By Riley Morrison ’16
5 out of 10
With epic choirs, African sounding drum beats and resonant male lead vocals, Bastille’s slightly bland and generic freshman album is never the less mildly satisfying to listen to.
Released Sept. 3, Englishman Dan Smith’s brainchild “Bad Blood” has achieved two Top 40 singles.
“Pompeii,” the first track on the album, is the most popular and has received the most attention.
“Pompeii” is “the band’s much-hyped earworm that’s begging to be overplayed on FM radio,” wrote Katherine Flynn of the Consequence of Sound music blog.
I tend to agree.
Its sonorous male choir adds to the uplifting feel of the song and its overall appeal, but really the song is another meaningless pop song that will be forgotten a month from now.
However, Bastille isn’t bound by its hit single.
“Oblivion’s” soft piano accompaniment and quiet but meaningful tone carry a lot of weight as well.
The song is clearly heartfelt and interesting lyrics have the perfect simple instrumentation to back them up.
On the other hand, one can’t help but notice a lack of originality in many of the songs.
Ten of the 15 tracks on the album begin with the lead singer backed by a choir singing “oh.”
Sarah Jamieson of DIY UK music blog states, “The beautiful part about ‘Bad Blood’ is that it is both entirely predictable yet completely disarming.”
After the first listen through, the album is impressive.
Good singing, good use of drums and cool epic feel all added to a fun album, that while not brilliant, was by no means bad.
However, after the third and fourth time through, the songs all sound the same.
The interesting drum beat starts, the male lead sings a wordless intro, supposedly deep and meaningful lyrics begin, the bass and guitar jump in and the track ends with the singer and piano fading out.
Listen to “Pompeii,” listen to “Oblivion,” listen to “Icarus” and listen to “Get Home” then stop, you will have heard it all.