Bastille’s debut album “Bad Blood” is a pleasing mix of electronic music with acoustic instruments, but in all honesty, the album would be just as good, if not better, if the band emphasized their musical talent through more acoustic instruments instead of the techno, Auto-Tuned music added to the band’s natural voices.
The electronic music mixed with piano sounds a bit sci-fi and reminds me of Owl City songs like “Firefly.” Unlike Owl City, Bastille is composed of more than one artist and doesn’t rely on pre-recorded, techno beats, so the music is much more enjoyable due to the unique mix of acoustic and synthesized music.
Bastille reminds us that all the band members are talented musicians with their acoustic instruments and haunting vocals. Within every song on the album, lead singer Dan Smith is accompanied by Chris Wood, Kyle Simmons and Will Farquarson’s vocals to create harmonies that are hauntingly beautiful and a step down from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but a step up from the overplayed Imagine Dragons song “Radioactive.”
Smith also showcases his vocals by belting out notes in nearly every song. While it’s nice to hear how talented he is, it gets tiresome to hear him or the others go “ohhhhhhhhh” or “ahhhhhhhh” in every song.
On top of pleasing and relaxing vocals, the acoustic instruments are outstandingly played. The piano playing in “Oblivion,” “Things We Lost in the Fire” and “Overjoyed” is beautiful and leaves the listener desiring more of that, instead of the digitalized beats added to all the songs that drown out the gorgeous piano playing and violins at times.
By no means are the electronic beats horrendous. In fact, they add an upbeat feel to songs with deep messages in them like “Icarus,” “Flaws” and “Pompeii.” All these songs could’ve easily been transformed into melancholy songs if it weren’t for the Auto-Tuned music, but instead the songs leave the listener smiling and feeling optimistic, which is always a fantastic impact.
Despite the techno beats adding to some songs, they take away from others. In the case of the song “Overjoyed,” which starts off with a gorgeous piano melody but progresses into synthesized music, there was about thirty seconds of just synthesized music that kill a great song with a powerful message.
The album is powerful with songs that have catchy beats and strong messages to them, but the acoustics of the band could’ve been emphasized more instead of the electronic beats, which at times suppress the band’s natural talent.