REVIEW: The 1975 – I like it when you sleep…26th February 2016
The 1975 may well win the 2017 Brit award for the longest album name of the year by a mile, or atleast 7 words, but how would ‘I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful But Unaware Of It’ fair in the album of the year category? Well it’s only February, but The 1975 have set a very high benchmark. From the outside looking in, 2015 was a strange year for Healy and co. as the band went through some what of a re-brand following their social media disappearing act. There was some confusion as to what type of sound The 1975 would return with and early suggestions pointed in the direction of a more ‘pop-ier’ style. Their first single, Love Me, from the new album seemed to confirm this direction, with many reviews claiming ‘I like it when you sleep’ to be a pop album. I disagree with this suggestion that this is solely a pop album. Whilst The Sound, Love Me and UGH! are all pop songs, and perfect pop songs at that, the rest of the material on the album adds extra dimensions to something which could be considered pop. And of course there isn’t anything wrong with The 1975 being a pop band, because they make pop well, but remnants of the fantastic self-titled debut remain to make a 17 track album full of variety, experimentation and brilliance. Like any albums of this length, some songs fail to meet the high expectation set from the band, but as a whole collection of songs, the album is one of the best this year.
Picture by: Pete Dewhirst / Demotix/Demotix/Press Association Images
The song which stood out the most during my on-shuffle listen was track number 15; Paris. On the surface is sounds like the closest attempt at a 1975 love song, but Healy’s voice is distant, making it difficult to grasp his lyrics at certain moments. Either way, the song is executed to gentle and stunning precision. Paris is one of a few slow and beautiful moments on the album, with ‘Somebody Else’ and ‘Nana’ two of those beautiful and emotive efforts. The lead singles from the album are the popiest and most up-beat the album get’s in it’s 1 hour 14 minute duration. The Sound, UGH! and Love Me act as a nice contrast throughout the album and represent the diverse experimentation attempted on mass by The 1975. The closest sound alike to the debut album is ‘This Must Be My Dream’ and ‘She’s American’, which would both sit right at home alongside Chocolate and Girls. The album has echoes of the debut in many places, with The Sound has echoes of She Way Out whilst A Change Of Heart acts as part 2 of Robbers. The 1975 don’t just make easy listening pop albums, they make songs full of depth and challenge the listener to immerse themselves and take note of what they are saying, even if Healy’s voice is distant or buried at time.
The album is hugely ambitious in both it’s length, style and experimentation. As always in an album of this length, some songs do fall short of the high standards set by the band, but as a whole i absolutely love this album. The album has some exceptional pop moments, some smooth funk, flashes of disco which make you want to dance, acoustic guitars which make you want to cry, some jazz influences, the list of different styles fused together goes on and on. In fact, the way that album jumps from genre to genre without time to catch some air, it could be suggested The 1975 still haven’t found themselves as the band they want to be yet. But the experimentation should be applauded as it’s aided an album which at no point feels boring, stale or the same as something else. There’s no doubt Matt Healy is like marmite, but I like it when you sleep provides so much to love, and with a whole host of festivals lined up this summer, The 1975 are now armed with a wealth and range of songs ready to blow the minds of tens of thousands of fans. The self-titled debut was a harmless indie-pop album, but I like it when you sleep is more thought provoking. I really really love this album.