Review: Bastille — Doom Days

Category:  The Arts
Friday, September 6th, 2019 at 11:23 AM
Review: Bastille — Doom Days by Nathan Brennan

With an album title reminiscent of current world events, Bastille released their newest effort, "Doom Days," squarely in the summer season, on June 14.

I had been a fan of their music since they released their 2013 debut album, "Bad Blood," as well as the extended edition, "All This Bad Blood," the latter of which is my favorite of their releases. Their writing has such depth and appeal; there were a couple summers where all I did was lose myself in their catchy tunes and unique lyrics.

However, the love I felt for them decreased a bit over time, enough so that I kept finding myself saying, "It’s good, but not nearly as perfect as ‘Bad Blood’ was." I liked a song of theirs every once in a while, such as a couple off their second album, "Wild World," but it just didn’t have the same magic. I was beginning to think that they’d peaked with their debut.

Thankfully, "Doom Days" dispels this train of thought, leaving me hopeful for the band’s future.

They began to hype up the new album, as some bands do, by putting out singles a number of months in advance; for this album, their first single was "Quarter Past Midnight," released in May of 2018. This song had a similar vibe to the tracks I knew and loved, so I was immediately hooked. However, they went a little quiet until I noticed the album drop in June.

As I do with most albums, I listened to it from beginning to end, and what I heard would become my "summer album," the one I would remember as a standout from 2019.

The best way I can describe the release is in one word: chaotic. Not chaotic in the sense that it’s messy, but it evokes the chaos within ourselves and in the world today.

For instance, "Bad Decisions" posits that, "If we’re going down in flames, take a bow." Essentially, if you’re going to make a bad decision, go all the way, because it’s inevitable.

In another standout track, "The Waves," the song considers a crazy night, perhaps at a party, where you just want to escape with someone who knows exactly what you’re going through. This is seen in the following lyrics, "The waves are crashing down on you and me, I’ll see you on the other side." It continues, evoking that tile, "get carried away, caught up in the waves." In essence, everything is crazy, so just accept this fact and maybe we’ll all get through it. This particular message resonated with me.

Other tracks, such as "Divide" and "Million Pieces," touch again on an overwhelming chaos at the end of the world.

While "Divide" focuses more on reconciling differences between people, "Million Pieces" essentially highlights the sadness felt in this situation, which is seen in the lyric, "It breaks my heart into a million pieces."

This theme comes full circle with one of the best songs, the album’s namesake "Doom Days." This one is on the nose, even if just a little bit: "When I watch the world burn, all I think about is you." The track lists out major problems in the world today, such as climate change and mobile phones; however, despite these daily struggles, the singer still has one person on his mind.

This transitions the album to focus more on relationships and longing for what could’ve been. With songs such as "4AM," "Those Nights" and popular single "Joy," Bastille made a point to detail the intricacies of relationships and the basic need for human compassion and love.

In addition, in personal favorite "Another Place," they contemplate the possibilities of a relationship gone wrong: "In another place, in another time, what could we have been?" It is lines like these that bring up similar occurrences in my own life, helping me realize I’m not alone with these feelings of quiet desperation in a world gone mad.

While not fully living up to the greatness of their debut, Bastille’s "Doom Days" is an album with heart, setting the stage for more success in the years to come.

Tags: music review

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