I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it is a masterpiece; a true reminder that music is art, especially when it is accompanied by strong aesthetic visuals and a bold but consistently poetic spoken frontman. Every song is tremendous and immediately fills up the space it is played in, whether that be your mind, your bedroom, a city or an arena. Each of the 17 songs is completely vulnerable; The 1975 have taken quite a risk and the result shows that it was one worth taking.
“The 1975” gives you a minute to transition from their previous release before you are hit unexpectedly with the instant anthem single “Love Me,” which carries its R&B vibe into “UGH!”. None of this can prepare you for “Change Of Heart” which will be a dreamy deja vu for long time listeners with lyrics such as “You used to have a face straight out of a magazine / Now you just look like anyone / I just had a change of heart”, tying back to “Robbers” and “She Way Out.”
“She’s American” exemplifies the freedom that The 1975 gave themselves on this record to play with genres, time periods, vocal techniques, and even instruments. The band’s ability to take an 80s sound and make it modern with the addition of synth pop is incredibly unique; it makes them irreplaceable in a music scene that seems to have constant turnover. In “If I Believe You,” the listener is taken to church complete with a choir and introspective lyrics that make you feel as though you are eavesdropping on Matty Healy’s confessional.
While the album never loses your attention, it will let you temporarily lose your mind in the all or mostly instrumental tracks “Please Be Naked”, “Lost My Head”, and the self-titled track, which have potential to be a soundtrack in movies, right alongside pro composers like Explosions In The Sky (but if not they could be soundtracks for your life). “The Ballad of Me and My Brain”, “Loving Someone”, and “The Sound” will having you looking up which festival the band is on closest to you just so you can experience their infectiousness live. The band has found a way to create very dynamic songs that sound effortless. Songs such as “Somebody Else” that are heavily infused with lyrical repetition manage to not lose their impact or meaning, in fact, songs like this are the ones you might find yourself keeping on repeat by discovering new layers to with each listen.
The lyric “Speaking like I’m bigger than my body” from “This Must Be My Dream” is such a perfect description of the approach The 1975 has: to never put themselves in a box and instead embrace the idea that they are apart of a bigger and constantly expanding universe. The album starts to wind down with goose-bump provoking ballads “Paris” and “Nana”, both story-telling songs that you have to listen to because they speak for themselves. Finally the album seems to bring listeners directly to a bedroom-turned-recording studio for intimate number 17 “She Lays Down”.
The 1975 are not a band that has to hide behind their sound, because every aspect of every song is the best that it could be. That is to say, even when the lyrics are not the focal point of a track they are strong enough to hold their own as poetry written on a typewriter. The group creates with a surplus of instruments ranging from trumpets to violins, even Matty’s voice is an instrument in and of itself, leading many tracks to the necessary rhythm. I like it when you sleep is a journey to years that have passed and possibly years ahead; an introduction to an entire new dimension. I suggest you do some exploring.
Review by Hannah Hines
Photograph by Chelsea Gresh