It's been three years since the hit single "Pompeii" took the world by storm, and Bastille is looking to follow up that success with the release of their second album, “Wild World.” “Wild World,” released Sept. 9, is composed of 14 tracks, and the complete edition has an additional five songs. Many of the songs feature quotes from movies and advertisements and presents various musical styles.
Musicians have always used their music as a platform for social commentary, and Bastille does this beautifully while also tying their songs back to a need for love and affection. However, the album lacks any personal information about the writer, such as where he's from or his individual struggles. These details can be important to listeners who like to relate their experiences to the music they listen to. There are songs about love and anxiety, but they are fairly generalized.
Though mainly sticking to Bastille’s usual pop alternative style, the album also includes some electronic vibes, some slower piano tunes and some big band, brassy sounds. Many songwriters and musicians use repetition to hone in on a certain message in their songs, but “Wild World” contained so much repetition that it became less meaningful and more annoying.
The general theme for the first half of the album focused on social issues and raw human emotion. Social issues addressed were bigotry, media corruption, gang activity and capital punishment.
“The Currents” releases frustration on a friend who seems to be ignorant that their bigotry has an effect on those around them. “Four Walls (The Ballad of Perry Smith)” was the writers’ way of including criticism of the death penalty by using a highly publicized murder case from the 1950s. The theme of love ran throughout the entire album, with prominent ideas in using love and affection as an escape from social problems.
About halfway through, the tracks become less about commentary on the world’s issues and more about love. Other themes present were sex, kindness, nostalgia and anxiety. “Oil On Water,” a track off the complete edition, tells about the life a comedic sex blogger and, while lighthearted, it makes the listener think about the culture of casual sex.
I would give the album an A-. The songs were powerful and beautiful, but the lyrics were often too repetitive. The album did focus on some important social issues, however, the main focus of the songs shifted back and forth with the initial theme and mood changing about halfway through the album. Yet overall I would recommend this album to anyone, whether they’ve listened to Bastille much or not.