"Intimacy" a record that is all over the place. The lead single, the horn and back beat infected "Mercury" recalls early CURE with it's cacophony of sounds and lyrical nonsense. "Ares" has the feel of an anti-war rant (still digesting the lyrics) when it suddenly softens in the middle. "Halo" could be a Silent Alarm outtake with it's driving guitar/bass combo. But it's when the band unleashes "Biko" that we see something totally different. Here the band writes the closest thing they have to a ballad but full of longing and suffering that makes it an extraordinary listen. The second half of the album has an anthemic feel of a band writing for arenas and large concert venues. Clearly the band has big ideas of it's mind for the immediate future.
"Intimacy" is not as fresh as the debut or a nuanced as the second album, but the entirety is a wonderful listening experience and the sign of a huge leap forward for the band. In a year full of great albums this one is in the running for top honors.
(mp3) Bloc Party -- Biko