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Joshua X

CD of The Week

Week of 9/12/16

    Bastille - Wild World (Virgin)

    Bastille have returned for their sophomore release with their eyes set on the future. In 2013, one song stood out from the crowd of pre-produced pop and dared to yearn for more. 'Pompeii' became the anthem for the year, and propelled the band into the international spotlight. The album was full of historical and mythological references while fusing cutting melodies with piercing and memorable harmonies.

    Wild World sees Bastille return to form while entering into a new space of contemporary issues that plague the average person. The album opens with the almost anthemic 'Good Grief,' carrying an upbeat tune with lyrics that scream of despair and disdain.

    Frontman Dan Smith's lyrics would not fit with anyone else's voice, which is supported by the music produced by his cohorts. Bastille's sound is distinctly unique - a blend of crunchy alt-rock with a hint of EDM and R&B, while plunging forward with unapologetic harmonies that never grow old. Wild World also features the use of various audio clips from other areas of pop culture. It's almost as if Smith and company aim to show how widespread these issues are that they span various media.

    In 'Two Evils,' Smith begins by admitting he's the lesser of two evils, implying you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. 'Power' relates to our inner dialog by proclaiming, 'I will never understand the power you were holding over me.' This theme continues in 'Shame' as he cries, 'Maybe I'm living in the past. Who am I to judge, I'm the worst of all.' It's the overly aware self-critical narrative that afflicts us all at one point or another. Perhaps the most piercing lyrics on the album come from 'Way Beyond,' when Smith sings, 'Movies and news on television / Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference / When real life's more f***d up than fiction / Do you want to be free of this?'

    Rarely do we see a band flawlessly mesh so much musical influence into this powerful a package. Bastille clearly had something left to say after Bad Blood, and did not disappoint with the message in Wild World.

    **Donate $15 or more to Y-Not Radio this week to receive a download of Wild World. Click here for details.
    Review by Dan Baker

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