Album Review: The 1975 ‘I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’
British heartthrobs The 1975 have outdone themselves with their highly-anticipated (and lengthily titled) second album, ‘I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’. The album follows their debut self-titled album released in 2013, and the charismatic 4-piece have not disappointed!
The second album has a distinctly more mature sound, both in frontman Matthew Healy’s voice and in the depth and complexity of the songs themselves. The poppy, heartbreaker, teen boyband sound has developed and emerged into a distinct combination of electronica and 80s pop-rock, a sound that’s somewhat unique and exciting when compared to the current pop charts.
“The poppy, heartbreaker, teen boyband sound has developed and emerged into a distinct combination of electronica and 80s pop-rock, a sound that’s somewhat unique and exciting when compared to the current pop charts.”
‘I like it when you sleep…’ kicks off with the same introductory self-titled song that also featured first on their debut album. Following this are Love Me and UGH! which set the scene and prepare you for the more developed, futuristic sound evident throughout the whole album. They actually have a somewhat Peter Gabrielle mixed HAIM-ish vibe to them, with the stunted beats, rushed verses, and syncopated pauses that interrupt the beat in the best kind of way.
Change of Heart slows it right down and although there’s still that driving synth beat, it’s nowhere near as intense. “I’ve been so worried ‘bout you lately / You look sh*t and you smell a bit” paint the picture of this melancholic yet melodic track. The album wouldn’t be complete without catchy, commercial pop song She’s American. The lyrics in this one aren’t as strong as in some other tracks, but the strong beat and driving electric guitar more than make up for it. This leads into the ballad If I Believe You, which has a really interesting techno build-up at the beginning with lots of really cool production amongst the percussion and keyboard. The trumpet solo towards the end really gives it an alternative bluesy vibe, which is exactly “what you want”.
Despite its fun and suggestive title, Please Be Naked is purely instrumental with a LOT of slow, gradual build-up. That slow piano melody meddled with ambient white noise and a touch of production makes for easy listening, but we’ll admit we’re a bit devo there were no sneaky and suggestive lyrics…
“You can almost hear Matt Healy’s voice cracking with emotion as he sings the final “she lays down” and we’re left to wallow in our tears.”
Lostmyhead has a really futuristic sound with a distant beat, and The Ballad of Me and My Brain sounds slightly punkier than the rest of the album. Lead vocalist Matthew Healy really shines in this one as the vocals become more aggressive and start to “go mad”. This aggression is smoothed out instantly with Somebody Else, which is much slower and gentler pop with just an edge of rock. Loving Someone is a feature of British rap, and possibly their most electronic track on the album.
Title track, I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it reminds us of something by Owl City, the electric keyboard playing a gentle melody similar to that of Fireflies. It’s a really mellow, but futuristic-sounding song that actually makes you feel like you’re drifting off to sleep (where you’ll most likely be “so beautiful and yet so unaware of it”).
The Sound and This Must Be My Dream sounded more like the quartet’s older sound, with a strong beat and not so much electronic production. Paris was so cool, calm, and creative. The ongoing guitar picking gives the song momentum without the unnecessary intensity, creating such a mellow vibe. The final two songs on the album, Nana and She Lays Down are acoustic numbers with a real focus on the smooth, gentle tones of Mattew Healy’s vocals.
Nana is a melancholy ballad of grieving, unrequited love wanting to “keep […] close to you” , whilst She Lays Down is a really depressing track about the struggles and heartbreak of post-natal depression. Rumoured to be written about Healy’s own mother, this song is just really freaking emotional. You can almost hear Matt Healy’s voice cracking with emotion as he sings the final “she lays down” and we’re left to wallow in our tears.