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Bloc Party Gets Back To Basics

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Bloc Party Gets Back To Basics

Bloc Party Gets Back To Basics

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(SOUNDBITE OF DRUMMING)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, when a band sits down to write new music, they often have a goal in mind. Maybe it's to tell listeners a story, make them feel something, evoke an atmosphere.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: But for the British rock band Bloc Party, whom we're hearing now, the goal was more modest. They wanted to sound, simply, like four guys playing music in a practice room.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: It may not be the most novel idea, but for Bloc Party, it's a return to their roots. Kele Okereke is Bloc Party's lead singer and rhythm guitarist.

KELE OKEREKE: When you have a riff and you play it to the others and they play it back to you, but they play it back to you slightly differently, and then it takes your idea somewhere else. You know, I miss that kind of way of working.

GREENE: The way they worked on their previous album was very different. It was heavily produced, borne more from hours spent in front of a computer than in a practice room.

OKEREKE: It wasn't the most spontaneous process and I was missing that organic feeling.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: That organic feeling is back and it can be heard on Bloc Party's new album, called "Four," which is their fourth album. The band has been on hiatus the past few years. And one of the first songs they wrote when they regrouped is "Real Talk."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "REAL TALK")

OKEREKE: (Singing) I've lived in every town. But here is where I find home. My mind is open...

It was one of the first songs that we wrote. And when I, you know, when we started rehearsing together in New York, I knew then that we were going to make another record, because I felt excited by this song. It was a different way of playing for all of us.

GREENE: And for the band, a different kind of writing on this record, for example, a science fiction song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "V.A.L.I.S.")

OKEREKE: (Singing) He's into epiphany. He's into philosophy. He's into methyl amphetamines. He's into science but he's lost his way...

GREENE: The idea for this song, Okereke tells us, came from a book he read by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick.

OKEREKE: This idea of communicating with myself from a different time, that's essentially what happens to the main character. They get a warning from themselves from future, and it sends the character on a voyage of self-discovery.

GREENE: On their own voyage of self discovery, the band Bloc Party and their front man, Kele Okereke. Their new album, "Four," debuted at number three on the British pop charts.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "V.A.L.I.S.")

GREENE: You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "V.A.L.I.S.")

OKEREKE: (Singing) Show, show, show...

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