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New Music: The 1975

By Danielle Kim, March 8 2016 —

The 1975’s sophomore album, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, was preceded by a lot of buzz, including a cryptic e-mail chain leading fans to believe the alternative rock band was breaking up. This was soon proven false when another e-mail surfaced announcing the production of a record that would signify “the end of the most inspiring and challenging time” for the group. ENT_The1975Cover

The band succeeds in carving out a funkier and more synthetic sound than anything they’ve attempted before. This is best illustrated by upbeat tracks like the shiny, ‘80s pop-inspired “Love Me” and the head-bopping “The Sound.”

But I Like It When You Sleep isn’t a complete turnaround for The 1975. Familiar guitar riffs mingle with reverberating electronica and synths while reoccurring lyrics draw parallels with their debut album that will resonate with long-time fans.

The album also critiques the superficiality of the digital age, particularly in “She’s An American,” which draws a caricature of American values. This approach, however, comes off as a pretentious, manufactured part of The 1975’s ‘rebel’ identity.

Frontman Matt Healy’s vocals have long been a captivating part of the band’s sound, so it’s no surprise they form a central part of the album. Healy effortlessly shifts from angsty wailing on “The Ballad of Me and My Brain” — a grungy song full of heartache with hints of sparkling synth-pop — to soft, emotional crooning on “Somebody Else,” a chilled-out electronic ballad with resonating keyboard and drums.

Lead single “Love Me” is also solid, a funky coming-of-age tune where Healy sings about the confusion that came with the band’s sudden success.

Like its title, the music on I Like It When You Sleep is long-winded and has too much clutter. The 75-minute album warrants a listen for its noteworthy tracks, but aimless, ambient songs like the title track and “Please Be Naked” do nothing but take away from the record. Much of the album feels like this — failed attempts at art that prevent the album from becoming a cohesive work.


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