Bloc Party wanted to expand their sonic palette without losing the musical "jerkiness" of Silent Alarm. Moakes has explained the choice of producer by stating that the band members were looking to work with someone who could help them craft an accomplished album, "although as much as anything it's about finding someone who you'd want to spend six weeks in an enclosed space with".
Moakes additionally focused on using different types of synthesiser. A makeshift booth was built around the back of the drum kit to reduce any sonic interference, while a roof was sometimes used over drummer Matt Tong to isolate a pure sound.
Different types of microphones were used for each component of the drum kit. The miking scheme was crucial to prepare the drum tracks for the looping and processing Lee planned using production program Logic. The band worked by setting up all the instruments with only a single power amplifier. McFall has pointed out that distorted and heavily compressed mics were used to capture some of the room's ambience "to add a bit of grit" to the instrumental tracks; the recordings were often processed further using distressors,  special types of compressor noted for their distinctively aggressive sound.
The band sometimes performed while Tong's kit was re-amped and played sections live while a brick was placed on the sustain pedal of a piano to capture the vibrations during the performances.
Lee recorded everything using Digital Audio Workstation Pro Tools and treated the parts as individual stereo files in Logic. The drum and guitar tracks were processed using computers. Okereke later returned to Lee's studio to add the vocal tracks to the album;  he has noted that he tried to "convey range and dynamics " rather than simply yelp the lyrics. Wichita Recordings did not comment, but the band members were quoted as being worried about a reduction in the potential impact of the album's content and sales.
The focus was changed to interviews throughout the world to explain the album's stylised lyrics and composition in the run-up to its release.
Final tweaks on the album were completed in December in London. The album was released in the rest of the world in the first week of February. Okereke's lyrics attempt to juxtapose the monotonous events—nights out on club dancefloors and waiting for a train—with the seemingly epic experiences—terrorist attacks and racial angst—witnessed in a city environment. Like in a city, with thousands of stories going on at once, layered on top of each other Although I might be speaking through the voice of a character, I'm still expressing, perhaps, my sentiments.
The words to "Where Is Home? Okereke has described him as a "cousin" due to their Nigerian mothers' close friendship. The track castigates right-wing newspapers for perpetuating a hysterical fear of black youths in hoodies, an action which often leads to opportunities being denied to the Black British community at large.
Okereke has stated, "I guess the point about the song for me is post- September 11th , the media has really traded on fear and the use of fear in controlling people. It is directly inspired by Douglas Rushkoff 's Merchants of Cool documentary, which details the corporate exploitation of popular culture by advertisement companies. Okereke read Guy Debord 's The Society of the Spectacle and Henri Lefebvre 's Critique of Everyday Life , works which analyse how people experience leisure in modern societies, and was inspired to pen several songs which detail the drug and drink culture present in a metropolis.
Okereke tried to treat the tracks as explanations of people's actions, rather than moralising tales; he has stated, "In a time when so many people feel they can't communicate or feel hemmed in, I can see the appeal of cocaine. The album closer is named after Seroxat, a trade name for the antidepressant paroxetine , and was crafted following the suicide attempts of two of Okereke's friends after they left university in A Weekend in the City is largely built around a mix of distorted and layered guitars, electronic elements, and multilayered vocals.
Half of the song was recorded as a series of loops of drum beats and bass guitar chords. The recorded take was split in two to make up the first and last quarters of the track, while the middle section was intentionally left blank for the band to improvise in. The latter track includes erratic rhythms and clashing guitars. Michael Endelman of Entertainment Weekly was less receptive and stated, "Too often, the music on A Weekend in the City is less memorable than the ambitious subject matter.
The album was named by Los Angeles Times in its unnumbered shortlist of the best releases of The album also topped the Billboard Top Independent Albums.
Bloc Party embarked on their second major worldwide tour for the album in August , playing across Australia, the US, Mexico, and Canada. The strong start to the album continues to amass appeal with each listen whilst the weaker latter stages become more and more stranded.
This sophomore effort has enough merits to eek away from the looming shadow of Silent Alarm and signal a new era for Bloc Party. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. If you choose to use this review on your site please link back to this page. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving. Nevertheless, there are enough bright spots on A Weekend in the City that make it a decent, if not overpowering, endeavor.
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