After winning over U.S. hipsters en masse with its critically acclaimed 2005 debut "Silent Alarm," U.K. rock act Bloc Party is aiming for a breakout with mainstream audiences on its sophomore outing.

After winning over U.S. hipsters en masse with its critically acclaimed 2005 debut "Silent Alarm," U.K. rock act Bloc Party is aiming for a breakout with mainstream audiences on its sophomore outing. "A Weekend in the City" drops this week via Vice Recordings/Atlantic Records and comes with increased expectations in tow.

Under producer Jacknife Lee's direction, frontman Kele Okereke, guitarist Russell Lissack, bassist Gordon Moakes and drummer Matt Tong toned down the frenetic feel of their Paul Epworth-produced debut, which drew comparisons to the jerky post-punk of Gang of Four and late-period Blur.

"A Weekend in the City," particularly on its back half, is dominated by slower, richly textured songs (the lead single, as well as "On," "Sunday" and "Kruezberg") that stretch into pop/rock territory. "It's got everything that makes a Coldplay song, plus more," Moakes says of the band's more introspective material. "It has a lush sound without being too syrupy."

It also features much more direct vocals from Okereke, who makes a big leap as a songwriter and lyricist on this loose song cycle that thematically mirrors its title. "I wanted to make something that could be more easily understood, without dumbing it down," Okereke says.

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