Track Review – The Good News / Bloc Party

‘The Good News’ puts the ‘hymn’ into Bloc Party’s new album Hymns. It incorporates gospel and Kele Okereke’s religious lyrics, where he turns to praying by the water since someone left him. If that sounds like an Adele song, you’d be surprised how similar Okereke sounds to Adele’s love of crying by a river. The blues verse is good, much better than ‘The Love Within’s obnoxious synth lead, instead this is a much more guitar-based track, especially with the deep blues influence on the chorus. However, don’t go thinking this is Silent Alarm or Weekend In The City-level tight instrumentation in all sections. It’s almost unrecognisable from the same band that made those songs ten years ago – the instrumentation is hugely simplified from the frenetic guitar, bass and drums that covered songs like ‘Positive Tension’.

Similarly, Okereke’s lyrics are nothing like the socially-minded individual that he was ten years ago. Sure, he’s making the songs more personal to himself, but he could have translated some of that excellent songwriting to his thoughts on faith. None of it turns up, even his unique vocal style is absent yet again. Even though this is a fresh line-up, already it seems like the band is tired and lacks emotion. Where did it go? It’s not like Okereke changed in a huge way, the only main difference is that half of the original line-up has left (granted, Matt Tong was an excellent drummer), but the new line-up has the talent to replace them. ‘The Good News’ may be a step up from ‘The Love Within’, but Bloc Party could do so much better.