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CD£13.49

Alternative & Indie - Released December 6, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

CD£13.49

Alternative & Indie - Released December 6, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

After confronting global corruption on 2016's Wild World, it's only natural that the men of Bastille would feel the need for escape that they express on Doom Days. It's as necessary to take moments to just exist as it is to resist the world's injustices, and the band's third album follows a night out with friends and possible lovers, from singing along with the radio on the way to the party to waking up on the floor the next morning. However, their attempts to ignore the world around them on Doom Days are even more relatable because they can't shut it out entirely. "We never knew what we had," Dan Smith sings on "Quarter Past Midnight," capturing the way it's possible to be nostalgic for a moment before it has passed. Though Bastille's choruses are as rousing as ever, on this song and throughout the album there's a newfound intimacy to their music as they explore everyday loneliness and hope in a time of crisis. On the title track, Smith recites a litany of 2010s disasters ("I'm livestreaming the final days of Rome" once again harks back to the band's smash hit "Pompeii"), but chooses to stay present instead of worrying about the latest bad news. Similarly, the celebratory pulse of "Nocturnal Creatures" reaffirms that good times shine all the brighter when people live in the constant shadow of something ominous. Thanks to its concept, Doom Days is easily the group's most cohesive album yet, but as they tighten their focus, they also expand their sound. Alongside quintessentially heartfelt Bastille songs like "Another Place" are tracks such as "4AM," which moves from a cozy acoustic singalong to brass and beats with the seamless flow of their mixtapes, and "Million Pieces," which sets Doom Days' escapist heights to rhythms that evoke '90s garage. On "Joy," the band draws on the power of a gospel choir to give the album a happy ending that feels well-earned, even if it's only temporary. This need to seize the moment has been one of Bastille's main messages since "Pompeii," and with Doom Days, they prove they can deliver it in increasingly eloquent and relatable ways. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 6, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 6, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 19, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 19, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Pop - Released November 15, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Pop - Released November 15, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 1, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 27, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Pop - Released September 13, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

Emeli Sandé's Real Life aims to alleviate, uplift, and motivate. Well-matched with the versatile Troy Miller, whose production work includes sessions with Gregory Porter, Laura Mvula, and Rebecca Ferguson, the singer and songwriter -- this set's sole lyricist -- devotes less time to introspection, offering instead a personal growth endcap worth of support, encouragement, and praise, and in one instance, a to-do list of sorts. Like Sandé's two previous studio albums, it's based in mature pop, but its integration of other genres and styles -- a little reggae, some blues, disco, and more gospel than ever -- is done with more finesse. The seamlessness, combined with full-hearted vocal performances, counteracts all the platitudes and flying-bird-as-freedom metaphors. Tucked into the second half are two of Sandé's most powerful songs, and they're consecutive. The flawlessly assembled "Survivor," a gospel anthem in every aspect, contains a career-defining vocal performance. It gradually unfurls with a rippling rhythm accented with sweeping organ and strings, a spirited choir with some call-and-response -- the (water)works -- as it lifts off. Rather than go the conventional route by following with a restful ballad, the singer whisks the listener to the dancefloor with the crisp disco of "Extraordinary Being." There's so much conviction in Sandé's voice that its stock flattery and motivational phrases seem trite only in print. A couple old-fashioned love songs toward the end, including the clap-along title track -- another churchified number -- add emotional variety without sounding like consolation prizes for those who expected to get more material like "Next to Me" and "Hurts." ~ Andy Kellman
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Pop - Released September 12, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Pop - Released September 10, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Pop - Released September 9, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Pop - Released August 7, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Pop - Released July 31, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Pop - Released July 5, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 14, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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After confronting global corruption on 2016's Wild World, it's only natural that the men of Bastille would feel the need for escape that they express on Doom Days. It's as necessary to take moments to just exist as it is to resist the world's injustices, and the band's third album follows a night out with friends and possible lovers, from singing along with the radio on the way to the party to waking up on the floor the next morning. However, their attempts to ignore the world around them on Doom Days are even more relatable because they can't shut it out entirely. "We never knew what we had," Dan Smith sings on "Quarter Past Midnight," capturing the way it's possible to be nostalgic for a moment before it has passed. Though Bastille's choruses are as rousing as ever, on this song and throughout the album there's a newfound intimacy to their music as they explore everyday loneliness and hope in a time of crisis. On the title track, Smith recites a litany of 2010s disasters ("I'm livestreaming the final days of Rome" once again harks back to the band's smash hit "Pompeii"), but chooses to stay present instead of worrying about the latest bad news. Similarly, the celebratory pulse of "Nocturnal Creatures" reaffirms that good times shine all the brighter when people live in the constant shadow of something ominous. Thanks to its concept, Doom Days is easily the group's most cohesive album yet, but as they tighten their focus, they also expand their sound. Alongside quintessentially heartfelt Bastille songs like "Another Place" are tracks such as "4AM," which moves from a cozy acoustic singalong to brass and beats with the seamless flow of their mixtapes, and "Million Pieces," which sets Doom Days' escapist heights to rhythms that evoke '90s garage. On "Joy," the band draws on the power of a gospel choir to give the album a happy ending that feels well-earned, even if it's only temporary. This need to seize the moment has been one of Bastille's main messages since "Pompeii," and with Doom Days, they prove they can deliver it in increasingly eloquent and relatable ways. ~ Heather Phares
CD£11.49

Alternative & Indie - Released June 14, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

CD£1.49

Pop - Released June 14, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd