ILIWYSFYASBYSUOI: The 1975 Sophomore Album Review

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it.

I know this is gonna be a very biased review (well I cannot help it ♥(ノ´∀`)) Each song in this album is a precious piece of art.


Perhaps this is the longest album title that I will encounter in my life. It might sound ridiculous to most people, but to the fans of The 1975, it rightfully fits their image. They have proved themselves to be a band that crosses music genres, and there's no stopping them from creating and surpassing the norm even just for an album title.

The band's sophomore album has been highly anticipated by fans all over the world (here in the Philippines we had an album release fanmeet!). I know a lot of fans were a bit worried about this album because the standards are high now for the band - they would need to surpass their debut album which was just so good. Even Matty, the band's frontman, said something along those lines, seeing that their debut album contains the best tracks that they've created during their first 10 years as a band. For this album, they only had a year to prepare for it. But I must say this second album is worth the wait. I loved everything about it - from its new pink packaging (those lovely neon signs!) to the lyrics, the melody of each song, the story behind each song, even the dedication part of the album jacket (mind you, I don't usually read those). Truly, they've set a new record for this one.

Apparently, most fans are with me on that. The album made its debut on the #1 spot on the UK and US charts just days after its release.

The album actually covered all the kinds of music I listen to - from their usual alternative tracks, to the 80's music vibe (which I closely compare to the music style that Taylor Swift has for 1989), to the instrumental and the acoustic tracks.

It's not so obvious that I'm super obsessed with this album, right? Here's my take on each song in the album and I'm pouring out all of my thoughts here (yup this is gonna be one lengthy post).

The 1975
The album artfully opens with this track which serves as a reprise of their opening track also with the same name in their debut album. On this one however, a choir sings along with Matty's multi-layered voice. It was like introducing the band in a same but brand new way, which is analogous to what they did on their logo which was changed from black and white to pink (remember all that hullabaloo back in June last year?). I recommend listening on headset/earphones on this one, as you might miss hearing some sound effects especially in the beginning of the song.

Love Me
Matty has explained that this track expresses the stage the band has experienced wherein they were too overwhelmed by the kind of fame that they are getting now (ehem is it the screaming fangirls?). They are all new to this kind of culture, but they are adapting in it and embracing it as fully as possible. 

This is the first single that they released from the new album. As expected, this was a highly anticipated track among the fans. The first time I heard this, I was surprised by the new sound that they got. Honestly, I did not like the song right away. The same reaction was seen among fans. Some even downright bashed them and described them as a great band that turned into rubbish. However after some time of listening to the track, I got to really like it (as did the other fans). Matty talks in detail what prompted him to write this song, and you might be interested to know that. Truly, this man thinks deep.

UGH!
I remember tuning to BBC Radio 1 (via the livestream) for the radio debut of this song. Upon hearing the funky opening notes, I knew I was going to love the song. It has such a catchy tune. I love singing along with it! The song is about drugs, which is not surprising anymore (duh have you heard Chocolate?).

Change of Heart
I first encountered the lyrics of this song from the teasers that the band released on their SNS. I noticed immediately the references that it had from their older songs:


You used to have a face straight out of a magazine (Robbers)

I never found love in the city. (The City)

I knew then that this is gonna be a sad song. I dreaded listening to it because I really really love Robbers. Having a song like this that sounded like a sad continuation of that love story is something that I just cannot absorb. (ノД`)・゜・。Falling out of love is just the saddest feeling of all.

She's American
Hands down, this is my most favorite track of all in this album. The first few seconds of the song will already get you dancing! I swear I would go crazy if they include this in their setlist in their stop here in the country (yes, they are coming again for a concert here!). The song has a very strong 'Settle Down'-ish resemblance, but this one has a stronger 80's vibe. Well I love both songs, and I will never get tired listening to this song over and over again.

If I Believe You
This is one of the most affecting songs that they have on this album (for me at least). I could just relate to every word of the song. It was just so timely because I was reading Paulo Coelho's The Valkyries during the time I first listened to it. I knew I needed to discover something for myself during that time. I was supposed to be on a mission. Unfortunately, I failed.


I was listening to this song while looking over the mountains, the morning after we hiked Mt. Pulag (which I will write a post about soon). I could just empathize with Matty on this song. I wanted to heal. I was given the opportunity, but I did not grab it whole-heartedly. The last repeating lines of the song just breaks my heart. That's a question I have for myself too.

Please Be Naked
This is one of the instrumental tracks of this album. It has such an eccentric and eerie sound that feels like I'm being lulled to sleep. I especially love the piano parts. Matty tweeted the notes for this track. Maybe I could try it out some time to see if I could play the notes on the piano too. :D


Lost My Head
This is another instrumental track. Unlike Please Be Naked, this one sounds like a long intro to a track - with all the guitar and drums that it has. Aptly, it preludes this next track about losing one's self-awareness a.k.a your brain.

The Ballad of Me and My Brain
The song starts with a choir singing. Afterwards we hear Matty's voice singing with such angst and frustration. If you listen to the lyrics, you'll understand why. It's a song about being lost and trying to find yourself. I particularly liked the lines 'Where would I be if I was my brain?'. This is one song that I am also looking forward to see performed live. It would be a joy to hear Matty sing his heart out as I believe this song is based on his personal experience dealing with drugs and all the stress he experienced while touring.


Somebody Else
Sigh, this is another sad song. Again, it's about falling out of love. It has such a dreamy vibe which I think I would love to listen to when drunk (cause it will sound way way better). I remember an anecdote Matty mentioned in an interview - about him falling in love with a prostitute. Maybe this song is about that girl?

Loving Someone
Honestly this is my most under-appreciated song in the album. Maybe I am just not used to this kind of music. But slowly I'm starting to get it, I just need to listen more to it I guess.

I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
I was slightly surprised that the title track is actually an instrumental (the longest one they have on the album actually). But hey, I love listening to it! The song invokes such magical feeling. I imagine beautiful fireflies flying upwards the night sky from a dark forest every time I listen to it.

The Sound
This is my most favorite track among the songs that they've released (so far) from this album. It's such a party song that makes you want to dance. Adam's guitar solo is also a highlight of this song. This is another track that I want them to perform in their concert.

This Must Be My Dream
Another sad song. There's already a tug in my heart whenever I listen to it. After learning the story behind this song, everything about the lyrics came to place. It's about a relationship that cannot work because Matty has no time for this one girl (he was constantly touring with the band all over the world) so he had to give up this love over touring and playing music.

Paris
If you listen to just the melody of the song, you will get the general feel of it being a romantic song. But no, it's about a girl, about cheating, and drugs. But setting aside the lyrics, this song reminds me of a recent book by Paulo Coelho that I read - Eleven Minutes - because the ending was set in Paris and it was all romantic and cheesy.

Nana
I literally teared up most of the time I listened to this song. I am dead serious (no pun intended). The instances I did not cry was because I was only half-listening to it. This song talks about the most dreaded thing that will happen in my life. Search the lyrics of the song, you'll know what I'm talking about. :(

My thoughts always go crazy whenever I think about that event. I really don't know what I will do if that time comes. I think I will have a major breakdown. I cling to this song, keeping in mind that that event will always be a fact of life for everyone who has ever lived, and it will happen to anyone sooner or later, and that I should be ready when it happens. This is a wake up call to me, that I need to spend well all the remaining time that I have. I'm tearing up again with just writing all these stuff. :'(

She Lays Down
This song dramatically ends the album - it's just Matty's soulful voice and the sound of the acoustic guitar. It closely reminds me of this other song wherein you can just hear Matty's raw emotions while singing.



And that's it! Their album all in all has 17 tracks (though there is a Target-exclusive version which includes 2 additional tracks). The 1975 has surpassed my expectations for this album. This is the reason I am so eager to see them in concert again this year, because I am now so attached to them and to the songs more than ever. I will not dare miss their M&G and album signing again in case there would be one  (though I doubt they'll do it again here, they are too famous now for something like that huhuhu).

'I like it when you sleep...' is a masterpiece. The bar is set high again I guess. But hey this is The 1975, I'm sure they'll produce more great records in the future.

Great job guys! And hopefully I'll see you soon. xD

~o~
The 1975
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