BY DREW LACOUTURE
It is often said that a band must get through a sophomore slump to be considered a great band; well United Kingdom darlings “The 1975” might be experiencing that slump.
With a title that looks like an old-school “Fall Out Boy” song and a ridiculous run-time, “I Like I like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” has some great singles, but not a ton
“The 1975” was one of the last groups in the alterative wave of 2012 and 2013 to blow up and in the end, developed one the largest followings of those acts. This is why it is quite exciting to see “The 1975” follow through with another major release unlike a lot of their contemporaries and while there is a lot to enjoy to on this record, it does not live up to their debut.
This record has several parallels to the group’s debut. The intro “The 1975” sounds similar to their debut’s opener which is a pretty interesting trademark the group has going. Much like the cover art, this record is brighter in sound than their debut.
And brighter could have been awesome for this album if actually well performed. However, mediocre songs do not justify a 73 minute run-time.
The title track, and “If I Believe You” just make the entire record feel overblown and while they are not terrible songs, they just do not have any replay value. Although the boring “If I Believe You” is saved by a sweet trumpet solo.
Here is the truth, this record has four fantastic songs and every single one of them were released before the record was released.
“Love Me” kicks off the record with some fiery guitar.
“Ugh” is unbelievably catchy with its chorus (“And you’re the only thing that’s going on in my mind, taking over my life a second time”).
“The Sound” is a solid synth-pop anthem and the ethereal, heartbreaking “Somebody Else” is the stand out track.
Outside of those four tracks, a lot of this record feels like filler. After the instrumental “Please Be Naked,” they decided to put the other almost entirely instrumental track “Lostmyhead” right afterwards. What were they thinking putting these tracks back to back?
But that is nothing compared to how the record ends. Both of the final tracks are acoustic, and while an acoustic ballad on a “1975” record could have been cool, putting both of these tracks in was probably the worst possible way to end the record and leaves the listener wanting more, but in a bad way.
This album also took some heavy influences from electronic pop, for “Loving Someone,” “A Change in Heart” and “The Ballad of Me and My Brain” sound like Imogen Heap songs just with a full band. These are just more songs that only make the singles more enjoyable due to lackluster songwriting.
There are a couple of these tracks that are somewhat decent. The corky “She’s American” seems like a direct sequel track to “Settle Down” with a similar groove and similar lyrical content.
“Paris” displays the album’s bright sound that after a couple of listens might grow on some listens.
It is uncertain if fans were expecting “I Like It When…” to sound exactly like their debut after hearing “Love Me,” but this might not be what fans wanted. Much like “Coldplay,” “The 1975” cannot decide if they want to pop stars or be music for strictly hipsters. There is certainly stuff to enjoy on this record, but to get there the listener has to get through a lot of filler and questionable decisions.
This record could have been great, but let us hope “The 1975” will realize that a bloated record with only four or six great songs may not be worth it in the end.
The Flyer gives the “The 1975” album with an incredibly long title a 4/10.