Showing posts with label bastille. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bastille. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

video review: 'doom days' by bastille

Alright, that was mediocre - not really surprising or disappointing, though.

No, if you want that stuff... well, stay tuned.

album review: 'doom days' by bastille

...third time's the charm, right?

Look, I would have every good excuse to skip over this project. I was lukewarm on Bad Blood, a project buoyed by a few genuinely great songs and a lot of underwhelming mediocrity. I got even less to work with on 2016's Wild World, saved only by 'Blame' amidst a torrent of awful production choices and writing that seemed to miss treating its acrid condescension and surface-level poetry for genuine earnest swell. And then there was 'Happier', which stripped away the traces of organic swell and groove to work with Marshmello, and basically is a song that exists - nobody will remember or care about that track in a year or two, it was Dan Smith cashing in his limited connections for a momentary crossover so Bastille is no longer a one-hit wonder.

But hey, maybe this third album would work - framed as a concept album starting at midnight and working to the morning during an extended party with explicit lyrical timestamps, this is an arc that's connected before. Hell, one of my favourite albums from 2017, Written At Night by underground rapper Uncommon Nasa, took a similar window of time with more introversion, so I was morbidly curious about how Bastille would approach this, especially as they didn't seem like a band that would make a 'party' project in this lane. So okay, what did we get with Doom Days?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 3, 2018 (VIDEO)

Huh, this is up... WAY earlier than usual. And when the week is this decent, I'm all right with that!

Next up... well, we've got the Trailing Edge, but after that stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 3, 2018

Okay, I made the statement last week that things were likely to slow down - I didn't expect it to slow down this much. Of course, it was still a modestly busy week within the charts - fair number of gains and losses, sizable number of returning entries, even some top ten activity - but we only have two new songs this week, so regardless of what I do this is going to be pretty short... at least until 6ix9ine crashes in next week, but we'll deal with that engorged appendix when it explodes.

Monday, September 12, 2016

video review: 'wild world' by bastille

So this happened... man, I wish I could have liked this more, but the more I think about the writing and framing the less I like this project. Ugh, such a disappointment...

But moving on, we've got Billboard BREAKDOWN up next, then Angel Olsen and Nick Cave and whatever I've got time for before my insane weekend - stay tuned!

album review: 'wild world' by bastille

I have a gut feeling that this review will end up being more controversial than it should be.

Hell, the last time I covered Bastille it ended up controversial, mostly because while I didn't mind the record I also felt a little distant from it. Keep in mind this is a group that had a song that landed on my top ten best hit songs of 2014 and a record on which I was positive... but not one that I felt held up outside of a few songs. Part of it was the somewhat awkward blend of textures that came through matching colder, stiffer electronic beats and percussion with more organic vocal textures, and then when you factor in lyrics that occasionally aimed for higher concepts and yet rarely stuck the landing when they weren't wallowing in relationship drama that didn't match the bombast... it felt like an odd blend that didn't quite connect.

But to be fair, Bastille's always been a weird mishmash of an act - probably closest to the percussion-over-melody brand of indie pop rock that can be very hit-and-miss with me, and yet they did have a distinctive style and attitude that I wished I could like more. And that's one reason I was willing to give their follow-up record Wild World a chance - same production team, a little more experience and polish and knowledge of a workable sound, maybe it would lead to stronger songs. Was I right?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

the top ten best hit songs of 2014 (VIDEO)

And here's list #2. Yes, I know it's excruciatingly early, but I'm posting this from the airport, it happens. Enjoy!

the top ten best hit songs of 2014

And now onto our second list, and the one that doesn't give me heart palpitations whenever I think about it, the Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2014. 

Once again, let's go over some of the main rules: the songs need to debut on the year-end Billboard Hot 100 list this year - so while there are songs like 'Counting Stars' and 'Wake Me Up!' that came out last year and still made this year's Billboard 100, they already had their shot to make the list.

What gets a little frustrating because while the year-end Billboard Hot 100 didn't have as many outright terrible songs as last year, I'd also make the argument it didn't have as many genuinely awesome smash songs either. 2014 tended towards average all around, with only a few genuinely great songs and a whole sea of songs that were pretty solid but didn't evoke a huge amount of reaction from me, one way or the other. And once again, this is my list of my favourite hits - the list of the songs from across the entire year that never touched the charts is on its way - but that's not ripping into these songs, most of which had real genuine quality behind them.

But let's not waste time, let's get to the Honourable Mentions!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

video review: 'bad blood' by bastille

Really not sure how this retro review will go down, to be honest. I'm pretty pleased with it, but you never know.

This week will promise to be absolutely goddamn insane, and I'm going to try to cover as much as I can, but with family coming down on Friday and a full work schedule as it is... this could be a tough week. Stay tuned!

album review: 'bad blood' by bastille (RETRO REVIEW)

Here's something that you might not know about me: I'm a huge follower of the Billboard Hot 100 charts. I find them surprisingly fascinating in a perverse sort of way, watching what gets airplay and mainstream success thanks to a nebulous ranking which is plagued by changes in policy, odd editorial direction, or outright mistakes. The funny thing is that the music industry has had something of a love/hate relationship with Billboard throughout the decades, particularly in the mid-to-late 90s, where the record industry manipulated the charts through carefully timed single releases (to abuse the policy where a single had to be released to chart, neglecting album cuts, so the label would wait until a song had peak radio airplay then release the single to maximize chart position). And then you have cases like earlier this year, where Billboard finally decided to include YouTube streams in response to 'Gangnam Style' being blocked for weeks by a lousy Maroon 5 song ('One More Night') - and then the goddamn Harlem Shake went to #1 for five weeks.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that every week, I make a point of going through the Hot 100 and checking out what I've been missing - as I've said, I've got a populist streak, and it makes sense to be engaged. And in the course of doing so, I've noticed a few anomalies on the charts, songs that sound a little out-of-place - intriguingly so, in a way. And one of those songs comes from the act I'm going to talk about today: Bastille.

Bastille is a band that falls into an intriguing category for me: indie rock bands that most music critics don't want to cover and yet are widely liked by the mainstream, otherwise known as 'silent majority' acts. This year, the acts that fit the bill are bands like The 1975, or Bastille, or The Neighborhood (who I'll be covering a little later) - and it often seems like music critics only review these bands with the strongest of trepidation. And to be fair, it's not hard to see why: these are acts that are being pushed towards the mainstream by the label, and with the right single or Glee cover, they can rapidly become massive hits. This happened in 2011 with Foster The People, it happened in 2012 with fun., and now it's clear the labels are looking to recreate that success this year - and some critics resent this because they feel these bands are shallow facsimiles of what 'authentic' indie music is. Now the whole argument regarding what is artistically 'authentic' or 'underground' these days with the rise of the internet has gotten insanely convoluted and more than a little stupid, so let me drop my solitary opinion here: I'm going to be making my authenticity judgement based on the music and the lyrics, not some hypothetical indie criteria or whether or not Pitchfork slobbers all over them. And I since I've got a stronger pop sensibility than some - and because I still need more time to get through Dream Theater's discography - I'm going to take a look at Bastille's debut album Bad Blood. Does it rise above its 'silent majority' status?