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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Review: The 1975’s new album proves the band is exactly where it should be

    Interscope Records
    Official album cover for “The 1975”’s new album “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It”

    Sophomore albums always pose a challenge for young bands trying to make it in today’s music world. Bands should build upon their first albums while also striving to be bigger and better by expanding their sounds and staying true to what made them a hit in the first place.

    British alternative rock band The 1975 has done just that with its sophomore effort, released Friday. The record has a name that is slightly longer than average, to say the least. I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It is an album that builds on the success and musical style established by the band, with hits from its original album such as “Chocolate” and “Girls,” while also laying the groundwork to take its sound to exciting new places in the future.

    With 17 songs and a running time of 75 minutes, it’s not always the easiest to listen to. But it’s certainly worth putting the time into. At the forefront of the band is Matty Healy, a cooler-than-cool lead vocalist whose voice blends beautifully with the pop-inspired alternative beats of album.

    The 1975 is an alternative pop-rock group more than anything else, but based on its appearance alone, without hearing its music, you might even mistake it for a boy band. It has the right look and demeanor for such and it serves as a prime example of the somewhat blurred line that has arisen in pop music between boy bands and rock groups. The 1975 is the latter, but even that would be up for debate.

    Its new album represents a mix of groovy, pop-inspired rock ballads, with some instrumental tracks as well, which will make your emotions change with whatever song comes on next. Healy will make you laugh with “She’s American” when he says, “If she says I’ve gotta fix my teeth, then she’s so American.”

    He’ll also scream into the microphone and have his moment at pretending to be Sting with “The Ballad of Me and My Brain,” and he’ll remind you of the late, great David Bowie when “Love Me” comes on.

    You’ve also got songs like “Please Be Naked,” which is an instrumental piece. It’s not exactly a profound song title, but it is what it is. There are also more emotional tracks like “She Lays Down” and “Nana,” in which Healy remembers his late grandmother. “If I Believe You” adds emotion to the record as well, as Healy discusses his lack of faith in God.

    One of the strongest tracks on there is simply titled “UGH!” It is wonderfully fast-paced and groovy to the point where it will make you want to dance. Healy then slows it down with songs like “A Change of Heart.” There really is a little bit of everything on here.

    There’s a lot going on with this album. To experience it, and completely understand it, you’ll just have to give it a listen. The songs are pretty much all good, but at 75 minutes, the album drags a bit. The band probably could have trimmed off a few of these tunes to keep the running time under an hour.

    This new release still feels more fleshed out than the debut record and ultimately feels like The 1975 is getting more comfortable with its sound. It isn’t perfect, but it does what a successful sophomore album should do.

    Grade: B+

    Follow Alec Kuehnle on Twitter.

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