The 1975 return to roots of love
In their fifth studio album, The 1975 delivers a compact, thematically focused pop album that remains true to the band’s foundational sound. The focus of “Being Funny In a Foreign Language” is love. It’s basic and cliché, definitely overdone, yet with this album’s stripped-back and focused approach to the topic, it works. Lead singer Matty Healy’s attitude is less cynical than in past works, resulting in an album that is chock-full of romantic and danceable songs while still containing all the emotions and some of the angst that The 1975 fans expect.
In the songs “The 1975,” “Looking For Somebody To Love,” and “Part of the Band,” producer Jack Antonoff’s signature strings, horns, and shouted background vocals provide a different sound for The 1975, and one that helps them to develop a cohesive vibe throughout This continuity is one of Antonoff’s greatest contributions, as cohesion has been something the band’s previous two albums have lacked. Resultantly, “Being Funny” is a refreshing change from the sonic and thematic chaos of The 1975’s recent work.
The band is at their best on tracks such as “About You,” which Healy described as a continuation of fan-favorite “Robbers” off their debut album. Additionally, “The 1975,” sets a strong foundation as the opening track, channeling LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” in its repetitive, layered piano.
“Being Funny In a Foreign Language” features several upbeat 80’s influenced songs that are reminiscent of their second studio album, but written with a more positive outlook. “She showed me what love is, now I’m acting like myself,” Healy sings on “Happiness,” one of many tracks on the album about the beauty of life and love. Lyrically, it’s a far cry from some of their older music, but it undoubtedly works. It’s less predictable and more concentrated than their recent songs about heartbreak and the despair of living in the digital age. They do still tap into those feelings of sadness, balancing out the album in songs such as “All I Need To Hear,” a stripped-down piano ballad, and the jazzy “Human Too.”
The instrumental approach to the album which has less electronic production and more physical instruments, adds to the liveliness of the record. The 1975 lose nothing with these changes or the positive shift in their lyricism. This album proves that although the band’s sound has strayed over the years, they know the strength of their style and remain well-deserving of their high rank in the pop world.