TITLE: Bad Blood
YEAR RELEASED: 2013
CHART ACTION: #11 US, #1 UK
SINGLES: Overjoyed, Bad Blood (#95 US, #90 UK), Flaws (#122 US, #21 UK), Pompeii (#5 US, #2 UK), Laura Palmer (#42 UK), Things We Lost in the Fire (#28 UK), Oblivion (#82 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Seven singles out of 12 doesn’t leave much room for deep cuts
LINEUP: Dan Smith, Kyle Simmons, Will Farquarson, Chris Wood with Mark Crew and string players
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Huge and pompous sounding group’s debut somehow makes huge and pompous less pretentious than you’d think.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: They sound big, and important. But in the wake of Florence & the Machine, that’s not a liability, especially if you have the songs.
Using strings, orchestration, huge drum sounds, combined with a pop sensibility, Bastille’s album is actually an enjoyable record that doesn’t pummel you. That’s due to the hooks, and the production by Mark Crew, and leader Dan Smith. It’s big sounding, but radio friendly.
At their worst, they sound somewhat cold and distant, but that’s only occasionally. This is a modern pop album that you won’t skip through.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Their initial self-released single is now worth over 300 pounds.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Several, but the largest one is a collection called All This Bad Blood, which takes B-sides and adds them to an EPs worth of new songs, including a new single “Of the Night” (#2 UK)
GRADE: A-: I know some UK critics didn’t like the record, but I did. I’m just as surprised as you are, probably.