“So, what would you little maniacs like to do first?”
This introductory statement sets the stage for the bold album that is to follow. Bastille’s second studio album, Wild World, is definitely a step in the direction of the exotic for the band. The stark contrast between this new album and the band’s first studio album, Bad Blood, is the conscious evolution toward a new sound. Bad Blood has a much more subdued sound. Sleepy, slow, and thoughtful are words that come to mind when thinking of Wild World. It’s been three years since Bad Blood, and it seems Bastille was ready for a change.
While still clutching onto aspects of its indie sound, the band sounds much more mainstream in this new album. Everything seems to be edgier, bolder, and bigger. Although this may upset some fans, Bastille will attract others with its electronic sound. It achieves this newer sound by trying out different techniques sprinkled throughout the album. In a few select songs, like “Good Grief” and “Send Them Off!,” the band uses spoken word to begin. The spoken word sounds are muffled, however, almost as if they came from an old-time radio. The album also employs a blend of electronic sounds and usually classical instruments.
The album begins with the bold track, “Good Grief.” After the interesting introduction, this upbeat song sets a young, hip tone for what follows. Following “Good Grief” is “The Currents,” which takes a bold approach by beginning with a chorus of violins, followed by a strong, interrupting electronic beat that somehow also complements the sound. Playing with off-beats and different sounds, instrumental and electronic, “The Currents” is a head banger. “An Act Of Kindness” slows down the album a bit, at least until the chorus of the song begins. Again, playing with electronic sounds, a piano, and vocals, the song is an interesting blend.
“Warmth” is anything but its name. Newscaster-sounding voiceovers begin the track discussing privacy and a general sense of a conventional ethical practices. From here, electronic pulses lead the song into lyrics about how wild a world it is and how the singer needs someone to help him forget. “Glory” seems to tell the story of youth and the struggle of understanding divine or inconceivable things like heaven.
“Two Evils” slows the album down. It is a much more contemplative and reflective piece. The focus of the song is on the vocals and the lyrics, rather than noisy instrumental acrobatics in the background. It has a haunting element to it, which makes it all the more provocative. The rest of the album continues with the fast-paced, crowd-pleaser trend. There are a few standouts, including “Blame” and “Snake.” “Blame” employs a strong electric guitar and rocker feel. “Snake” specifically addresses today’s issues and how it’s easier to “bury my head in the sand sometimes.”
At 19 songs, the album eventually begins to drag. A lot of the music starts to feel the same, and it begins to lack any sense of originality. Even taking out five of the songs toward the end of Wild World would improve the overall flow of the album.
Most of the tracks bring up the idea of the moral world and some of the heavier questions of life. The names of a few of the songs, “Power,” “Glory,” “An Act of Kindness,” and “Shame,” for example, deal with some of the issues debated in life and the avoidance of these issues. There seems to be the constant topic of avoiding the conflict and turmoil in this wild, wild world.
Featured Image By Virgin Records