It has been three years since The 1975 have dominated the airwaves with their first self-titled album. For the next several months, British alternative rock dominated the airwaves with fantastic tracks like “Chocolate,” “Girls” and “Robbers.”
Expect the band’s next album, “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it,” to do the same. It is a fantastic sophomore album.
While most bands fail to get over the sophomore slump with their second studio albums, “I like it when…” has left that slump in the rearview mirror for the band. While a narrative dominates this record, the band still relies heavily on the styles and themes in their first album.
The first thing to note with this album is the glaring similarities between the two albums. “The 1975” made a debut in 2013, opening with a song called “The 1975.” In the second album, they unimaginatively titled their first song “The 1975.” That’s a lot of self-promotion from a very poetic band. Frontman Matthew Healy has very creative titles for the rest of their tracks that rival those of Fall Out Boy.
Lyrically, this is the band’s best work. This might be because the delivery of each note is perfectly delivered in harmony with the rest of the music, or it might be because it is all very poetic. Everything about this album seems planned out. The band has fully embraced the girls, love, color and typical pop tropes that have flooded the airwaves for years. Tracks like “Love Me” and “The Sound” focus mainly on a combination of the themes. “Somebody Else” focuses more on the heartbreak — it stands as one of the best tracks off the entire record.
Musically, The 1975 are labeled as alternative rock. That is not the case with “I like it when…” This album is almost entirely pop, and it’s more of a postmodern take on those 1980s styles, something that we have seen a lot with people such as Taylor Swift or Carly Rae Jepsen lately. It’s not a necessarily bad thing that they went with this album. It’s stylized, but in a good way.
There are a lot of fun, upbeat tracks to get up and dance to. Each track does a pretty good job of having its own groove that is separate from the rest. Plus, there are some tracks that slow it down as well, like “If I Believe You” and “I like it when you sleep.…” Overall, the record was crafted in a very meaningful way that is best listened to front to back.
The 1975 have released a very strong contender early in the year. Expect the radios to be flooded with tracks off this album for the next year, because that is just how good this album stands. If you are a fan of The 1975, this is a must-have. If you never heard of them before, this is a good album to pick up and check out.
Collegian Music Critic Alec Erickson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @CTV_ACE.