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65. Bloc Party – This Modern Love



If Bloc Party’s descent into tacky Daily Mail-baiting after the release of their first album was disappointing, it at least accentuated the poise and subtlety of something like This Modern Love. In contrast to their later ventures, this song deals with a personal rather than public preoccupation and dissects it with precision as opposed to force. It feels like an itch that Okereke has needed to scratch for a while. Exactly what that itch is, however, is difficult to decipher. He alludes to depression, disconnection from the real world and uncertainty about his own decisions. He hints at a distrust of lasting relationships too, but actually it doesn’t matter that there’s no concrete message – the defiantly unflowery language and choppy guitars give a far better impression of the singer’s headspace than any specific rant. To add to the sense of uncertainty, there’s also constant musical to-ing and fro-ing: the metronomic guitars tick-tock away while the vocals alternate from left to right speaker. The dilemma of the romantic cynic also crops up, most touchingly in the final lines “do you want to come over and kill some time/wrap your arms around me” – without doubt the most poignant moment Bloc Party have committed to tape.

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