Well, maybe that’s a little harsh. It has some soul – just not quite enough to give it the same staying power and instantly listenable qualities of Bad Blood.
Three years after their enormously-popular first album, Bastille have returned with Wild World. Boasting a 19 song track list, it covers a lot of ground. If you’re in it for the catchy tunes and evocative lyrics that helped the band break into the mainstream first time around, you’re unlikely to leave disappointed. That said, it’s certainly a more uneven listen than its predecessor.
While any 19-song record is going to have its highs and lows, the patchwork spectrum of tone and style here really works against the album. Still, there are certain moments of inspiration that shine through.
“Send Them Off”, “Good Grief” and “Warmth” stand out as the louder highlights of the album. Their use of sampling and trumpets feels like an energizing addition to the band’s formula and I found myself wishing for more.
Meanwhile, other songs try to play off the current political climate. “The Currents” reads as very responsive to the rise of extremist demagogues like Donald Trump.
While there are plenty of parts of Wild World that I really enjoyed – a riff here, a hook there – a lot of what surrounds those electrifying highs isn’t all that memorable.
By the time I reached the final track, “The Anchor” (which is actually a pretty strong note to go out on), I didn’t just feel like I was ready to let Wild World go – I felt almost ready to let Bastille go.
There are moment where it almost comes together but I could never quite shake the feeling that Bastille could of – and have – done better.