This past summer, The 1975 gave us heart palpitations as rumors of the group breaking up surfaced and spread all over Twitter. However, it was only a ploy done in order for the band to finish their second record, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.
The Manchester-based band debuted their first self-titled album in 2013. “Chocolate” soon skyrocketed to the top of the charts, and the band began touring in 2014. This past Friday, they finally released their second album. The album consists of a total of seventeen songs that you won’t be able to get enough of. The album had already skyrocketed to number one only a few hours after its release on iTunes.
It it not a secret that the band has surely transformed since 2013. They have given up their black-and-white aesthetic for a more eccentric one featuring their lead singer, Matty Healy, with curlier hair, less clothes, and black nail polish. Their music videos are also brighter visually yet remain darker in tone.
Healy took to his Twitter a few months ago to state that:
our first album was about the pursuit and acquisition of love. our second album is about the preservation and cultivation of love
— matty (@Truman_Black) 23 January 2015
Sophomore albums are usually critiqued and examined harder as compared to an artist’s first album. However, The 1975 has done a perfect job at transitioning into their sophomore album. There is no doubt that this album is reflective of their first one. Not only do both albums start out with the same song (“The 1975”), but there are also plenty of references to their first album throughout most of their songs such as “Change of Heart” and “Lostmyhead.” Matty Healy also stated time and time again that the process of writing a song has always stemmed from his life. He writes about his life with no fabrication or glamour, just pure honesty, and that’s what this album is. This album as a whole is completely and utterly honest, filled with bits and pieces of the band’s eccentric lead singer.
There is no definite sound throughout the album. It’s a mixture of ‘80s-esque pop, synthetic backbeats and resonated back vocals, syrupy piano ballads, and almost ‘90s R&B throwback soundscapes. It seems that the band had taken inspiration from almost every genre imaginable, but it works so damn well.
We were introduced to their newer sound this past October as the band released their song “Love Me,” which gave us a more Bowie-esque vibe (even more so after the music video had released).
Their album is also filled with plenty of instrumentals. Their song “Please Be Naked” is just instrumentals, but it is personally my favorite song on the album. It’s haunting. With just a piano playing a few chords, it is accompanied with a mixture of different sounds such as what seems like an orchestra playing in the distance as it transitions in and out throughout the song. The titled of their album, “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” is also a song on this album, filled with mostly instrumentals and a bit more playful. With subtle nuances to the authenticity of the instruments being played, it provides a more electronic soundscape.
Songs such as “Nana,” a tribute to Matty’s grandmother who had recently passed, and “If I Believe You”, a song about the struggles of religion and being an atheist, showcases a deeper listen lyrically. Vocally, Matty adheres to the emotional struggle that he goes through with each song.
The album flows so seamlessly. It plays like a movie throughout, capturing you cinematically and taking you throughout the entire only to end with a quiet and very intimate song, “She Lays Down.”
While I would want to talk about each song individually, it’s best to leave this review about the album as a whole instead. This is quite possibly one of the most brilliant and well-constructed albums that have been released in a while. Much like their first one, it’s hard not to listen to the entire thing without skipping the song before it. Everything transitions so well that, often times, you can’t be completely sure where a song had ended and where it began.
These boys are pioneers. What they are doing, no one else has done. They have created a sound that is all theirs, creating one of the best sophomore albums I have ever heard.