Almost three years after their self-titled debut album, English pop-rock band The 1975 have released their sophomore record, “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.” The title is perfectly representative of the album. With its 17 tracks, it is another both outlandish and lyrically poetic The 1975 record.
“I Like It When You Sleep …” can most perfectly be described as a “pure evolution and distillation” of the first album, as lead singer Matty Healy stated in an interview with “Rolling Stone.” The 1975 surprised fans over the summer when the band completely redesigned its aesthetic, retiring its iconic black and white color theme for a new, light baby pink. The tracks on this album are reflective of this style evolution, as the tone of this record is undeniably more lively and upbeat when compared to the first.
On one hand, this album is completely different from anything that we have heard from The 1975 so far. On the other, it is everything that the band has ever put out, just amplified by a thousand, painted pink and compiled into a seventeen-track record. Every song on this album is completely different from one another, but they each lead into the next in a natural progression.
The record begins with the brief intro track, “The 1975.” This song was also the intro on the band’s first album; however, this version is slightly more intensified with extra instrumental and vocal elements added in.
“Love Me” is the second track on the album and was the first single to be released off of it. The song boasts a groovy electric guitar presence with an upbeat and eclectic pop tempo that is similar to classic new wave ‘80s tracks like “Need You Tonight” by INXS and “She Blinded Me With Science” by Thomas Dolby.
The record is comprised of more bubbly pop tunes, such as “UGH!” and “She’s American,” but the songs on the album as a whole reflect on the complex themes of fame, drugs, love, nostalgia and self-awareness.
Undoubtedly, the simplest track on the record is “A Change of Heart.” What this song lacks in musical complexity it makes up for lyrically. Healy makes references to several songs off of the band’s first album at several points throughout “I Like It When You Sleep …,” mirroring the original lyrics and playing off of them to portray new meanings, which this track exemplifies.
A handful of the songs on this album have gospel vocal elements to them, which is something that the band had not really dabbled in on previous works. In “If I Believe You,” Healy is essentially having a conversation with Jesus. Religion is certainly one of the heavier themes on the album and is prevalent again in “Nana,” a song dedicated to Healy’s grandmother, with lyrics like, “And I know God doesn’t exist / But I like to think you hear me sometimes.”
It is difficult to categorize this album into a specific genre, which is what makes it even more interesting. One minute the music is upbeat dance hit “The Sound”; then, the next thing you know, you are listening to an unconventional piano ballad, “Please Be Naked.”
This album will elicit a range of emotions from the listener, but bored is certainly not one of them. “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” proves that The 1975 are still devoted to the art of making an album as well as changing and expressing themselves through their music. If you are currently scoping out the music scene for something fresh, artistic and slightly crazy, this album may be what you have been looking for.