Weekend in the City

Music review by
Karen Fu, Common Sense Media
Weekend in the City Music Poster Image
Deep lyrics give way to memorable indie rock.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages
Violence

Talk about death and violence in a modern world: "Sitting with a shotgun," "As bombs explode on the 30 bus/Kill your middle class indecision/Now is not the time," and "Despired and misinformed fear will keep us all in place."

Sex

Allusions to the bitter taste of sex without love: "promiscuous kissing to crave recognition packed dance floor "

Language
Consumerism

One mention of Marlboro Reds and MTV.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some appearance of substance use: "A pill swallowed with disdain," "I love you in the morning/When you're still hung-over/I love you in the morning/When you're still strung out," "Feasting on sleeping pills/and Marlboro Reds," "Six pack of beer," "Cocaine won't save you."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this album offers layers over a foundation of some angsty lyrics with more depth than most of today's indie rock CDs do. The songs deal with the intricacies and convoluted feelings of young adulthood in an urban jungle -- from desiring fame, making an impact, finding rapture, and dealing with the alienation, stagnation, and disappointment that comes with growing up. Other than a few drug references ("A pill swallowed with disdain," "I love you in the morning/When you're still hung-over/I love you in the morning/When you're still strung out," "Feasting on sleeping pills/and Marlboro Reds," and "Cocaine won't save you"), there's not a whole lot to worry about in terms of content.

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What's the story?

With their second album, WEEKEND IN THE CITY, members of Bloc Party have become sonic scholars and are no longer fledgling, sugar-coated, one-hit entertainers. Success this time around is reeled in thanks to the expressive lyrics and searing instrumental ebbs of lead singer Kele Okereke. Bloc Party is a feelings-heavy band concocted by London nightlife leeches who make music about busting out into the dazzling city scene. While the group still slips into high-and-mighty mode (\"Uniform\"), they redeem themselves in songs like the layered confessional \"On,\" the surreal fantasy \"The Prayer,\" and the bouncy earnest ballad \"I Still Remember.\" The single, \"Waiting for the 7:18\" is glowingly prepackaged and \"Where is Home\" is about thrilling rebellion that ominously builds up.

Is it any good?

Be weary of Bloc Party's tendency to dip into overly dramatic pitfalls, and be patient for the music to break out in tender, surreal-sounding moments. With vulnerable mantras, sometimes complex nuances, and swept-up instrumentals, Bloc Party are the new role models for indie rockers who dare to break out of the box.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the pros and cons of living in a world where violence and war are familiar, inescapable issues. What kinds of feelings are instigated by this knowledge of war and terror? Will "fear keep us all in place"? Anger and activism are also things that families can discuss.

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