It’s been a long time coming; now it’s finally here. The new album by our, or at least my favorite English indie pop-rock band, 1975. Their latest LP, “Being Funny In A Foreign Language,” was released in October 2022 after two and a half years of drought.
I will state my humble opinion and give an informed review of this new album that sweetened my autumn and may do the same for you!
First of all, whether you’re a fan of “The 1975” or not, you have to admit that the production of this album is astonishing and sonically cohesive.
It was produced by mastermind Jack Anthonoff who is responsible for many great albums over the last decade (e.g., Taylor Swift’s 1989 or Lorde’s “Melodrama”), including his work with his band “Bleachers,” really showed his Midas touch in this album. It is concise, to the point, and flawless pop-perfection. It showcases “The 1975” for what they are and represent in its fundamental core. The sound of 80’s guitars, saxophones, heavy drumming, and catchy hooks are so contagious that you want to sing along after listening twice.
The themes the band explores in this album, which is their shortest thus far (only 44 minutes long), mainly center on love in today’s hectic day and age.
Matt Healy, the frontman and singer of the band, even acknowledged that he had issues in the past with opening up about his “mushy” feelings. However, according to the Spotify information tidbits on the songs, his bandmate Hann told him to stop negating his feelings and to stop being so “cynical all the time,” thus Healy finally put out an obvious love song, which is called “I’m In Love With You.”
Other songs such as “All I Need To Hear”, have Healy beg for attention and affection from his lover.
“Tell me you love me/That’s all I need to hear.”
He reveals a very raw, loving, and emotional side to him. Although the lines about his dick still pertain, he jokes and doesn’t take himself seriously.
Some might label his new openness about love as tacky when he was previously concerned with being “woke” and “sexy.” Call it what you want. Still, it is admirably honest and produced many sonically cohesive, great tracks that sound fresh and different from the mainstream.
Other themes touched upon are school shooters (the trauma of our generation), coming home for Christmas and seeing all the people you grew up with, and journaling, the process of processing emotions.
Since Matt Healy is also a great songwriter, and I cannot put sound in this article, I will recount some of his best lyrics from this album, some funny, some thoughtful but all unique.
“I know some Vaccinista tote bag chic baristas/ Sitting in the east on their communist keisters /Writing about their ejaculations/ I like my men like I like my coffee/ Full of soy milk and so sweet, it won’t offend anybody” (Part Of The Band)
Here, Healy quotes what he thinks of the postmodern society, which fetishizes POCs and feminizes men.
“Somebody picking up the body of somebody they were getting to know.”
(Looking For Somebody To Love)
This is a hauntingly sad line from the song Matt Healy wrote about school shootings and their absurdity and cruelty, which he believes in resulting in the perpetrators’ loneliness. This lyric perfectly encapsulates what it must be like for survivors. It gives me the chills every time I hear it.
Also, the following lyric shows that 1975 does not shy away from polarizing and provoking intelligently: “A supreme gentleman with a gun in his lo-lo-looking for somebody to love”
“Central Park is Sea World for trees” from “When We Are Together,” it’s just made me laugh and think.
The third song on the album, “Looking for Somebody To Love,” is a song I first believed to be a fast-paced, funky song about wanting to find love until I found out it has quite the opposite topic. Overall, it is about how the band thinks school shootings happen due to toxic masculinity, which is responsible for incels. Healy wanted to express in this song how much young men need guidance and emotional support. A perfect, dark 80s sound.
In “Part of the Band,” Healy is just blurting out his journal notes accompanied by a folk-rock melody entailing beautiful violins. It is sarcastic and reflective.
“Oh, Caroline” is a sweet more general song about longing for someone, here a specific girl. Overall the song is very quickly applicable to loads of people’s love lives, the ones who want a second chance with their ex-lover. It has an excellent beat and cute rhymes.
“Wintering” is about the experience of coming home for Christmas. Matt Healy discusses his family, their rituals, and their eccentricity. It’s a hot, wintery track. I can only recommend it to everyone living in a different city than their family.
“I get home on the 23rd”.
Track number seven, “All I Need To Hear,” is probably my new favorite ballad. There’s something honest about the simple love song that has a general theme; needing love and reassurance from a partner, but it is still a particular and beautiful ballad. This elusive quality separates “The 1975” from contemporary mainstream rock groups.
Give the album a listen; you won’t be disappointed.
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