The 1975 has seen much success since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2013. Those songs bring me back to a time when I was still living in Europe, getting a taste of what the band had to offer long before they made any impact stateside. Granted, I was very skeptical upon listening to their first single “Chocolate” mostly because I couldn’t understand what the hell he was saying. Soon came hits like Girls, The City, Settle Down, Sex, and Robbers. All of which became staples in my playlist well into 2014 and 2015.
Much of their early exposure came from constant touring and features on BBC Radio 1. First, through the BBC Introducing Show with Huw Stephens and later from Zane Lowe. Their sound has been heralded as “genreless” but they have been compared to Talking Heads, The Strokes and Duran Duran. Some have claimed they are a group of pretty boy heart throbs out of Manchester – essentially One Direction with instruments. Their quotable lyrics and catchy choruses make them very pop. The band probably wouldn’t appreciate the designation as a “boy band.” Honestly, it does them no justice as the talent and artistry needed to complete both albums is undeniable.
I’ve only managed 2 full listens of the new album since it was made available yesterday. I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware is composed of 17 tracks that truly keep you guessing. You can certainly hear the growth and development of the band. Yet, they still stay true to the sound that caught my attention years ago. Lead singer Matt Healey admits that the new album is “very much a continuation of last one.”
At the same time the band has really showcased their range with the new material. Take for example “Please Be Naked” an ambient instrumental featuring piano and oceanic sound effects that many critics have compared to Sigur Ros. Then there’s the first single they released last October entitled “Love Me” which really gives you a “Burning Down The House” feel. Regardless, through genius composition of the track listing they managed to make it all work. Lyrically, it is almost as if the album is a purge for Matt Healy. The subject matter is diverse touching upon everything from love, infidelity, drug addiction, mental health, fame, and even an ode to Healy’s Nana.
At length, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware is a series of what are bound to be very successful singles with a few wild cards thrown in for good measure. The title alone is a true testament to the band’s ambitious approach to this album. The end product is nothing short of excellence. – Amanda