fter releasing their eclectic and well-received debut album in 2013, the 1975 return this year with “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It,” an even more eclectic album that is expected to be more widely received.
After releasing their eclectic and well-received debut album in 2013, the 1975 return this year with “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It,” an even more eclectic album that is expected to be more widely received.
Admittedly, the title comes off a bit pretentious or excessive, but frontman Matthew Healy explained its origin as something he once said to a girlfriend, adding a sense of originality and personal connection to the title. Eventually the band decided to name the album this, “because it was a bold decision, and I wanted the album to be about bold decisions. That’s what we all wanted it to be,” Healy stated in an interview with iHeartRadio.
On the track of bold decisions, the album opens with the same song, entitled “1975,” as the previous album. It is nearly the same length, and contains all the same lyrics, but encompasses a different sound entirely. While the “1975” off of the debut album gives off alternative rock vibes, a mirror of the sound of the rest of the album, the “1975” off of “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It,” follows a more pop, 80’s-inspired sound. Likewise, this song turns out to mirror the sound of the remainder of the album, upbeat, effervescent, and fun.
The shift in sound between the debut album and “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It,” was reflected by a major stylistic change for the band. On June 1, after posting an extremely cryptic comic strip suggesting a possible breakup, the band deleted all of their social media, causing turbulence among the fanbase and the media.
— matty (@Truman_Black) May 31, 2015
Soon after however, they returned to social media, and it became obvious that the comic was not about the band ending, but about their old sound and style ending. Whereas their theme had been solely black and white since the band’s creation in 2002, the members began posting pictures with pink tones and subjects. When the album art was released it was the same cover as the preceding album, but in pink and white rather than black and white. Likewise, all of the music videos have been pink-inspired with pink lights and props, rather than black and white.
With this stylistic change, the music has also seen a drastic shift, both lyrically and instrumentally.
Compared to their previously vibey, rock sound in songs such as “Sex,” and “The City,” the new album exploits more vivacious and popish tones. This sound is especially evident in songs such as “UGH!,” and “The Sound.” Not only does the album sound different however, it explores different themes through the lyrics.
The main focus of the album seems to be Healy’s state of mind. Throughout the album the first person is very prominent as he talks about issues such as his mental state, drug addiction, depression, and love life. Healy’s goal was to create something that means something, although it would have the cookie-cutter, bubblegum sound of the 80’s.
“That new Justin Bieber song – ‘What do you mean? When you nod your head yes but you wanna say no’ – can we stop talking about girls who don’t know what they want? Can we stop talking about nothingness? No one’s asking you to inspire a revolution, but inspire something,” Healy remarked in an interview with The Guardian.
Despite the stark differences between the 1975’s first and second albums, there is some continuity present. Similar to the previous album, various tracks such as “Lostmyhead,” and “I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful, Yet So Unaware Of It,” are instrumental only, experimenting with different electronic sounds. Likewise, tracks such as “Nana,” and “She Lays Down,” are stripped, using only guitar, and are more emotional than other tracks, a phenomena also present on the first album.
This continuity is not only present musically, but can be found lyrically as well. In the song “Robbers” from the first album, there is a line sung, “she had a face straight outta magazine.” From the new album, in the song “A Change of Heart,” two lines are sung, “you used to have a face straight out of a magazine, now you just look like anyone.” This bridge between the two albums depicts that the group is similar, yet developing. They are addressing the same ideas, but their feelings towards them have changed.
Ultimately, the album is fresh, it’s fun, it’s meaningful, and it’s original; a combination of qualities you can only hope to achieve in a sophomore album. Healy has achieved his goal of establishing a 1975 you can feel.
“I want the songs to feel like 1975 songs, not necessarily sound like them. Take Chris Martin – you can put his voice across anything and it will sound like Coldplay. I don’t want that: I want it to feel like The 1975.”