Review: Bastille-Bad Blood


Photo from Creative Commons

By Megumi Kitamoto

As the Arts and Entertainment of the West Side Story, I have been incredibly blessed to get sent music from to review. A few days ago, Bastille’s debut album titled Bad Blood, released on Sept. 8, was sent in the mail.

I must admit, after some background research on Bastille, I thought that I was getting myself into a stereotypical rock band again. I mean, they’re a British band  with vocals, bass and percussion. Their album climbed to the top of the charts, their UK tour with 44000 tickets sold out in less than a day. Their quirky lead vocal Dan Smith’s love for film describes the diversity of the album.  However, after getting hyperventilated gasps from my friends that Bastille was amazing, I started to think that this band is worth listening to.

And boy, it was.

The album kicks off with the fourth single (probably the song that rocketed Bastille to fame) “Pompeii,” and Smith’s smooth voice fits beautifully with the rock beat and the background vocals, which kind of sound like a war chant (you have to hear it for it to make sense). I’m in love with them already, mainly because of their British accents.

Things We Lost in the Fire,” the sixth single, takes  a spin from “Pompeii” and starts out as a ballad, but slowly begins to add beats while still maintaining the ballad feel to the song. This song emphasizes Smith’s ability to carry out a legato song. Very wonderfully, may I add.

The next song and second single, “Bad Blood,” switches back to a very pronounced drum beat in the background. But this time, Smith has a more mature voice and uses background vocals very beautifully in this song.

I’m starting to see a pattern. “Overjoyed,” the first single from the album is a slow, calming number with a lot of high notes that Smith hits spot-on. One thing that turned me down from absolutely loving  this song was the odd techno beats in the middle of the song. But Smith’s gorgeous vocals wipe all thoughts of that away by the end of the song.

A chorus and xylophones start out “These Streets.” Those are both motifs within the song that help Dan Smith’s voice and make you want to tap your foot and sing along to the British accent.

An intense guitar riff and a fast paced beat introduce “Weight of Living, Pt. II.” This song is a little repetitive ( Under the weight of living/ You’re under the weight of living/ The weight of living). A question that popped into my mind was “why is this part 2?” That shall be answered later.

Similar to other songs on the album, “Icarus” has a plethora of foot stomping and chanting that can get a little repetitive (like my last remark, which says that the song is repetitive) but it is not to the point where I want to take my earphones out in disgust. In fact, it makes me want to proceed on to the next track even more.

Bastille’s ballads touch something in my heart, and “Oblivion” is no exception. This one may be my favorite because it contrasts so much with the rest of the album with piano and strings making the song even more calming.

Oh goodness. This band has no flaws, which is especially apparent in the song and third single “Flaws.” (I am trying to be punny). Every song has a particular strong point, and the relateable lyrics are this song’s forté. “All of your flaws and all of my flaws/ They lie there hand in hand/ Ones we’ve inherited, ones that we learned/ They pass from man to man.”

If you like British accents, choral music and rock beats, then “Daniel in the Den” is a perfect song for you. It beautifully balances a rock beat whilst maintaining a beautiful ballad with gorgeous harmonies.

Laura Palmer,” the fifth single from the album, is my new pump up song. The fast-paced and rock feel to the song makes you want to start afresh and work hard at everything. Thank you, Bastille.

Besides kittens, food and warm fuzzy blankets, I must add another weakness to my list and that is Dan Smith’s voice in a capella. Which is exactly how “Get Home” starts out, and it gives me the chills. This song is very minimalistic and has only background vocals, piano and later some subtle beats to accompany Smith.

This album made me very much fall in love with Bastille. It has so much diverse content, but you can still distinguish a Bastille kind of feel to each song. Even if you are set in your mind that you don’t like rock, give Bastille a chance. The songs are also very short, sweet, to the point and they make you addicted like a little kid is addicted to candy.

Still hungry for more Bastille? The deluxe version has three bonus tracks, which include a rock number, “The Silence,” a mysterious feeling song “The Weight of Living, Pt I,” (aha) and “Laughter Lines,” which is a ballad with a touch of rock (typical Bastille style).

A plus plus. 10 gold stars. 20 out of 10. This album is such a good way to start out a career.


For Bastille newcomers: “Pompeii” “Bad Blood” “Laura Palmer”

Best of British accents: “Things We Lost in the Fire” “These Streets” “Daniel in the Den”

Most Moving Lyrics: “Overjoyed” “Weight of Living, Pt II” “Flaws”