The 1975 released today their sophomore album I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it on Interscope/Dirty Hit.
It is a post-modern art pop album inspired by the 80s sounds. Its core aesthetic is like nothing for a sophomore record. It shakes this pop music’s infrastructure, bringing shine and substance to a very mainstream sound. The compositions are truly engaging with a wide range of textures, arrangements and layers, complex patterns drawing influences from an array of genres.
Stylistically adventurous, the album is a framework of sounds, a thoughtful journey through the 80s , blending and experimenting new wave, synth pop,electronic,soul, pub rock (funk/dance), acoustic in their own image : raw, organic, inventive, haunting and catchy enough to challenge anything else in indie pop. They nail it effortless. The mix is well balanced with just enough signature tone to give the whole album its unique identity. It is never redundant. It definitely works. We find ourselves into intimates places, disturbing (The Ballad of Me and my Brain) and fascinating. It is also heartfelt. The depth of lyrics based on Healy’s own experiments and introspection will resonate within the listener.
The album pulls gorgeous moments such as the instrumental Please Be Naked that shows what is clearly a magical chemistry between The 1975. It sounds very New Age. Nana is a beautiful tribute to Healy’s grandmother : a minimalist acoustic instant diving into brand new territory. The acoustic track, She Lays Down is about his mother’s past depression. Somebody Else is at once honest, contemporary and heartbreaking. It may be related to everyone. It revolves around feeling sad with a past lover that has now a new significant one. Musically, it has a nice pop funk vibe. While, the title track is an avant-garde mix of colourful synth textures and varied rhythms. If I Believe You gradually confuses the listener as it progresses. It weaves threads of turbulence , intertwining soul, ambient landscapes, a gospel choir, D’Angelo trumpet.
Amid all the new sounds, The 1975 also twists and turns their signature into a brand new contemporary genre, somewhere, reminiscent of INYX on their hit single Love Me. UGH is a synth-pop anthem with a more edgy electronic sound and catchy melody. The band also stays true to its roots with a sound that proved effective in their debut album, on She’s American. A Change of Heart is a modern new wave ballad ; a rich mix that balances the retro and the new perfectly.
All in all, this second album feels like an audacious bet and somewhere disorienting but it is mainly an intelligent step forward for the band. It stands as an epic piece of art in music culture itself.