With four highly acclaimed EP releases in a year, it’s about time the Manchester quintet The 1975 released a full album. Their debut is a self-titled monolith of sixteen tracks which every fervent fan has been waiting for, filled with familiar songs (‘Chocolate’ from the Music for Cars EP) and brand new poppy summer tracks.
The self-titled debut begins with a self-titled song, starting the record off with an angelic minute and a half build of synthesisters and dreamy, almost blurred, vocals. This same idea is repeated in two more short tracks in the album: ‘An Encounter’ and ’12’, serving as checkpoints almost. The synthy sound is one echoed prominantly throughout the record, fusing together a traditional pop sound with the club anthems curently topping the charts.
‘Heart Out’ marks the halfway point of the record and exudes a very 80’s sound with the welcome addition of a saxophone solo. The lyrics follow The 1975’s niche of being able to write songs for their generation, who also just so happen to be the majority of their fans, creating a hormone-driven bond of music and words with lines such as “It’s just you and I tonight/Why don’t you figure my heart out?”.
‘Girls’ is a song which could easily be found blasting out of the radio on a perfect summer drive, with an infectious beat reminiscent of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’, but with lead singer Matt Healy singing out lyrics such as “They’re just girls breaking hearts” and “I know you’re looking for salvation in the secular age, but girl I’m not your saviour”, the song tells a story of up and down relationships which are dismissed as being so “Because they’re just girls”.
The muted guitar and drums in ‘Menswear’ make you sit up and take notice immediately, as most songs on the record start bright and sunny and continue in the same fashion, but this is the first chance in the record to see how the band handles a slower pace. Which, it turns out, is rather well. By having over a minute and a half of the quieter sound before the vocals drop, it gives time to create a new, calmer atmosphere in contrast with the energetic songs that precede it.
‘Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You?’ closes the debut. Another slower paced song, but more of a ballad with smooth vocals and gentle piano, ends the record on a calm, relaxed note compared to the fast-paced, synthy pop songs from the beginning. This versatility shows The 1975 have their hand in many cookie jars and are really one to watch out for.
While the album is most certainly perfect for the last of the summer days we’re basking in right now, sixteen tracks could be seen as a touch too many. But that’s not gonna stop The 1975 from playing loud and proud, which they have every right to be.