Album review: 'I Like It When You...' by The 1975

Elizabeth Proffitt | Contributing Writer

Courtesy Interscope Records

This article was originally published February 2016

It’s been three years worth of changes for British band The 1975. After a successful first album they’ve changed aesthetically and musically and it can be seen in their sophomore album, “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” that dropped on Feb. 26.

Aesthetically speaking, the Manchester natives have managed to burst flamboyantly from black and white to vivid color. Their aesthetic changes mirror their musical ones, with a more up beat vibe that latches on to the hedonism of the 1980s but still manages to sound uniquely their own.

Easing fans into their new sound, the album begins with a reprisal of “The 1975,” which also opened their previous album. The low-fi, spacey sound lures the listener in with synthesizers and airy vocals. The song is a perfect summary for the entire album.

“I Like It When You Sleep…” is a mix of different musical elements combined, with fast-paced pop tracks like “Love Me.” A departure from their typically more mellow sound, the track; a nod to “Fame”-Era Bowie, criticizes the affects of fame on the band and celebrities in general.

Fans of songs like “Chocolate” from their last self-titled album will also appreciate songs like “UGH!” and “The Sound” that have the same dance-y hook that made them successful on mainstream radio stations in the past.

Lead singer, Matty Healy croons about lost love in “Somebody Else” and “A Change of Heart” The songs are the modern twist on classic '80s breakup songs, with sad lyrics and a good beat. Both tracks dealing with the fallout of failed relationships and awkward encounters between ex-lovers.

Aside from their pop-infused tracks, the band uses a gospel choir and mellow trumpets to back Healy in “If I Believe You” adding to soulful theme of the song that is centered on feeling lost in the world.

Not straying too far from their somber roots, the band has multiple songs about personal subjects, the song “Nana,” acoustic and intimate, is about the death of lead singer, Healy’s grandmother’s death.

Healy also touches on his mother’s bout of postpartum depression in “She Lays Down.” Also acoustic in nature, the song’s stripped down style lends to the sentimentality of the relationship he shares with his mother.

Regardless of all the changes they’ve been making, the fans’ responses have been positive. This album still manages to feeling uniquely like The 1975 that the audience has always known, just with a flourish of synthesizers and pink.

The band are currently touring Europe, they have yet to release their full international touring schedule for this album.