In 2013 when everyone online seemed to be listening to or talking about The 1975, I gave them a try. “They’re okay,” I said. They were a rock band and I didn’t really feel anything special about the album or the music. It wasn’t for me, that’s okay.
When I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it came out last week I thought I’d give The 1975 another chance. One of the best things that’s come out of my Google Music membership in the last two years is that on New Music Fridays (previously Tuesdays) I can look at what’s new and give it a listen. I’m an album girl at heart, I like to start at the beginning and listen straight through to get a feel for the music and Google Music/YouTube Red lets me do that without commercials and without any pressure to buy an album for a single song if I decide I like something. So even though I didn’t much care for their first album, since I’m a big believer in sophomore albums, I decided to give them another try.
Man am I glad I did because I haven’t been able to get enough of this album in the last week. I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it gives me a little something I’ve been craving in music recently. There’s a strong rock vibe but with a bit of a Bowie edge. There’s something still a little pop in their sound, but their not afraid to reach outside that sound and pull in other influences. I love that occasionally we just get an electronic song without low key repetitive vocals, reminiscent perhaps of M83, like in the titular track “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it” but on the same album we have “She’s American” which is my least favorite track and probably the most pop/top 40 sounding track on the album (two things that are not necessarily related).
The band is catching a few comments about how different the album can feel from one song to the next, but it’s music reviewers and old school music lovers and your hardcore fans that consume albums by the album. Most modern music consumers are doing so by the song either by way of radio play, things like Pandora or Spotify (or my favorite Google Music/YouTube Red). They’re getting their music by the song or by the video and the concept of the album while interesting is perhaps the least important thing about popular music these days. I think this album holds up just fine to listen to it straight through but no, from song to song, it’s not going to sound the same. I think that shows the band’s versatility in this case, their creative range and ability to hold your attention from start to finish.
If you’re already a fan of The 1975, maybe I’m preaching to the choir here, but I think this a sophomore album worth the listen. I’m obsessed for sure. If you’re not a fan yet but you like David Bowie, Ray LaMontange, M83, Tom Petty, One Direction… give them a chance. And if you don’t see what all those musicians might have in common, well The 1975 is where you’ll find out.