For Fans Of
The 1975, the musical equivalent of Tumblr and the phrase, ‘I literally can’t even’, have just dropped their highly anticipated second album, ‘I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It‘. Or as we like to call it, ‘I Think You’re Fit When You Nap Cause You’re Ignorant’ (seriously, how British is that?). Now, if you’ve been living under some form of naive rock for the past couple years (or you’re over 40) then you may have never heard of these guys before. Basically, they are a British version of INXS for the One Direction/Lana Del Ray/Halsey/Five Seconds Of Summer crowd.
Starting off with a re-worked version of their self-titled song (which used to open up a lot of their live shows) this album is on a whole other planet than its predecessor. First off, it is a lot longer than the first, it is a lot more electronic and synth focused throughout too, and the curtains have been pulled back from their darker and moodier sound and the timbre is now far brighter and chirpier than their debut full-length. If you were ever going to judge a book by its cover, then this is the album.
Oh, also, it is a whopping 17 tracks long(!) with an overall run time of 70 minutes. Jay-sus. Christ.
Thankfully, this record isn’t really a case of quantity over quality, not completely. 17 is still a bit much though, and it does drag on a little towards the end, but once the band usher you in past the first few songs (‘Love Me‘, ‘UGH‘ and ‘She’s American‘), the curve balls really start to come out of fucking nowhere. Seriously, songs like the gospel-soul themed ‘If I Believe You‘, the beautiful instrumental ‘Please Be Naked‘, the surreal, ambient title track, and whatever the hell ‘Loving Someone‘…is, you have a record that is quite different than what most would have ever thought possible from these lads. So the argument of them being generic goes right out the window right and it’s this stepping outside of their own box that pays off for the band. Because no band wants to be labelled as the same damn thing for their whole career, and this is not going to alienate their core fan base either. It’s a win-win for Matt Healy and co.
As some may have gathered, each song is very different from the last. Case in point: ‘Love Me‘ is the polar opposite of the synth-laden and washy ‘Lost My Head‘, whereas ‘She’s American‘ is in stark contrast to hazy and detailed ‘The Ballad Of Me And My Brain‘ (a standout song if there ever was one). Seriously, we could just go on and on about this variety (which is easily the album’s greatest strength) but we won’t because something something word count…
Furthermore, the actual instrumentation of each tune is incredibly varied too. The jazzy, intimate saxophone in ‘If I Believe You‘, the choir on the opening self-titled tune, the pitched vocals in ‘Somebody Else‘, the heavily effected guitars in ‘Love Me‘, and the synth pads that show up in nearly every damn song really diversify ‘I Like It…‘. Hell, you’ve even got a theorem on ‘A Change Of Heart‘, a softer tune for the album, and it even has its own solo. A bloody theorem solo! Fuck!
Finally, let’s be real for a second; this isn’t perfect. The music itself is simple and in terms of the pop-world, The 1975 aren’t as unique as many would think. The lyrics are self-aware at times and do take the piss a bit, which is fine, but they can also get kind of cheesy and will make many a listener cringe at times. Nowhere near as bas as BMTH’s ‘That’s The Spirit‘, mind you. We also could have done without the two final acoustic numbers – ‘Nana‘ and ‘She Lays Down‘ to close out the album too. Also, the best songs here – the curveballs, the wildcard tracks – will most likely never be seen in the live environment, which is a goddamn shame. Even so, this is a pretty solid album through and through.
The 1975 have gone from their radio-friendly type cast into oddly eccentric 80’s pop-rock with album #2. That’s why it’s one bitchin record. Just don’t think that it’s quite the be all and end all album that people across the Interwebs would have you believe at the moment. ‘I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’ is a bit of a time sink, but thankfully there’s a lot to love and digest here, and the 80’s vibe will resonate with many listeners; young and old.
1. The 1975
2. Love Me
4. A Change Of Heart
5. She’s American
6. If I Believe You
7. Please Be Naked
9. The Ballad Of Me and My Brain
10. Somebody Else
11. Loving Someone
12. I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It
13. The Sound
14. This Must Be My Dream
17. She Lays Down