Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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**1/2

BLOC PARTY
A Weekend in the City
Vice

A party with everything but killer choruses

Many second-level pop stars have looked dumber agonizing over their own success than Kele Okereke. But however obsesses he may be with the celebrity fleshpots he frequents so unhappily on the lead cut, they remain a cliché to which he adds nothing, including a decent tune. Elsewhere he bemoans his inability to love, and so it goes. Okereke is singing with size and emotion, and producer Jacknife Lee noises things up nicely. But Bloc Party's beaty songcraft was never as attractive as their multiracial image, and though the new bunch are sharply executed, they cry out for killer choruses now that they're not just outcries of generational frustration. The terrorist-paranoia meditation "Hunting for Witches" is brought home by such a chorus, as is the strung-out "Sunday.;" But too often Okereke relies on his celebrity and production budget to make us listen. He should ask Brandon Flowers -- this probably won't work.

Rolling Stone, Feb. 8, 2007