THE highly anticipated return from The 1975 has finally arrived through the release of their second album, ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It’. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy prior to the release…
A lot has changed since the Manchester born band, The 1975, brought out their self-titled debut album back in 2013. After uncountable gigs and festivals covered across the world over the past few years, the indie band shocked the fans after suddenly disappearing off social media back in June last year. Fans were sent into a frenzy of speculation, and it was even speculated that it was the end for the band. A few days later, the social media accounts returned with no explanation-but pink profile pictures.
Upon arrival of the second album, it’s now recognisable that the disappearing act and colour change in the band represented the promise of a new album and a new sound. The album is undoubtedly overflowing with the sounds of 1980’s pop music- excitingly ambitious, packed with synth and featuring beautifully crafted music and lyrics.
The unusually long 17 track album opens with a reworked version of ‘The 1975’, which features on the debut album. The exciting change gives the initial flavour into how the band has transitioned from an indie-rock band into a heavily pop influenced band. An abrupt ending of the subdued track is then met with the first released single off the album, ‘Love Me’.
The punchy synth track is filled with energy, and is a perfect reflection of how the band’s sound has changed since the last album. This is closely followed by ‘UGH!’ that has similar qualities of eccentric fun.
A slower track, ‘A Change of Heart’ then follows, which was debuted on Radio 1 five days prior to the album release. When played live, this song was accompanied by a pastel coloured set-, which pictorially is a brilliant representation of the ballad-like melodies. For all super fans of the band, some may also notice that this track lyrically refers back to songs in the band’s debut album. When reading deeper into the song, the lyrical meanings can be read, with reference to both old songs, ‘The City’ and ‘Robbers’.
The funk-orientated track, ‘She’s American’ is then next in the track listing. This follows the theme of the previous tracks, again packed full of 1980’s orientated synth pop. It’s the next track, ‘If I Believe You,’ that becomes the game changer, taking their new sound from a different angle, slowing down the pace and flowing nicely into the stunningly peaceful piano based instrumental, ‘Please be Naked’.
Closely followed by ‘Lostmyhead’, this song acts as an instant throwback to early music released by the band. Arguably an updated version of, ‘Anobrain’, from one of The 1975’s first EP’s, this song is filled with more anthemic qualities towards the end of the track than ‘Anobrain’ is- arguably demonstrating how the band have grown and refined their sound.
As the previous song suggested, the next song, ‘The Ballad Of Me And My Brain’ is about frontman, Matty’s’ mental health. This song pulls back the pace of the album through use of cleverly crafted lyrics that give the listener an insight into the sudden rise to fame and how it affected Matty emotionally. The emotion can truly be read through the energy that the front man exposes.
‘Somebody Else’ plays next, with hints of emotion expressed throughout another of the band’s ballads about old relationships and old partners moving on to somebody else. This track stands out as being one of the most successful tracks on the album.
At this point in the album, a common theme of love stands out on the majority of tracks. The half-rapped song of ‘Loving Someone’ re-itterates how the album (up to this point) has covered all aspects of love and heartbreak eloquently and unusually delivered the topic through the use of synth and 1980’s pop. This is another successful track on the album and stands out as a particularly striking track due to the rapping nature of the song.
Interestingly, the following album-titled track, ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It’ is a largely instrumental track lacking a great deal of lyrics. Always finding it interesting to listen to the album-titled track, this piece happily satisfies the mind, starting off with tranquil notes and progressing into an uplifting reoccurring synth beat. It’s undoubtedly a weird track- but it’s also wonderfully representative of the band.
The second released single, ‘The Sound’ plays next. This is one of the most upbeat songs on the album and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. The stabbing synth will encourages anyone to tap their feet and get into the groove of the catchy track, before the single is built up to be topped off with a glorious guitar solo. This is definitely a track that will be played on repeat on numerous occasions.
‘This Must Be My Dream’ and ‘Paris’ then continue, reflecting the same qualities as seen throughout the rest of the album. Then the last two songs on the album are acoustically based.
‘Nana’ and the final song, ‘She Lays Down’ finish off the album peacefully after being taken on a journey of ups and downs, filled with love, loss, throwbacks and eccentric 1980’s pop synth. After making it through the 75 minute album, as front man Matty Healy describes, it truly is ‘an emotional investment. It’s art… the world needs this album.’