It's been four weeks.... I think I'm finally able to form coherent thoughts.
On February 26th, The 1975 released their sophomore album, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, after a two and a half year wait.
I CAN'T STOP LISTENING TO THIS ALBUM!!!!
The album opens with a revamped version of The 1975 which is the same song that the debut album opened with. It's like they're saying, *insert Adele voice here* "Hello it's me. I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet..." Not gonna lie, when the vocals came in, I was INSTANTLY in tears! The layering of Matty's vocals and the airy, ethereal-ness is SO overwhelmingly beautiful... it's like listening to the air.
Going into this, I was already quite familiar with Love Me, Ugh!, and A Change Of Heart. Love Me and Ugh! were the first two songs released and I first heard A Change Of Heart in December. Love Me and Ugh! are a perfect blend of funky, grooving tunes and honest lyrics about our weird narcissistic, celebrity/selfie culture and how they're dealing with their new place in it , as well as Matthew's relationship with cocaine. Love Me is 100%, without a doubt a nod to Bowie's fame and that makes me love it even more. I'm particularly fond of A Change Of Heart because of it's nods to songs from the debut album. "You used to have a face straight our of a magazine. Now you just look like anyone..." Robbers is my favorite song so that line always makes me all warm fuzzy on the inside. "I never found love in the city. I just sat in self pity and cried in my car." is of course a reference to The City, "You wanna find love then you know where the city is..." The simple, airy synth beat makes me want to dance around at 3am with a glass of wine.
When the drums hit in the beginning of She's American, I swear, my stomach HITS THE GROUND! A song about a British man in the U S of A. This is another one with nods to the first album... with a similar beat and parallel lyrics to Settle Down... "A big town. Synthetic apparitions of not being lonely." vs " A small town. Dictating all the people we get around. What a familiar face." and "Oh what a let down" is a line taken straight from the first verse of Settle Down and revisited in the first verse of She's American. "Oh what a let down, a shame, I think he might die."... which I feel is a reference to "The Boston Incident". I think musically, this is the best song on the album. Adam's guitar work is AMAZING and then the sax slides in at the end...C'MON! This one gives me a stroooong MJ vibe and I'm LIVING for it! George is a freaking BRILLIANT producer!! I absolutely cannot sit still whenever this song comes on. I mean if you don't scream "DON'T FALL IN LOVE WITH THE MOMENT AND THINK YOU'RE IN LOVE WITH THE GIRL!" you're honestly doing it wrong!
If I Believe You.... Honestly... this song is a MASTERPIECE!! It starts with sounds of people praising God then that go to church beat kicks in and I'm HOOKED! I picture Matty sitting in a church with all of his questions and doubts watching the faithful. I wasn't sure what I was getting into when we first got the track list. Matty is a VERY vocal atheist so I sort of went into this braced but REALLY stoked for the choir. But LORD this song hits me HARD... even as a Christian. This song is an open, honest conversation between Matty and a God that he doesn't believe in but would be opened to if the suffering stops. He has talked about the fact that he wishes that he could be more spiritual many times and even though I know God exists, i still find myself relating to this song. By the time we get to the end of the song, i'm in tears... ALWAYS. "If I'm lost, then how can I find myself?" it's quiet but to me seems like a screamed plea. Ugh it's beautiful and honest and... uggggghhhhhhh! It is also the perfect transition into the next phase of this album.
Please Be Naked is quite possibly the most BEAUTIFUL thing i've ever heard! It takes people with not just talent, but a real musical GIFT to create an instrumental piece that evokes SO MANY emotions. I want to cry and laugh and just...feel whenever I listen to it!! It reminds me of a mix between HSNCC and Moon (from the Drive Like I Do era). It sounds like love, and magic, and waking up with the person you love... did I say magic??
Then, it has the AUDACITY to flow into Lostmyhead which is just as instrumentally beautiful for 45 seconds before it hits us old fans with the lost my head bit from Facedown. "And you said, I've lost my head. Can you see it? Belly aches while you're in bed. Can you feel it?" repeats as a buildup to The Ballad of Me and My Brain and a head first dive into Matty's mental state.
The Ballad Of Me And My Brain.... *deep breath*... Quite possibly my favorite on the album!! First of all, it sounds like it should be a Drive Like I Do song... well the opening sounds like Frozen, but I'm not complaining. I LOVE FROZEN! The opening line... MATTHEW! Who gave you the right?!?! I love that raspy scream that he does. (Probably the result of the chain smoking.) The beginning of the song makes you think that, as the song suggests, it will be a pretty ballad about The Noodle's metal health.. NOOOPE! This song HITS you like a TRUCK! It's an odd little tale about an erratic search for Matty's lost mind told over a powerful drum that reminds me of a frantic, crashing heartbeat. George kills me! I haven't been this obsessed with a song... well... since Robbers!
Somebody Else is another that I first heard on the last tour. This song is such a jam. It starts slowly and builds into a snarky 80's number about that feeling at the end of the relationship where you're just kind of over it but you're not ready to see them with someone else. The breakdown at the bridge evokes a lot of Healy-esque hair flips. It's the lyrical version of a neck roll and z snap. This song is sassy and snappy and I adore it.
Lyrically, I think Loving Someone is the BEST song on the album. The verses are fast and rap like and are to a similar beat to those of So Far (It's Alright). There are a lot of words in each verse that I'm still trying to commit to memory(such a mouthful) but when you actually listen, they're a powerful observation of what our society has become. I love a song that mean something and this song MEANS SOMETHING!
"Just keep hold of their necks and keep selling them sex
It’s better if we keep them perplexed
It's better if we make them want the opposite sex
Disenfranchised young criminal minds
In a car park beside where your nan resides
Are not slow, they've just never been shown
That you should...
...be loving someone"
"We shouldn't have people afloat
If it was safer on the ground, we wouldn't be on a boat"
Which is my personal favorite as it seems to touch on the refugee situation that people seem to have forgotten about. It's also a parallel to lyrics from Talk! "I'd be an anchor but i'm scared you'd drown, it's safer on the ground."
The song closes with a muted spoken word bit with gems like...
"I never did understand
The duality of art and reality
Living life and treating it as such
There's a certain disconnect
With the culture that cajoles at the artist with comfort and abandon"
Loving someone is another masterpiece. An underrated masterpiece, but a masterpiece nonetheless.
The title track, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It is a doozy. It's predominantly instrumental and like I said with Please Be Naked, it takes a real gift to evoke emotion from an instrumental track. This is a six minutes and twenty six seconds emotional roller coaster! It starts off very daintily but in a sort of futuristic way, if that makes sense. Before Matty softly asks us, "Before you go, turn the big light off". The next phase of this songs always reminds me of a ring tone from the early 2000s it also feels like standing in the middle of a rushing city like Manhattan or Tokyo. The tempo picks up into a techno/edm/dance beat and by the end of the song, i'm exhausted.
What can I say? The Sound is HANDS DOWN the JAM of the album! It is upbeat and snarky. The second verse is my absolute FAVORITE!
"It's not about reciprocation it's just all about me.
A sycophantic, prophetic, Socratic junkie wannabe
There's so much skin to see
A simple Epicurean Philosophy
And you say I'm such a cliche,
I can't see the difference in it either way.
And we left things to protect my mental health
But you call me when you're bored and you're playing with yourself"
and then Hann's guitar solo is EVERYTHING!! YES!
This is the part of the album where The 1975 take their whole 80s John Hughes film soundtrack thing to the next level. This Must Be My Dream and Paris SCREAM Sixteen Candles. Musically they are the type of songs that would be played during the life changing school dance where Molly Ringwald is looking fantastic in an outfit that I wish that I owned. This Must Be My Dream starts with another vocal kick to the face. Honestly every time the line "We can't make love when you fly around me baby." comes around, I melt a little. That voice, man. The first time I listened to Paris, the thing that stood out the most was how upbeat the music was and how dark the lyrics actually are. (Now that I think about it, both songs are that way). This is another one that dips into drug use and that whole scene... and a girl met at a party that's "a pain in the nose" *wink*. All of that aside this is another tune that I would dance to at 3am with a bottle of wine. (I said glass earlier didn't I?... oops)
Excuse me whilst I go grab a fresh box of tissues. In the four weeks that this album has been out, I haven't been able to get through Nana and She Lays Down without the waterworks. I knew when I first saw the track listing that Nana was going to be a lot for me. I knew there would never be a situation where I would be able to get through a song about the death of Matty's grandmother without my heart being ripped out... I was right! The song is soft and sweet and simple. There's this innocence about the lyrics and Matthew's voice. I don't know if that makes sense. At the end of the song he sings, "But I'm bereft you see.I think you can tell I haven't been doing too well" and his voice cracks... needless to say, I lost it... Needless to say, I'm crying right now. The emotion is a bit overwhelming. This get even more emotionally overwhelming as the album comes to a close with She Lays Down which is about Matty's mother's battle with post natal depression and how "In the end, she chose cocaine But it couldn't fix her brain." The song is completely acoustic and when I listen to it, I picture Matty sitting on a kitchen floor by himself playing it. It's raw and vulnerable and feels like we're witnessing a real moment. Matthew's voice is honestly so beautiful... the way he sings the line "Over the water, Over terrain. The engines all go bust, we turned to dust and I've no reason to complain..." simultaneously warms and breaks my heart. She Lays Down is a beautiful end to an impeccable album!
I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It is a work of art! The 1975 is what's missing in the music world. THEY are a collective work of art!