Album Review: The 1975—“I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It”

By Jessa Evenden

If you’ve written The 1975 off for some reason, maybe because they’re too popular, or have a large fanbase of teenage girls, I urge you to reconsider. With the release of their sophomore album, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It one listen should help you understand exactly why the Mancunian quartet the following they do. The band has put together an album that is not only full of relatable, smart lyrics but also backed up by powerful and intricate music. The album includes a few solely instrumental tracks that emphasises how strong they are technically. The record itself is an 80s dance-rock collection full of a healthy mix of slower tracks to pull your heartstrings as well as poppy bangers that’ll make you want to jump around, just like frontman Matty Healy does on stage (though I’d hope you’re a little more coordinated).

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Album art for I Like It When You Sleep…

If you’re interested in something a little more upbeat, or only want to scratch the surface of what the band’s latest releases have to offer, try giving their singles “UGH!” or, arguably the best track on the album, “Somebody Else” a listen. Somebody Else includes the lyrics “I don’t want your body / but I hate to think about you with somebody else,” a feeling that’s too commonly felt but often too difficult to put into words properly. Healy, it seems, puts its pretty bluntly. High, danceable moments give way to airy, synth-heavy tracks reminiscent of something sort of akin to shoegaze to give the record a smooth, natural rhythm.

Perhaps the most surprising moments of the album come in the more musically complex tracks. Credit is due to drummer and producer George Daniel who strung together tracks like the complex and beautiful instrumental “Please Be Naked.” However, the most breathtaking and awesome moment is during the latter half of “If I Believe You.” As Matty Healy, an adamant atheist, explores the value of finding religion during a trying time, the vocals give way to light, plucky strings and wavering synthesizer that gives the the song an ethereal sound not unlike M83 or Purity Ring, among other electronic music darlings.

Technically, the album is versatile and expansive, showing off the wide variety of talents the band possess that are too often slept on. Dismissed for being music made for the soft grunge Tumblr youth, Daniel’s skill and special touch would truly be a shame to sweep under the rug.

The album focuses on the types of themes you’d expect if you’re familiar with The 1975’s debut self-titled release. Healy explores his mental health, dabbles with drugs and tears apart every aspect of his romantic relationships and friendships. Despite the lengthy, poetic title, many of Healy’s lyrics deal with reality head-on. With witty lines like “I’m the Greek economy of cashing intellectual cheques,” Healy opens up with self-deprecating humour that is all too familiar for many of us.

I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful And Yet So Unaware Of It is an incredibly impressive record. If you liked The 1975 before release, you’ll be pleased to know they stay true to their roots and deliver a gritty, rocky album full of lyrics you’ll love to tweet. And if you weren’t a fan prior, giving a few tracks will prove to you that this group’s skill set has grown exponentially since their first release and their music has pushed itself, elevated itself and grown. And it looks like the kids are on to something, because this album is really, really good. (Dirty Hit)

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