Music Reviews

“A Little Too Far From Their Roots” – Album Review: Bastille – ‘Give Me The Future’

Katie Hardy 

British giants Bastille stray a step further from their indie roots and into digestible dystopian pop with their 4th album ‘Give Me The Future’, but are less successful than their last effort. Katie Hardy reviews.

When Bastille first broke into the UK Charts in the early 2010s, their idiosyncratic blend of electro-synth-pop and indie pop helped them straddle the spheres of mainstream pop and indie music. Their first album, containing their most recognisable hit ‘Pompeii’, was certified 3x Platinum in the UK and earned them a nomination at the 2014 Brit Awards. Three albums and almost 10 years later, their latest EP ‘Give Me The Future’ sounds like a band who have come a little too far from their roots and have lost what first made them so great.

Dan Smith’s distinctive ever-so-British singing voice over tried and tested pop loops and production

The album opens with Distorted Light Beam, the first single which was released in June last year.  The song’s first minute encapsulates what will follow as the album progresses – Dan Smith’s distinctive ever-so-British singing voice over tried and tested pop loops and production. It sets up the album’s focus on technology and dystopia, which is continued on the next tracks and fellow singles, Thelma + Louise and No Bad Days. Despite the darker lyrics in places these are catchy, infectious pop tracks, but with choruses that fall slightly short of staying in your head.

By the middle of the album the tracks are sprinkled with some reverb-drenched guitars that wouldn’t sound out of place in The 1975’s early work. Track 7, Promises is a spoken-word poetry piece by actor and rapper Riz Ahmed. It’s a nice break from the first part of the album, but the last few tracks after it do little to close it. Final track Future Holds feels no different from the others, and certainly isn’t a finale piece.

it felt more like a starting point than a finished album

Give Me The Future has two interludes – Brave New World and Total Dissociation, which help to briefly spotlight the production and music. Total Dissociation might actually be one of the highlights of the album; it’s certainly one of the most optimistic parts with one of the catchiest hooks.

Upon finishing this album I felt underwhelmed. At times it comes close to catchy choruses, instrumental earworms and fully-developed songs, but it felt more like a starting point than a finished album. The production is good enough but nothing special – lead singer Smith worked with producer Mark Crew (who has worked with The Wombats and Rag’n’Bone Man) on this album. The pair have worked together on all of Bastille’s albums, but this one seems flatter and blander.

The lyrics are packed with dystopian allusion but won’t leave you feeling especially transported. It’s a digestible, easy-listening effort made for the mainstream pop scene, but pushes the band away from what made them so great in the first place – originality.

Katie Hardy

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image courtesy of @bastilledan via No changes were made to this image.

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