Back during my time studying music business at uni, 2 friends and I ran a music blog and “label” (we never signed anyone) called PHNX Music. I wrote a review of this album during that time and it was one of the first album reviews I’d ever done. I thought I’d lost it forever when we shut everything down in 2018. Today, one day after its 6 year anniversary, I used web archive to dig it up from the ruins. Here it is, unedited in its original review form.
“GO DOWN, SOFT SOUND!”
The goosebumps that run through my entire body when hearing ‘The 1975’ reimagined is enough to make me lose my mind, and this is only track one.
The highly anticipated second full-length album shows a natural growth in the band, not just in themselves, but a reflection of the growth of their fans as well. The same incredibly tight, clean and crisp production depicted in their self titled debut is very prominent. The vibe throughout, despite many of the songs having a deep emotional meaning, is more upbeat. This is mirrored in the aesthetic of the album with rose gold/pink album cover, yet with the same minimalistic approach.
There are quite a few more upbeat, dance tracks within this album such as ‘Love Me’, ‘UGH!’, ‘She’s American’ and ‘The Sound’.
‘The Sound’ is the song with the biggest pop influence on the line-up, in its most raw form. ‘The Sound’ just makes you want to jump and run around the room and completely let loose. Something that is exactly what the band needed to do; so brutally and confidently pop, it helps break the mould and serves as a vibrant contradiction to anyone who told them they were ‘conforming’.
In contrast, The 1975 still maintain their deep, dark and emotionally turbulent strength to their music through songs such as ‘Change of Heart’, ‘Please Be Naked’ and ‘Somebody Else’.
They execute the perfect mix between hard hitting lyrics, and pop/electro beats, to create a beautiful harmony that is enough to make you cry, but you can’t help but want to move to the beat and completely lose yourself in the complex production behind it all.
The band also make reference to their song ‘Robbers’ during ‘Change of Heart’ with “You used to have a face straight out a magazine, now you just look like anyone”, a trend that is also seen within ‘She’s American’ with “Oh what a let down” a reference to ‘She Way Out’ giving some connection, an almost story-like progression between the two albums.
Instrumentals haven’t been left out of the mix either. Just like previous tracks such as ‘An Encounter’ and ’12’, the band know how to portray a feeling through a song, despite having no words.
‘Please Be Naked’ in particular was really strong. No words, just sound. This track is heartbreakingly beautiful and you just can’t help but be emotionally drawn in for a reason you can not explain. Pain? Love? A mix of both? The way this track is composed depicts a very somber yet romantic feeling, and the sampling of heartbeats makes it very intense. It’s is the type of song that can be interpreted differently to each individual, strongly romantic for those deep in love, and the feeling of heartbreak and loss for others. This song plays on your heartstrings without saying a word, a musical masterpiece and one of the standouts of the album.
To top the masterpiece off, The 1975 take a completely different direction with ‘Nana’ and ‘She Lays Down’ with soft guitar and no harsh production; just pure raw emotion.
Nana is a completely open, honest, and emotional song. Just a basic guitar tune, and Matty’s soft and uncompromising voice. Featuring lines such as “And if I live past 72, I hope I’m half as cool as you.” It is sure to resonate with anyone that has lost someone to the complications of age.
Overall, “I Like It when You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful, Yet So Unaware Of It”, is a lyrical and musical masterpiece. The 1975 ooze confidence, whilst maintaining their talent for honesty, and keeping the listener captivated from beginning to end.