While listening to The 1975’s new album I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it (henceforth referred to as I like it when…) while waiting for a flight, I tweeted “I think @the1975 may be one of, if not the, most exciting things in modern music.” Granted, that might be a bit overzealous or ambitious, but I was just really excited. I haven’t had a new(ish) band excite me like this band does in a long time.
I was a HUGE fan of the band’s debut self-titled record, one of my favorites of the past 5 years. So when the preorders for the sophomore album went up, and I got the word that a preorder guaranteed a ticket purchase for the upcoming tour (the band sells out venues in rapid-fire timing and I really wanted to see them live) I placed an order for the 2X LP clear vinyl. As the singles were released, my anticipation mounted with massive expectations. The day of the album release, the record was nowhere to be found on Spotify and my preorder with digital download wasn’t to be delivered until the afternoon. I had to work all day, so I didn’t get the opportunity to hear the album until I got home at around 10 PM. This was the first time I would be hearing an album for the very first time on vinyl, which was a cool experience.
Experience is a perfect word to describe this album. As soon as the first track starts, a throwback to the first track on the previous record, the grandiosity of the record rears its head. Lyrically identical to the original, but sonically miles apart, the song serves as sort of a message to fans: ‘We are the same band you know and love, but we’ve progressed in a huge way.’
In my eyes, this album exists in about 3 different phases all woven together. It is one part catchy 80s influenced pop with songs like “Love Me,” “She’s American,” and “The Sound.” In part 2 of the record, you find yourself enveloped in the ambient sounds of songs like the title track, “Please Be Naked,” and “Lostmyhead.” I’m normally not one for largely instrumental tracks, but the instances on this record are so purely beautiful I can’t help but close my eyes and get lost in the sound. Last, but certainly not least, is the softer 80s, ballad-esque tracks. The clear highlight of this phase is “Somebody Else,” though “A Change Of Heart” and the soul-bearing “Nana” are not to be overlooked.
Sure, maybe The 1975 are not “one of the most exciting things in modern music”. Maybe they are. But judging how much I look forward to listening to this record, and how stoked I am to see them live in May, they are definitely one of the most exciting things happening in my musical landscape.