Bloc Party - HYMNS
Critic Score
Based on 25 reviews
2016 Ratings: #739 / 760
User Score
Based on 158 ratings
2016 Ratings: #623
January 29, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Infectious Music, BMG, Vagrant / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
Entertainment Weekly

Okereke holds it all together with his warm croon and penchant for writing lyrics that search for spiritual salvation in the midst of corporeal pleasures.

80
NME

Their most sombre, haunted and immersive record to date, it’s so drenched in quasi-religious themes and tones it could be a sister piece to the Pope’s recent kick-ass rock album.

70
The Line of Best Fit
Bloc Party have teased the future while paying homage to the past – every one of their phases gets a revisit, but a whole host of new ideas are dangled in front of us.
60
DIY
Be they songs, or even sections thereof, there’s still flashes of that brilliance that shot the young upstarts that once made Bloc Party to that early success. Like the band themselves these days, though, ‘Hymns’ is as patchwork as they come.
60
Spin

It’s a better album than 2012’s conflicted, twilit Four, but Okereke’s new grace awaits an engine as powerful as the one enjoyed by his old gracelessness.

60
AllMusic

Hymns finds Bloc Party stuck between a fresh start and continuing their legacy, leaving their identity -- which once seemed so distinctive -- compromised.

60
FasterLouder

The new lineup suggests that there’s reason to keep the party going – even if it takes awhile to warm up again.

60
Northern Transmissions

Akin to a new software release Bloc Party v2.0 isn’t without it’s bugs, although there are some cool features you’d want to keep hold of. Let’s just hope the next instalment provides the right fixes.

58
Consequence of Sound

This may not be the same Bloc Party who made Silent Alarm 12 years ago, but by owning up to their progression over the past decade, they’ve managed to make their strongest work in years.

56
Paste

There are glimpses of vitality on Hymns, but The Spirit is flaky.

50
Pitchfork

Bloc Party’s serene fifth LP observes the void of evangelism in present pop culture, and tries to fill it. But the notion that our jaded generation needs nothing more than a dose of devotional art is tired ... there’s an awkward sense that the 34 year old is clutching at spiritual straws, rather than relating an honest-to-God epiphany.

50
PopMatters

The elements just don’t come together. The disillusionment is too numbing to be compelling, the melodies and arrangements not quite interesting enough to really capture attention.

43
A.V. Club

Where the poignancy and raw grit of Silent Alarm and A Weekend In The City was organic ... the emotional bent of Hymns meanders like a passing breeze before it dissipates.

40
Under The Radar

Judging by its title, Hymns is meant to be a quieter, more introspective record. But Bloc Party has always been capable of great and deep thought, even when moving at a high rate of speed. Without that added urgency, Hymns falls flat.

40
musicOMH

For those expecting the worst ahead of Bloc Party’s return, Hymns is likely to validate all their fears.

40
Clash
In short, on ‘Hymns’ there’s something close to an excellent EP in amongst some of the very worst things ever to bear the Bloc Party name.
40
The Guardian

Guitarist Russell Lissack does his best to insert some typically wiry licks where possible, but there’s none of the claustrophobia or unease that used to make Bloc Party so vital.

40
Tiny Mix Tapes

Hardly necessary, Hymns will be of little interest to anyone but the most devoted Bloc Party fans.

40
The 405
They needed to make a convincing case as to why they still deserve your attention. Instead, they picked the worst possible time to lose their nerve, and turn in something so bereft of conviction and new ideas.
40
No Ripcord

The problem with Hymns is that it chugs along with a series of stilted niceties that lack any kind of rhythm or emotion.

30
Drowned in Sound
Bloc Party’s fifth album isn’t beyond salvation. It is merely crushingly beige, devoid of a crucial spark that might suggest that they aren’t a spent force.
JediMark
51
This is what you get when you don't know how to make a gospel album.
PipePanic
23
This hurt. Like, really badly. Not only is Bloc Party best when they are off the wall, energetic, fun, and intense, but they are also their worst when they are slow, forgettable, boring and sloggy. Sadly, this album is chock full of the later, and it's kills the entire project. It's slow, boring, sloggy and the worst sin of all: Forgettable. And when talking about Bloc Party, that seems like a crime against humanity.

Favorite Jams: The Love Within......uh......Only He Can Heal ... read more
EMR
51
How many reprises does a band has to make to be completely forgotten by their early fanbase? That seems to be the constant question inside a Bloc Party rehearsal session. The indie pop band returns with yet one more record that revisits their breakthrough ideas. Hymns is about ilumination and spiritual redemption, and one might easily identify the themes inside each cut from the tracklisting, but what really stands out here is the amount of filler tracks and uneventful songwriting that runs ... read more
kidhead
30
well... what happened with this band?
johnonymous
13
Stop Bloc Party 2016
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#99/Fopp

Track List

  1. The Love Within
  2. Only He Can Heal Me
  3. So Real
  4. The Good News
  5. Fortress
  6. Different Drugs
  7. Into the Earth
  8. My True Name
  9. Virtue
  10. Exes
  11. Living Lux
  12. Eden
  13. New Blood
  14. Paradiso
  15. Evening Song
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Added on: October 12, 2015