed their new line up which would include Justin Harris who replaced Gordon Moakes on bass, and Louise Bartle who replaced Matt Tong on drums.

Hymns continues the bands journey away from the traditional guitar band set-up as they adopt a more modern sound, making use of electronic synths and drum beats. While this new sound is sure to appeal to a broader audience the band seems to have sacrificed a unique element that made some of their early hits so great. The album is much calmer than some of their previous work, even relaxing in some parts. In a recent interview discussing the album, singer and front-man Kele Okereke said:

There are moments of intimacy, relationships and how we deal with each other but for me it’s more a record about faith, about having a spiritual understanding as a human being.” 

The album is fairly dynamic, upbeat tracks such as the albums opening, The Love Within, are contrasted against slower songs like Exes. But for many tracks, Bloc Party appear to just be going through the motions; creating generic riffs and beats while the lyrics never seem to be as convincing as they should.

The album is not without its moments though. There are solid tracks such as my personal favourites, The Good News and My True Name. These songs reveal a new side of Bloc Party that we haven’t seen before. It’s just a shame that they are too few and far between.

You can check out Hymns on Spotify and iTunes.

Jack Brophy

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