Bastille, Doom Days - album review
Bastille are back with their third record - and perhaps the best thing to say about it is it is undeniably Bastille.
They point to more provocative lyrics than previously, an attempt to open up their sound more and try something a little different.
But it is undeniably a Bastille record. This isn't a criticism. Over albums one and two - 2013's Bad Blood and follow-up Wild World in 2016 - they created songs the British public deemed worthy of chart topping positions.
So at this point they could either 'do a Kings Of Leon' and restructure the wheel, or explore new ideas while keeping the core of the music at its centre. They chose option two.
The big, soaring choruses, the harmonised vocals, the electronically assisted guitar-pop melodies. They're all present and accounted for.
Existing Bastille fans will lap up every inch of this LP and cry out for more.
The narrative of the record looks at the trappings and tribulations of modern life. From big nights out to getting loved up, casual hook-ups to relationships to anxiety. The troubles of the social media generation are explored by frontman Dan Smith and the gang.
Smith's voice again is the central force behind the music. He's sweetly soaring vocals are a honeytrap for fans of this corner of the musical spectrum. Many contemporaries could do well to sit down and listen to how he makes the simple sound magnificent as he works.
The Waves showcase this perfectly. He almost takes a back seat to the accompanying choral voices for the chorus - a distinct lack of ego present. The track itself is a thumping and uplifting journey full of hopeful melodies and thudding percussion from sticksman Chris "Woody" Wood.
Quarter Past Midnight ramps up the energy and pace with its quick-paced progression from quietly confident verses to big-sounding choruses. It's full of those oh-so-Bastille rising and falling vocals and quick-paced, foot-tapping melodies.
They slow things down as well for tracks like 4AM and Those Nights - albeit at different ends of the vibrancy scale - showing another side to the assuredness of their pop sound.
As stated previously. It's Bastille, and they know what they're doing. It doesn't please everyone, but enough to win the big awards.
Bastille open their new album tour at Coventry's Warwick Arts Centre on November 29
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