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Courtesy of The 1975

The 1975’s sophomore album embraces the unusual

The title isn’t the only thing that’s long.

By Regina Anderson | Feb. 29, 2016

Tags: Music

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When The 1975 deleted all of their social media last June, many of their fans worried that it was the end of the band. Lucky for them, it was just the beginning of a new and innovative era for The 1975.

“I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it,” or “When you sleep” as referred by some fans, is The 1975’s sophomore album. It follows the unprecedented success of their debut album “The 1975.” The album is 17 songs long. I personally was a fan of select songs from their debut album, but the entirety of it never quite caught my interest. But the singles from this album convinced me to become a more avid listener. I have listened to “UGH!” and “The Sound” a million times in the past month alone and “Somebody Else” is the only song I listened to leading up the release of “When you sleep.”

The first song on the album, also titled “The 1975” like their last album, is an immersive experience. It’s the shortest song on the album, which is disappointing because it is a sound I would have loved to hear more of. The one minute and 23 seconds that are there are rich with vocal harmonies and electronic sounds, making it seem as though you are stepping into another world.

Critics have said that many of their songs on the first album sound alike. The 1975 seemed to take that as a challenge on “When you sleep.” The band plays with range on this album more than they have in the past.

The range of sounds is especially evident when you compare “Love Me,” their first single off “When you sleep,” and “She Lays Down,” the final song of the album. “Love Me” is loud, in your face and utilizes stereo sound as an artistic tool; “She Lays Down” sounds like it was taken from a home jam session recorded on a video camera to upload to YouTube.

“She’s American” is the only song that is truly reminiscent of their first album. It has classic The 1975 syncopation that some people say sounds like “Settle Down” from the previous album. It’s a fun, upbeat and witty song that old and new fans of The 1975 will enjoy.

The album has a bit of an ‘80s pop vibe, especially on songs like “A Change of Heart” and “This Must Be My Dream.” The use of synth and repetitive choruses is bound to remind people of their favorite John Hughes film.

Other songs though are a genre of their own. Songs like the title track, “Lostmyhead” and “The Ballad of Me and My Brain” refrain from having any lead vocals until at least a minute into the song. It makes for an interesting listening experience, adding to the immersive feeling they tried to establish at the beginning.

Something I appreciated from this album was the vulnerability on songs. “If I Believe You” is questioning of religion and God. “Paris” is bittersweet and lovely. “Nana” tells the story of Matty Healy, the lead singer, losing his grandmother. All these things showed a great deal of emotion that I think anyone could connect to.

One of my favorite songs off the album that’s possibly one of the most intriguing is “Please Be Naked.” Though the title might seem suggestive, the song is a beautiful instrumental break in the middle of the album. A simple piano melody repeats itself, while more sounds are added on. It seems more likely to find this song on a movie soundtrack than a The 1975 album.

I truly enjoyed the innovation that came with this album. The 1975 is proving themselves to be more than just a electro-pop band for teenage girls. This is an album that feels very complex, and I know that I want to sit down and listen to it a few more times through to get a better feel for it.

But the album might not be for everyone. If you are not into things that are a little out there, this may not be the album for you. That being said, some of the singles and songs are still worth a listen to.

MOVE gives this album four out of five stars.

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