Bastille – Wild World

Bastille - Wild WorldBastille‘s second album Wild World comes at a time when politics have the attention of nearly the entire population. In the current era of Brexit and Trump, there’s a lot to talk about.

It’s a changeup from Bad Blood, the British band’s first album that referred heavily to myths and legends. Wild World is strictly present day and much more focused. It isn’t politically charged in the way a Green Day record would be, rather it’s an expression of concern in the face of political turmoil worldwide. Whether it’s looking for distractions in everyday things as a way to escape the 24-hour news cycle on Warmth, or reluctantly reflecting on nostalgia knowing the future is almost certain to get darker in Winter Of Our Youths.

The Currents poses the most direct political hit with “roll up another cigarette using the minute that it takes to think about the power of your words,” as if directly to Trump, and other far-right Western leaders, “how can you think you’re serious?/do you even know what year it is?/I can’t believe the scary points you make/…won’t you stop firing up the crazies?”

The turmoil is internal as well. Good Grief is on coping with the loss of a close friend, “What’s gonna be left of the world/when you’re not in it?”, Send Them Off! demands escape from the possession of jealousy, “set me free from my jealous/won’t you exorcise my mind”, and Fake It is the desire to continue on with a relationship that isn’t working, “We can never go back/We can only do our best to recreate.”

As much as distress over uncertainty shapes the album, so too do synths, beats and layers. Bastille’s first album was heavy with big bombastic choruses; Wild World expands and improves on that as nearly every song booms with catchy melodies and tons of hit-potential. If Pompeii could be huge, so could pretty well any track on here. Despite essentially coming off like an end-of-the-world soundtrack, Wild World is a coming-to-terms with today’s climate and doing it in a way that is accessible to the masses. It’s a pop/rock record radio can get on board with playing while still offering some insight.
Four stars

1. Good Grief
2. The Currents
3. An Act Of Kindness
4. Warmth
5. Glory
6. Power
7. Two Evils
8. Send Them Off!
9. Lethargy
10. Four Walls (The Ballad Of Perry Smith)
11. Blame
12. Fake It
13. Snakes
14. Winter Of Our Youth
15. Way Beyond
16. Oil On Water
17. Campus
18. Shame
19. The Anchor