Bloc Party has done it again.
I wasn't sure if they had at first. Having listened to their past two albums, plus several of their EPs/singles, this album came as a shock. It has a different feel to it, but is still definitely Bloc Party. Their first two CDs are a build-up and refining of the band's sound, which takes another step forward in Intimacy. They are definitely moving towards a more beat-driven, dance sound.
While they are more developed as a band, this album could still be succinctly described as "Raw." The adult language and wailing tones are part of what shocked me when I first listened to this album. The opening song "Ares" is the clearest example of this.
In whole the songs are about rough parts in a relationship. The original single, "Mercury, " is about a step back - "my Mercury's in retrograde." In the newer, deluxe version of the album, the single "Talons" has been added, which seems to be a realization of the deception of recklessness and sinful behavior - "I have been wicked, I have been arrogant...and when it comes, it will feel like a kiss."
If you're looking for some of the earlier Bloc Party sound, it's still there: "Halo" sounds very Silent Alarm-esque, and "Better than Heaven" sounds similar to "Luno." And, of course, the single "Flux" is a dance-floor contribution to A Weekend in the City.
The only thing that would have made this album better in my opinion would be if they hadn't released it in the two versions. To me it seems that by doing this they lost some of the continuity and wholeness that I like to see in albums, like what Coldplay did with Viva la Vida. But there's no way I wouldn't support such a great band as Bloc Party.