February 6, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 35°F


Review: Modern band brings back ’80s sound

"The 1975"

The 1975

On its self-titled debut album, The 1975 gives a nod to one of its greatest influences: the ’80s. Just like a John Hughes film, the sound of the album transports listeners back to a time of synthesizers, infectious beats and Morrissey-coiffed hair styles.

Drawing inspiration from Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel, the quartet has put together a 16-song album reminiscent of the white-punk noise that dominated the the time period. Unlike the line of traditional one-hit wonders from the era, such as Devo and Dexys Midnight Runners, The 1975 puts up a daring opposition to the play-once-and-move-on mentality.

The album is packed with riff-heavy hooks and sing-along choruses, especially in catchy fan-favorite and fourth track on the album, “Chocolate,” which debuted as a single in January.

The track has since gained international notoriety and airplay for its big, blocky rhythm and blues drum loop and futuristic beats.

Following up that number is the latest hit from the band, “Sex,” in which lead singer and guitarist Matthew Healy croons about the angst-ridden life of falling in love with a girl who’s got a boyfriend anyway — a lyrical gem played down by overlapping guitar licks and a series of clashing drum beats. “Sex” sets a new, raw tone for the band, both musically and lyrically, providing the proper transition to a string of dance-pop power ballads featured exclusively on the second half of the album.

The record finishes out to the tinkling of a piano and the whimpering cries of Healy on “Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You,” leaving the album in silence and letting the lyrics speak for itself: “I know it’s me that’s supposed to love you/ And when I’m home you know I got you.”

The 1975’s experimental blend of R&B, modern soul and alternative rock results in a bold and diverse sound, making this album worthy of being put on replay.