If Michael Hutchence somehow rose from the dead, with an English accent, and then decided to form a pop band, I imagine it’d sound something like The 1975. Okay, maybe that’s a bit much, but the stylistic similarities are there, just listen to Girls and tell me it doesn’t sound like something INXS put out in their prime.
In their eponymous debut album, The 1975 manage to cram a little bit of everything into the 16 tracks; from electronica, and pop, to rock, funk, and indie (whatever that means anymore) – all this overladen with an undeniably 80’s aesthetic, served with an unhealthy portion of synthesisers. The end result is a lot of very catchy songs, which make you want to get up and dance, and sing along to – when you can actually tell what the fuck the band’s lead singer Matt Healy is mumbling about.
The amalgamation of so many genres, roaring synth, and indecipherable lyrics make some of the songs seem a little claustrophobic, with so much happening in such a small space. At times, the tracks feel cluttered, and messy, and whilst we do get great singles like Sex, and Chocolate; some of the songs are rather forgettable, especially in the album’s latter half.
The 1975, are, when it all comes down to it, pop music for the teenage girls who constantly talk about how they’re too good for pop music. That’s less a criticism of the band themselves, and more just my cynicism leaking into reviews. I don’t mind the album, it’s a bit of harmless fun, and it’s hard to dislike it too much. I can’t help but feel though, that The 1975 lack a sense of artistic heart, or authenticity; the lyrics are generic, and what you’d expect from pop tracks aimed at 17 year old girls, with the occasional “fuck” thrown in to keep the edgy image up.
I’m not in love with the band, or the album, but I certainly don’t dislike it. With their sophomore LP “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It” dropping this year, I’m actually kind of excited to see what they’ve done in the past 3 years, though probably not as excited as my girlfriend is.
– Kieran Griffiths