Monday, October 17, 2022

The 1975 Make A Comeback With Phenomenal New Album, ‘Being Funny In A Foreign Language’

After a two-year long break from releasing music, English alternative/indie band The 1975 have just dropped their fifth studio album, ‘Being Funny In A Foreign Language.’ 

Despite the album’s track list being shorter than what fans are used to, with just 11 songs, the band have carefully curated a perfect mix of up-beat tracks, piano ballads, and slower, sentimental songs.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a The 1975 album without the first song paying homage to their other four albums, each of which starts off with variations the same titular track ‘The 1975’. In the new album, however, we witness a change in that the band decide to introduce new lyrics, rather than the “Go down / Soft Sound” fans are so accustomed to. The repetition of the lyric “I’m sorry if you’re livin’ and you’re seventeen” as the track fades out is a clever reference to ‘Girls’ – one of the band’s most popular tracks off their 2013 debut album. These inter-album references are something The 1975 do quite frequently, and they know how to do it well. Psychedelic piano and an almost theatrical backing track, ‘The 1975’ is a strong, original start to the new album.

With the second song, ‘Happiness,’ being released as a single back in August, when listening to it as part of the album we are reminded why it was one of the first songs fans were exposed to. The up-beat track, the catchy lyrics, make for an all-round feel-good tune – one which is definitely going to be on repeat. An ode to being in love, frontman Matty Healy delivers some perfectly paradoxical lyrics throughout the track, such as “I would go blind just to see you.” The next song, ‘Looking For Somebody (To Love)’ is, at first glance, another cheerful track, but upon listening to the lyrics, it makes several references to school shootings – something which Healy himself has admitted is an ‘abstract phenomena I don’t understand.’ The contradictory lyrics and tune is something which fans are familiar with the band doing; all one needs to do is look back on ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)’ from their 2018 album: another overwhelmingly catchy, seemingly upbeat song, which is actually about the perils of heroin addiction.

Both ‘Part Of The Band’ and ‘I’m In Love With You’ were also announced as singles prior to the full album being released. Fans have been able to enjoy them for a couple months already – while the lyrics of ‘Part Of The Band’ feels like a sincere stream of consciousness, a look into Healy’s mind, ‘I’m In Love With You’ is easily one of the best songs off the album, with its catchy tune and easily memorable lyrics. Similarly, ‘All I Need To Hear’ was the last single released before the full album: a slow, simple piano ballad with unambiguous, universally relatable lyrics, i.e., “And tell me you love me / That’s all that I need to hear.”

‘Oh Caroline’ is another universal track, referencing the desperate yearning and infatuation that everyone has experienced in their lives – everyone has their own Caroline. The song starts off blunt, with the opening lyric being “I’ve been suicidal,” but honesty and transparency is an integral part of The 1975. Moving on, ‘Wintering’ is, as the song’s title would suggest, about going home for Christmas. A short, sweet track detailing the intimacies of holiday family gatherings, Healy jokes around with playful lyrics, from “I said, “Woman, you are sixty-four years old””  to “I just came for the stuffing, / Not to argue about nothing.” This makes for an immaculate introduction into the next song, ‘Human Too,’ which delves deeper into the fallibility of human beings. It sends a strong message: we are all different in our own way, no one perfect – but we are all human.

The penultimate track of the album, ‘About You,’ is a clear ode to one of the band’s most popular songs of all time – ‘Robbers.’ Soothing the soul of any fan that has been here since the very first album, ‘About You’ feels very intimate, a song that was written for the people that have so long supported the band. It leads into the closing song of the album, ‘When We Are Together,’ which evokes a sense of community and togetherness. Ending with the same piano that the album began with, it brings us full-circle right back to where we started.

The 1975 are set to embark on a North American tour throughout November and into December, before coming back home for an early 2023 UK & European tour. As the band are well known for their intensely mesmerising visuals and exceptional stage presence, these new shows are sure to be nothing short of spectacular.


Have you listened to The 1975’s new album yet?


Sophia Di Maida


Image: ‘Being Funny In A Foreign Language’ Official Album Cover




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