In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing.
It still confuses me that critics—and some fans—reacted with such surprise, and even revulsion, to Bloc Party’s second album, 2007’s A Weekend In The City. Sure, it purposely lacked the dance-punk crunch of 2005’s Silent Alarm, but made up for it with sonic layers and newfound emotional depth from singer Kele Okereke. Both are solidly evident on Weekend’s second single, “I Still Remember,” a midtempo love song about a school-age afternoon spent with an unrequited crush. (That the crush is probably another boy also helped Okereke toe open the closet door, which he does elsewhere on the record as well.) It’s the wistful details of this relationship that didn’t happen that make it appealing: Okereke recalls the conversation, the setting, and the sweet regret of a day that probably seemed perfect at the time: “You should have asked me for it,” he sings. “How could I say no?” Couple that with an earworm of a guitar melody, and all the hate for Weekend In The City gets even more confounding. Listen without prejudice, like a great man once said.