Artist: THE 1975
Title: I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
Release date: 26/02/2016
The 1975 finally published their long awaited sophomore album, with a title that is just as unusual and brave as the songs that are on it. I must admit, when they released the first single “Love Me” I was slightly worried that they had changed their sound too much and that the new album would not be as good as their first one. However, as more singles were released I regained my confidence in them, and quite frankly, wondered how I ever thought that they could make an album that is anything but brilliant.
While staying true to their style and their themes, The 1975 managed to create a record that is new and exciting. There’s 80’s pop, chant songs and gospel influences, but all of the songs are truly original and finally, manage to give the audience to hear some new tunes after quite a long time.
The themes of the albums are, as was to be excepted love, drugs, religion and also the band’s newly gained fame. The first self-titled track on the album is a new take on the first track of their self-titled début album. This connection to their older music is only the first of many on this album. Matty’s oh-so familiar voice, backed by a choir, makes the listener realise that they have managed to keep their identity and create a new sound at the same time.
Every single track from “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it” is a masterpiece in itself, but I want to talk about a few that have stood out to me for their sound, themes or just the emotional reaction that they provoked.
In”If I believe you” Matty talks about his stuggle with religion, which for me, is one of the most interesting topics to hear him speak, or sing about. The lead-singer has often expressed his quite strong views about religion, since he is an atheist. However, he has also spoken about envying the faithful and that is what this track is about. Knowing that god doesn’t exist but sometimes maybe wishing that he did because that would make things easier. “If I believe you, would that make it stop?”,sings the 26 year old, posing the question if belief would maybe help him to cope with his personal issues. Matty’s pleas are supported by the unusual gospel sound of the track, and again, a choir. This song also cleverly plays on another song off the album called “lostmyhead“when Matty is sings “I toss and turn in my bed / it’s just like I ‘lostmyhead'”.
The album is the kind of record that you’re meant to listen to as a whole. The next song after “lostmyhead” is “The Ballad of Me and My Brain” ,one of my absolute favourite tracks off the album where Matty goes on a somewhat weird search for his lost brain, including a trip to Sainsbury’s and jumping on a bus. This search is an amazing metaphor for the singers mental health issues and confusion. One of my favourite things about the 1975 is that they can also be self-ironic from time to time. Talking about their newly gained fame the singer describes an encounter that by now probably isn’t new to them anymore: “Can you sign an autograph for my daughter Laura? Cos she adores you, but I think you’re shit.”. Sound-wise, this song was perhaps the most reassuring one, because when I listened to it for the fist time it reminded me of the band’s really really old stuff, that they recorded before they were even called The 1975. This song is simply outstanding, because who does’t enjoy a bit of screaming and Matty’s cracking voice?
My favourite track of the album is called “Paris“, sound-wise, the beginning reminded me of “Robbers” off the debut album and my The 1975 loving heart can’t dismiss the fact that I’m very happy about the songs that are a bit more like their old stuff. In this song Matty does what he does best: talking about the fucked up individuals he has met over the course of his life. Paris as a city must have a special meaning for Matty , what that special meaning is however, is not revealed, we just know that he seems to really be wanting to go there again. Another reason why I love this song so much is that it makes my little East-London based heart proud when Matty sings about Bethnal Green, which is just one stop from where I live.
The last two tracks on the album are so beautifully sad that they bring tears to my eyes whenever I listen to them, even in the most inappropriate situations. “Nana” first of all is a beautiful ballad about Matty’s grandmother’s death. It is well known that Matty was very close to his grandmother, especially since he has a tattoo dedicated to her in the middle of his chest. “Nana” from the beginning to the end just really made me want to call my grandma and see if she’s okay. This song is just an honest way of dealing with loss and grief. In the song Matty sings : “I got my pen and thought that I’d write / a melody and line for you tonight / I think that’s how I make things feel alright.”He also talks about his difficult relationship with god again, a reoccurring theme on the album saying : “I know that god doesn’t exist / and all the palaver surrounding it / but I like to think you hear me sometimes.” Once again, considering that the thought of a god and an afterlife might make some things easier.
The very last track on the album, “She lays down“, is a completely acoustic song about Matty’s mother’s post-natal depression. It is once again, an honest and open way of dealing with the issues that the lead singer has witnessed. Ending the album with a song that only consists of Matty’s voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar, in my opinion, was an amazing decision and also, once again, relates back to the last song off the debut album. “Is there somebody who can watch you” is the last track on the band’s first album and focuses on how hard it is for Matty not to be able to take care of his brother the way that he used to.
All in all, this album definitely deserves to be a number one album, despite the fact that I would love to keep it as my personal little treasure. The band definitely deserves the recognition that they are currently getting for this album and I hope that they will continue making the kind of amazing music, and I know that we can all trust them to do so.