It is quite evident that Bloc Party enjoy playing with people's expectations. Right from the release of their first LP proper Silent Alarm, we all figured that we had this precocious bunch of Brits pegged. Gang of Four timing signatures with a far more pop-punk oriented delivery, mixed with a slightly inflated sense of political awareness. It was simple, but damn effective.
A Weekend in the City, however, stepped away from that established persona and cautiously attempted to forge a new one. One that was brave, with a steely sense of accomplishment and individuality. Layered guitars, pulsing synths and drum machine swirls were just the window dressing for a far more established product.
Intimacy builds upon that same idea, but falters in that it seems Bloc Party really don't have a sense of themselves anymore. While trying so hard at reinvention, they've lost the core pieces of what made them work to begin with. Intimacy is sloppy and patched together. Say what you want about Bloc Party, but one would always have to stand in awe of the tact in their composition as well as production. Intimacy appears hastily put together and doesn't tell those fleshed out, melodramatic stories that Bloc Party is so good at telling.
In a purely sonic sense, Intimacy is for sure their most bold venture to date, and it is definitely the album's most appealing element. However, the production being so large and sweeping, it mostly comes off as if U2 got wasted, wrote some bad teenage poetry, and then rented a DJ and a studio for a couple of hours. Not my idea of a good use of the potential Bloc Party has been showing me these past few years.