Bloc Party's priority when recording Silent Alarm was "to give the music more depth, sonically speaking" rather than focus on making a punk funk record. The band believed that 21st-century rock music could only survive if people started "mixing styles that aren't supposed to be together". Okereke has suggested that forward-thinking bands reach a plateau and start to question the boundaries of their medium; this leads to experimentation with elements from other genres. Bloc Party set out to explore the idea of merging different styles in the debut album, rather than in later work. Silent Alarm was crafted to appeal to R&B, electro, and pop fans, on top of the band's core indie rock fanbase. Okereke wanted the album to sound "very rich and full".
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