Tuesday 27 August 2013

Album Review: The 1975 | The 1975

01. The 1975 // 02. The City // 03. M.O.N.E.Y. // 04. Chocolate // 05. Sex // 06. Talk! // 
07. An Encounter // 08. Heart Out // 09. Settle Down // 10. Robbers // 11. Girls // 12. 12 //
13. She Way Out // 14. Menswear // 15. Pressure // 16. Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You

My first experience of The 1975 wasn't this year when they almost instantaneously broke on to the scene but more than 2 years previous when they went by the name The Big Sleep. Creating a buzz with their single Sex they shortly disappeared from the airwaves and quite frankly I was left empty and disappointed. A band with such promising talent gone for good. Or so I thought. A year later I got sent over a track by 4 Mancunians going by the name The 1975 with a very familiar and distinct sound. It took me a while to put two and two together but the penny finally dropped and I realised it was the very same band. They were back, and in a very big way.

I don't think anybody at this point knew quite how things were going to pan out but as far as new bands go it's no mean feat to say The 1975 have had one of the most successful years in new music in 2013. Having already racked up tour support slots with Muse, The Rolling Stones and The Neighbourhood the band have exploded on to the scene with their fully fledged anthemic Indie-Pop songs. With an up and coming UK tour already selling out fast we wonder just how far their success can take them. September 2nd will see the release of their achingly raw and autobiographical self-titled debut, something that's been a long time coming. I guess the question everybody wants to ask is "does it live up to its expectations". Delicate, unfathomably beautiful and entangled with desolation, this album has become everything you would have expected from The 1975 and more. A truly timeless classic.

Setting the tone early on is its opener The 1975. So that's The 1975's The 1975 off the album 'The 1975'. I wouldn't want to explain that to anyone whilst drunk. As you're eased in upon silky smooth synths and reverberated vocals you're quickly thrown in to the hard hitting percussion of The City. Its infectious chorus digs deep in to your subconscious. With soaring synths and gritty guitars you can't help but nod along to the big sound it creates.

Whilst its title sounds like something you might find amongst Wu Tang Clan's back catalogue M.O.N.E.Y. presents itself as a heartwarming RnB jam, a constant switch up on vocal styles demonstrate the bands undeniable and truly fantastic diversity whilst singles like Chocolate and Sex need no explaining. Released earlier in the year on the their brilliantly received 'Music For Cars' and 'Sex' EP's they've amassed constant Radio 1 play that's continued to push them from strength to strength, creating some seriously delicious and mouthwatering melodies along the way.

Taking the album down a new road of enlightenment, In an almost unpredictable manner through jittering synths and jagged basslines Talk! provides a highly interesting listen. Quickly settling down to Matthew Healy's soothing vocals belting out "Why'd you talk so loud, Why'd you talk so" the track instantly becomes another rhythmic favourite as its melodies sway side to side. As it fades out on a ripple of synths we're quickly brought in to the instrumental interlude that is An Encounter before being caught out by Heart Out's high energy. Its clean and polished sound makes for a straight edged radio friendly pop song as Healy's sunshine vocals slice through the 80's inspired synths, breaking away before re-emerging with added saxophone. 

Loosing the barrage of synths for Settle Down The 1975 manage to create one of their funnest tracks to date. Bursting at the seems with clear-cut jangly guitars and their signature percussion styles they manage to warm the depths of even the coldest of hearts as they divulge their stories of romance. As the band slow down the pace on Robbers we get a reflection we haven't seen thus far on the record. A sentimental approach over glimmering arpeggiated synths sees an ever expanding chorus as we get to experience the heartfelt emotions in Healy's vocals through his anguished squeals. Funky, rhythmic and all the time lovable.

As they switch up their styles once more to keep things fresh Girls goes a long way at incorporating an 80's style TV theme tune in to its opening arrangement. Challenging and profound in detail it demonstrates Healy's vocal ability to its bestest efforts yet. Another joyous uplifting melody packed anthem with their signature quick fire guitars and choruses is presented before it's 80's inspired basslines melt away in to a rather unimaginatively titled track 12. Another instrumental interlude with hazy reverberated vocals, the transcribing of Sigur Ros/Boards of Canada influenced ambience in to their music pushes their diversity even further.

As the energy falls a little on She Way Out through it's repetitive nature it still remains a strong track and even more so in a live setting thinking back to when I saw the band play Bristol's Exchange back in January. It's clear by this point the band have a strong influence in RnB as more plinky rhythmic synths create a spellbinding intro to Menswear. With big hitting synthesised bass drums echoing across the sparse opening the track blossoms almost instantaneously to life with even more teenage angst filled lyrics. As the slinky synths fade away we become welcomed with the albums penultimate track Pressure. Creating forever lovable jazzed up guitars and rhythms become almost second nature to the band as they blend in subtle brass sections to create an all-round sexiness. With a signature sound so defined as The 1975's one could easily fall in to the lackadaisical camp for creating stale melodies and harmonic influxes yet they they manage to stay well clear of this image.

Having seen the band's ability in creating sentimental and heart-rendering pieces of music in their covers of Chris Malinchak's So Good To Me and their acoustic version of Sex it seemed only fitting that they end the album on the devastatingly beautiful Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You. A solemn and lonesome piano ballad showcasing the bands unique ability at translating a multitude of playing styles across a broad section of an album. This touching and quite frankly spine tingling ending is more than enough to make even the sternest of soles stop in their tracks.

This ain't no 10 track album of filler. It's 16 tracks of pure indulgence. An album that will no doubt stand the test of time and showcase the band for what they really are; Four outstanding musicians from Manchester coming together to reform a compelling and refreshing outlook on the modern day Pop Record.

You can Pre-Order the album at the following links. 


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