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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 24, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Review: Synth sounds and raw lyrics strike success for The 1975

“I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It”

The 1975

Three years since its first album, The 1975 released its second LP, “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It” on Feb. 26. While its debut album marked the start of an alternative electronic era, “I Like It When You Sleep” strips away all definitions of a musical genre and allows the music to be naked, raw and totally itself.

One of the album’s first tracks, “Love Me” is a David Bowie–esque single about the delusion of being famous. The band released the song in October 2015 after formally announcing the upcoming release of a second album. The song opens with a riff that seems to be taken straight from the ’80s. It lets fans know this isn’t the same alternative group that broke onto the scene in 2013. More pop this time around, the album is self-mocking and at times sounds like a direct jab at the artists of today who seem to create art simply for the notoriety. Frontman Matty Healy sings lyrics like “You’ve been reading ’bout yourself/ On a plane, fame for a change/ Caught up in fashion/ Karcrashian panache,” which are so pretentious that they work for the high-energy tune about people being fake just to be heard.

Another standout song on the album is “If I Believe You,” an electro-gospel tune preaching Healy’s concerns about his beliefs. If in prior songs the lyrics seem egotistical, these are raw and downright human by contrast. Backed by a full gospel chorus and band member George Daniel, Healy sings through the crisis atheists find themselves in when they want to believe in a higher power but just can’t. While The 1975 undeniably nails the in-your-face pop songs featured on this record, “If I Believe You” is a necessary breath of fresh air allowing listeners to hear Healy’s own sore emotion through lyric and voice.

While each song is a door leading the listener deeper and deeper into Healy’s convoluted mind, some tracks fall flat in comparison to the better singles on this record. Some of the synthesized instrumentals on the album, such as “Please Be Naked” and title track “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It,” provide necessary transitions between songs when the album is played in order but are nothing listeners needs to return to by themselves.

By the end of the album, however, listeners will be hitting the replay button for another ride on this rollercoaster of a record.  

From start to finish, “I Like It When You Sleep” is strikingly different from the debut album, but The 1975 lets longtime fans know it’s still the same group from before through pretentious lyrics and beautiful compositions. While its first album gave The 1975 a place among alternative fans, “I Like It When You Sleep” places the band at the top of the pop charts, attracting new listeners into the mix.