Friday 26 February 2016

Album Review: I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it | The 1975

I've been waiting for this album for a long time. I've been a fan of The 1975 since Chocolate - I'm not going to pretend I knew them before that, I'm not that cool. But I do remember where and when I was when I first heard it, so does that make me cool? Anyway, I thought they were you're classic run of the mill indie band, that was until they released Girls. Probably my favourite song of all time, definitely my favourite lyric of all time 'I know you're looking for salvation in the secular age but girl I'm not your saviour'. Long story short, we went to see them at Alexandra Palace a few years ago, they were great, but at the time I only knew the singles which was a shame. So I went home and bought the album and fell in love. I'm definitely going to do a post all about why I love the band, and I'll talk a lot more about the first album there. Basically I've been excited about new music from The 1975 for a long time and all in all I haven't been disappointed. 

I went out for a walk this morning to focus on listening to this album, and I wish I could have recorded my inner monologue. It was mostly 'wow's, 'no's and shocked 'fuck's, some of which have made it into the post below, so ... language warning!

When I first read the track listing for this album I wondered if The 1975 was going to be a whole new song, or the same as the track of the same name on the first album. Either way I would have been happy, but I was kind of hoping for the band to release a new song with the same name as one of their older songs, because what would be more The 1975? Anyway, it's a good track, and does, as I think it's supposed to, introduce the bands' unique sound. 

Love Me was the first track the band released as a teaser for the album, and I have to say it left me quite apprehensive for the future of their sound. This song is very different to anything on their first album. Granted, it's upbeat like Girls and The City, but in a less poppy more glam rock, in fact David Bowie-esque, way. Anyway, as you'll see, I had nothing to be apprehensive about, and do in fact really like this song, even more so after hearing Matty talk about it here. Wow looking for that video I found this one, which makes me love them even more <3 and feel like I am indeed in on the joke - yay!

The second teaser from the album was UGH!, and as soon as I heard the first few bars I felt like this was the best piece of music I'd ever heard. No joke. The music is happy and funky (especially that bloody fantastic bridge!), yet the lyrics are complex and clever. This song reminded me how much I love The 1975 and led me back to listening to nothing but their first album over and over. I think this was also about the time when I realised that The 1975 were (and are) my favourite band (sorry Paramore - we had a good ride). Everything about their music is perfection to me, the electro-funk happiness mixed with clever, funny, self-aware and sometimes mocking lyrics just feel like exactly what I want and need from music right now. This song has worked its way right to the top of my Most Played, sitting behind only the gospel version of Jealous

So the first track that was actually new to me, was track four, A Change of Heart. This song feels like first album stuff with a second album twang - I feel like the uplifting/happy edge makes it stand out from the first album. They really are the pink to the first albums black. One thing I remember about listening to the first album was that I didn't have a clue what Matty was saying in maybe 70% of the songs until I googled the lyrics. Now, it might be because I'm now very familiar with their style and am able to decode what he's saying, but I feel like I heard every single word in this song. It feels weird to say I'm disappointed by that, but I think that's just what I was expecting to get and didn't. Anyway, back to the song itself! I really like it, though I'd fucking hate to be the girl he's talking about. It's funny and chilled out and has all the musical elements I've come to expect from the band. I also love the references to their previous songs! What other band does that?! Have I said how much I freaking love them enough yet?

Fuck Me! That intro is the best thing I've ever heard. Before I listened to the album I scrolled through the Apple Music top charts and noticed that the highest charting album track was She's American, so I had high hopes. I've said it once and I'll say it again - I love funk! Music that makes you dance in your chair (like what I'm doing right now) is all I want. I feel like this song is actually very similar to both UGH! and The Sound, which is anything but a bad thing. If The 1975 decided this was their new sound and only made tracks like this I'd be happy. As per usual, it's impossible to define the 1975, but this song feels simultaneously 80s and 10s (is 10s a thing yet?). Also I feel like the band don't use drum kits too much, so that's quite a nice change in this song. 

Oooooooh I do like If I Believe You. So far the album's been full of banging single-worthy tracks, but this song is their first furore into the slightly more obscure, inaccessibility of early tracks like Antichrist, Menswear and Woman. But fuck (I'm sorry for all the swearing, but I did warn you!) this song is so good! About a minute and a half in it turns into a proper gospel/real R'n'B slow jam, it sounds so much like another song and I can't think what it is, for now lets say it's Untitled (How Does It Feel). Of course The 1975 use a gospel choir on a song about atheism - talk about perfection. To be honest anything to do with atheism is my jam, but this song just fucking hell wow. I'm gonna listen to this song so many times. You know what I think it is just major Untitled (How Does It Feel) vibes that this song is giving me. Oh and then there's a jazz breakdown with a sax four minutes in. The last few minutes see Matty repeating 'If I'm lost, then how can I find myself' over what sounds suspiciously similar to the Skins theme tune, and I love it.

Ah, now we get to Please Be Naked. When the tracklisting was revealed I assumed this would be another tongue in cheek, funk rock riot like Love Me, but no! It turns out to be one of the most beautiful instrumental pieces the band has ever made! Always flipping things upside down and challenging expectations these 1975 guys. Listening to this with my eyes closed transports me to a massive but empty auditorium that I'm sitting right in the middle of. I also feel like this would be a perfect song to listen to if you were on a desert island. Or sitting in the middle of a very busy road intersection when it's raining.

Ha ha, so one of my favourite 1975 tracks is Fallingforyou, and I wondered whether they were going to release any new music with no spaces in the title (yes I know I over think everything), and they did with this next song Lostmyhead. This is the first song that I feel could have actually been on the first album, it's got that very ethereal sound that just seems to surround you and run through your veins, without the shine and sparkle of the new stuff. If I close my eyes I feel like I'm a part of this music (is it too much to say I feel 'inside it'?). All in all this is a beautiful if slightly tragic track. Dare I say 'tragically beautiful'. This song, like a lot of The 1975s, has an epic quality to it, similar to that of 30stm, but in a way that doesn't feel like that's what they were going for. I really hope they do this live. I'm sure I'd cry.

Lolwut? The Ballad of Me and My Brain opens with what sounds a bit like a choir warming up. Be still my beating heart. I love love love when singers shout/scream their lyrics which Matty does to open this song. This song confuses me a lot in that I don't know if I like it or not. I feel like its a grower, I need to listen to it more to get into it, like how I feel a lot of the songs on the first album or EPs are. This song feels very short, which at this stage of my feelings for it, is a good thing. Awks. I really really do like the introduction though. Edit: Ok it's a day later and I love this song.

I first listened to Somebody Else sitting in a hammock in Thailand staring out across the sea, and I think that's the perfect place for this song. I wasn't too keen at first, mostly because the previous three teaser tracks had all been big poppy singles that you fall in love with on the first listen, and this really isn't that, but having given it a chance I do really like it. And, as I'm sure you'll probably have guessed, I particularly like the funky bridge, especially when Matty says 'fuck that get money!', it sounds so high and his accent makes me smile.  

Loving Someone has a quite dark somewhat spooky opening that leads into a singing/rapping thing that's very reminiscent of Menswear and M.O.N.E.Y. I love when they break the fourth wall (does that work with music?), when Matty sings 'sentient something or other, I can't remember' and then says 'whatever'. I love it. As soon as you get comfortable with the verse chorus structure of the song it throws out a spoken word portion that is just honey to listen to. Let me be the first to say that Matty has a really lovely speaking voice. This is the second song where they've had a female vocalist, and can I just ask why I wasn't approached to do this? I know I've never really sung in public and no one really knows that I want to be a singer, but I would have been perfect for this job!

So the title track of any album is going to have quite high expectations laid upon it, but for me I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it had a particular draw for me as I thought it might explain the ridiculously long album title! It doesn't. It does however do a lot more than that, it feels like about five songs in one, complete with a middle section that sounds like the soundtrack to an advert for Windows, and just does something so different and weird, much like the title itself. I feel like this song is The 1975 (the song) of this album (does that make sense?).

The Sound was released soon after UGH! and I didn't think that anything would ever live up to the perfection of that song, but this does a damn good job. I love the 90s keyboard riff and the dancy happy feeling that runs through the whole thing. I also flipping love the lyrics! They're so hilariously tongue in cheek. And don't even get me started on that fantastic guitar solo at the end. An altogether great great song.

I absolutely love the opening of This Must Be My Dream, it's upbeat but in a slightly more muted way than The Sound. It feels like a mix of the ethereal Lostinmyhead and the pure fun of UGH! and The Sound. I want to dance to this, but in a more laid back way than the singles, and with my eyes closed. Trust The 1975 to throw a Careless Whisper-esque saxophone solo into this fairly standard but elegant pop track. 

Okay so I think Paris is my favourite song on the album, and I think they should have ended the album here. As I think I've made pretty clear, I love love love love love happy sounding songs, and this is just that. The riff is very simple and actually sounds quite childlike. The lyrics are very clever (as expected), I particularly love the line about Mr Serotonin Man. I feel like such a fake using the word juxtaposed, but I love when The 1975 juxtapose really happy, seemingly simple music with sad, deep lyrics. They do it a lot and that's a big part of why I love them so much. I can't wait to make an album so I can sneak in cheeky references like this one. Oh this song is so beautiful, and another one that I wont stop listening to until I hate it. 

'Voila! That's the end of the album!' I wish. 

When this song started I was in shock. It's an acoustic guitar. On a 1975 track. Literally what's going on? I don't really know what else to say, this is not what I look for from the 1975. Anyone can make this kind of music, it's actually quite hard to listen to after the greatness of Paris. But anyway, Nana is obviously about Matty's grandma dying, so the lyrics are very sad and heartfelt, and maybe a bit close to home for me to listen to. Basically I don't know if this will ever get more than the two plays it's taken me to write this blurb. It's very sad (which is not what I like at all) and I don't like acoustic guitars on anyone by Ed Sheeran.

NOOOOO more acoustic guitar! I'm so over it. She Lays Down could literally be sung by anyone and I'm sure it's deep and meaningful, but this is not my music. I'm so so so glad these last two songs weren't the first things I'd heard from The 1975, because I probably wouldn't have given them another chance. Almost how it took me over 3 years to get over The A Team and like Ed Sheeran. So I just don't understand how they thought this song was a good closer for the album, obviously I don't know them as well as I think.

So altogether I really do love this album, but I'd love it even more if it was only 15 tracks long and ended with Paris. I've only listened to the non-single tracks a few times, so I may end up updating this or writing a totally new post about my favourite tracks and how I've grown to love Nana and She Lays Down (though I very VERY much doubt it). Okay guys, I think this is the best post I've ever written. Maybe I just need to stick to writing about music. It comes so easily.

No comments:

Post a Comment