On February 26, the British band The 1975 released their sophomore album, “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.” Many of the new tracks on their second album mirror those in their self-titled first album. However, The 1975 have both expanded upon both lyricism and sound in their new release.
One distinct variation from the first album is the addition of more complex synth sounds and instrumentals. Tracks like “If I Believe You” layers an electronically altered gospel choir sporadically through out the song as a back up chorus. However, this addition can become messy and redundant when too much is added to the mix. “Somebody Else” begins in classic 1975 style, with angsty lyrics about love and melancholic chords supporting singer Matt Healy’s vocals, but the interlude in the middle is an unneeded auto-tuned addition to an otherwise interesting track.
Some tracks, on the other hand, highlight super neat style changes. Both “Love Me” and “UGH!” are an undeniable switch to a funkier attitude. Composed of voice dubs, an over the-top synth overlay and narcissistic lyrics, “Love Me” announces that The 1975 is back and ready to get in your face. The follow up single of “UGH!” offers the same type of deviation from the band’s first album. This track lacks the emphasis of guitar and bass, and focuses more on creating a bubbly synth landscape while the lyrics contemplate addiction. A similar atmosphere is offered in the piano-backed “The Sound.” Probably the most dance worthy track on the album, “The Sound” is a great juxtaposition to the mellower, slower moving songs.
Despite the meandering style of this new album, The 1975 is still staying close to the roots of their first album. The opening track, “The 1975,” is a reconstruction of the same song that opened their self-titled album. My favorite song on the album, “Change of Heart” is a marvelous combination of old and new 1975. The lyrics still reference the struggles that come with love, while Healy sings over a gauzy, bright electronic backbeat. I could honestly see this song potentially being part of their first album.
“I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” can, nevertheless, feel a little bloated and unconnected. While tracks such as “Paris” and “She’s American” are pure pop, “The Ballad of Me and My Brain” offers that rock essence found in older tracks such as “Sex” and “Heart Out.” The whole album is a lengthy 74 minutes in total run time. A handful of songs are over the five-minute mark, with two being almost completely instrumental, which makes me wonder about the purpose of those songs.
I would definitely recommend readers to give The 1975’s first album a listen before listening to this album. There is a distinct change from the first album to the second, but also some hidden gems found in the newer tracks that reference back to The 1975’s first album. The direction of “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” is very interesting and fun. I wish that The 1975 had translated a little bit of their boy band angst to their new tracks. I found that I missed the darker rhythm and guitar from songs such as “Robbers” and “Menswear.” This album is almost a little bit too pop-like for my expectations of The 1975. That being said, this album works very well at twisting notions about the standards of pop music. What The 1975 has done in both this album and the previous album is merge a mellow synth vibe with dark, self-effacing lyrics with that will get instantly get stuck in your head. “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” is a valiant sophomore effort that could potentially help The 1975 break into mainstream US pop charts.