With a title as expansive as ‘Wild World’, it’d be easy to assume that Bastille’s second album is simply a reflection of life over the past few years for the band. But there’s more to it than that. Where debut ‘Bad Blood’ was built upon foundations of myth and legend, glimpses of history woven throughout the lyrics, ‘Wild World’ sets itself in the present day, dwelling in human interaction and emotion.
Opener ‘Good Grief’ sets the tone brilliantly, its pomp and grandeur juxtaposed perfectly with Dan Smith’s dark-tinged tale of coping with life after death. ‘The Currents’ is a poignant declaration of our political climate and disbelief at the world we live in (“Oh my god, I can’t quite believe my ears”) while ‘Warmth’ counts the places we seek comfort, when the everyday horrors of modern life seem to creep too close.
Musically, the band sound bolder and more ambitious, yet their core songwriting talents remain at the heart of each song. While ‘Power’ begins with an infectious groove, it explodes into life with guitar riffs before ‘Two Evils’, a stark but gorgeous number, which brings a real cinematic feel to the midpoint of the record. It’s a brave move, but one that more than pays off.
After the tremendous success of debut ‘Bad Blood’, it’s getting harder to deny that Bastille are anything but stadium-bothering pop superstars. But with this second album, they’re still offering an exciting, engaging alternative to pure chart pop, and they do it so bloody well.