Bastille
Bad Blood


3.5
great

Review

by fish CONTRIBUTOR (44 Reviews)
March 5th, 2013 | 143 replies


Release Date: 03/04/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sing it out loud, etc

There’s little point in mulling over the topic of 'authenticity' in pop music since the discussion has all but become a cliché, but there is something curiously grounded about Bad Blood which sets it apart from the crowd. Bastille’s music is unlikely to cause any musical revolutions; it’s based almost exclusively around big pop hooks, with simple song structures and clean production. Their acceleration to the top- bagging a #2 spot in the singles charts before their debut even being released- is something normally associated with fabricated pop acts and stereotypically greedy major record labels. And yet there is something about Bastille’s restrained instrumentation, in avoiding the OTT-extravagance of their peers, which makes the music sound surprisingly down to earth and human. Dan Smith’s vocals are probably at centre of it more than anything else; they’re grand and bold, but evoke a calm wisdom and modesty.

But really, this is catchy pop at heart. Huge, uplifting choruses are abound, with “Pompeii”, “Daniel In The Den” and “Laura Palmer” providing the best cuts. Group vocals are prominent throughout and Dan Smith’s voice in the lead perfectly suits this style, but it also handles the quieter moments well too. It rises from the weary “Get Home” and drives forward “Things We Lost In The Fire” above its soft instrumentation. Not that the instrumentation is ever particularly thick. There are gentle strings here, delicate piano notes there and creeping guitars throughout; but if anything it’s the percussion which pulls the strings more than any of the other instruments. In most songs beefy live drums provide the heart of the music, reminiscent of Florence & the Machine’s “Drumming Song”; on “Icarus” they fuel the energy of the tribal-like rhythm. Elsewhere, electronic beats tone down the mood for the sake of some of the softer tracks, such as on “Oblivion” or even the soothing dubstep of “Overjoyed”.

Although Bad Blood is strongly hook based and certainly designed for accessible consumption, there is enough subtle experimentation for songs to stand on their own merits. There’s the immense “Pompeii”, the lively of “Icarus”, the serene “Overjoyed” and the more melancholic likes of “Oblivion”. Bastille may not bring much particularly new, but with Bad Blood they have taken a range of ideas and, in making them their own, have provided a hugely gratifying slice of rock-tinged pop which manages to be interesting and down to earth without detracting from the main goal of its immense hooks.



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user ratings (152)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2013


22047 Comments


First review as contrib. Found it surprisingly hard to write and had to completely start over. Need
to
get used to writing positive reviews again.


"Pompeii": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F90Cw4l-8NY
"Overjoyed": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK3fVJtFTh0
"Laura Palmer": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXF-CSlpyxQ

Album came out yesterday.


Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2013


7128 Comments


So you started over?

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2013


22047 Comments


Yeah

Strider
March 5th 2013


4598 Comments


I love Oblivion, will check the out. I'd pos if I could

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2013


22047 Comments


That's actually one of my least favourites on the album

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2013


1047 Comments


Nice take on it, I'd pos.

Couple of things which stood out to me though man;

"Not that the instrumentation is every particularly thick."

"Elsewhere, electronic beats tone the down the mood for the sake of some of the softer tracks"

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2013


22047 Comments


Whoops, I'll get on that

Thanks

xist
March 5th 2013


171 Comments


The Other People's Heartache compilations were great so i'm interested to hear how this compares.

Sanders
March 5th 2013


2361 Comments


Must have heard Overjoyed over a year ago now...

If I enjoyed that track will I like the rest of the album?

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2013


22047 Comments


That song's a bit of an anomaly but no song really deviates that far from the rest so it's worth a go.

mindleviticus
March 5th 2013


8330 Comments


This sounds pretty average, man

Good review, though. (In spirit) POS'd

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2013


22047 Comments


The middle of the album is a bit weaker

cpimentel986
March 5th 2013


82 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm quite loving it actually. The title track is really interesting, my favourite thus far.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2013


22047 Comments


that ratings chart

cpimentel986
March 7th 2013


82 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah...they're making up their minds
Is it pop, is it not?...

stiflethis
March 11th 2013


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'd been waiting for this album since I first saw that incredible acoustic Flaws video that someone
took down. The multi-person hand drumming is what got me, haha. Still I love this band and love this
album. While there are some weak parts, I think his sound is just....different? That's the only word I
can come up with. And I find myself judging his music almost entirely over how it makes me feel as
opposed to comparing it to other atmospheric folk rock-type stuff.

BigPleb
March 11th 2013


37888 Comments


Eh its ok

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

Interlude
March 21st 2013


2 Comments


Sounds like White Lies quite a bit

RadicalEd
March 21st 2013


2846 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

alrighty. But nothing more. I'd say it's a 3. Good review though.

Digging: ODESZA - In Return

NorwichScene
March 30th 2013


1523 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Listening to this now. My wife loves this and Two Door Cinema Club at the mo



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