// NOTES ON A CONDITIONAL FORM // – First Listen Thoughts && Feelings on The 1975’s New Album.

Stream of consciousness as I dissect this album, track by track. I do not necessarily still hold these opinions as I sit with the album, but these thoughts are honest and insightful to the moment and context it was released in to someone who has closely followed the band since 2013.

THE 1975

OBVIOUSLY, Greta’s essay does not hit as hard as it used to because of the COVID-19 pandemic and people are dying literally right in front of us. Climate change has taken a bit of a back seat. Glad this single was released way earlier where it made such a larger impact. 

PEOPLE

Love how Greta’s call to action leads into People though, love the opening being a WAKE UP call to action, sets the tone that this an album meant to Wake You Up, this is not easy listening. Great song, was one of the singles so was bopping to it for a MINUTE already. Within the context of the album though, Loved how Matty made a call to action though a truly awesome- break-down-the-walls song like People. He has broken down his argument before about why it was important to wrap important issues into something beautiful, something people will actually want to listen to, such as a great rock song from a massive band. Folding it into the earliest part of the album really set the stage for the rest of the journey the album will take you on and makes the listener realize they need to FUCKING LISTEN to the rest of the album closely. This isn’t easy listening. Pay attention. 

THE END (MUSIC FOR CARS)

Perfect palette cleanser, call back to OG the 1975 aesthetic and sound. Huge wave of nostalgia, feels so momentous and I’m so excited to hear the rest of this album. Lets the listener digest what they heard from the heavily messaged first two tracks, and prep for the next.

FRAIL STATE OF MIND

Fucking great, fucking class song. Was a single so already knew every word.

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY

The Birthday Party seems to be in the same vein. Both are excellent hypnotic, personal  stand alone songs. Matty sets the stage so intrapersonally because he is letting us know where he is coming from, he is letting us know who you are talking to. A depressed pop star, overwhelmingly clever with words that are exceedingly honest and well-intentioned. He spells out specific people and places he has been to and things that have happened to him and bits of observations and reflections he’s had on himself and his surroundings. It’s a beautiful way to set the stage. Masterful. He makes me want to listen to him and his “ideas” as he puts it in an ethical dilemma, because I like and care about him, as a person, and I feel like I know him better now, even if I was just a casual listener and did not know anything about Matty or The 1975 prior to this album. These singles are giving us context.

YEAH I KNOW

lets you digest what you just heard. It leaves a space for conversation. It feels like a palette cleanser from some heavy shit Matty Healy just spit at you so you’re ready for the rest of the album. He really is not about a passive listener. He’s assuming you’re actively engaged and on the end of your seat listening to him. I love that sense of narcissism, of self-importance. And he’s right. He better fucking believe and think what he says is important or else how will anyone else? Be sure your message is one of life and death my dude. I love the self importance in being sure about his message 

THEN BECAUSE SHE GOES

This is trash. Enough with the early 2000’s airy aesthetic. This was always just a little mini trend. Vocals are weak and forgettable.

JESUS CHRIST 2005 GOD BLESS AMERICA – I mean I guess. Existed as a single so I’ve already heard it. Am already obsessed with Phoebe Bridgers. A Fine Song. if it had been released by any other no name artist, would not have really taken off, but will get a lot of plays and attention bc of the massiveness of the people who wrote it. Nice song.

ROADKILL

okay instantly we’re upping our attitudes with this, NICE. This opening is fucking great. BIGGEST smile on my face when I heard the Robbers throw back lyrics. Love how it’s been nearly ten years and he’s still acknowledging you never, ever stop growing. Old sentiments reframed. There’s a little bit of the sneak adage of 2000’s aesthetic sounds that is the only element I don’t like. This song is fucking great. I can’t wait to listen to it for a second time. I can’t wait to dance to this in the pit. I can’t wait to scream these fucking lyrics with my friends. I’m so fucking happy right now. This is what I was waiting to hear, a brand new song from my favorite band that fucking slaps.

ME AND YOU TOGETHER SONG

Love how the album is escalating right now. I love an upbeat love song. This one feels light. I want to go for a walk, it’s beautiful outside and the sun is shining. “I’ve been in love with you for ages” is such a beautiful sentiment. I love it, I love it, I love it. Listened to it once when it was a single and was like :/ but within this context I am really enjoying it in this light.

I THINK THERE’S SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW

Although it’s lyrically easy to hear, sonically it is choppy and extra. I love how it jumps so easily, like an EDM dj or something transitioning songs when you’re out with your friends. Just got to three minutes in and I’m hit in the face with “please ignore me, I’m just feeling sorry for myself.”

“I think there’s someplace I should go” stacked on top of lines about mental health and sadness is one of the most earnest things I’ve heard in a long time. The act of admitting to oneself that you need help, or just fucking telling someone that you need help, Jesus Christ does that carry weight. Jesus Christ. Going from extreme highs of having fun and being in love to now riding the fall from that climax by the realization that you’re still not happy, that your brain is still broken, that all those underlying causations of your issues are still fucking there? I love this. Conveyed in such a small amount of words. I think there’s something you should know. Letting someone the fuck in, now that’s scary and honest. SincerityIsScary.jpg. And all of this in a chaotic ass bop? That’s how it is. That’s really how it be sometimes. Voice full of soft conviction. Beat and noise crawling all over it. Wow. 

-NOTHING REVEALED / EVERYTHING DENIED

-I love the piano intro, if only to know I hope it builds to something. This is such a great transition. I feel the sense of a story building. Stream of consciousness rapping? Dope, although it doesn’t SOUND good. Anyway I don’t really connect with this song. I’ve already heard matty healy talk extensively about everything he spells out for the listener on this track so maybe tha’ts why I am bored with it. Spirituality aspect – “Is there anybody out there”- Also not really something I’m interested in. Don’t really like this song. Heard everything he’s said in the lyrics before, and sonically isn’t that great.

TONIGHT I WISH I WAS YOUR BOY

okay kind of a bop . I’ll have to listen again. I keep thinking this’ll be a great song to put on in the background while I paint or kick it with my friends. Love the emotion it evokes. Otherwise I’m just a little sick of boring vocals from Matty. Like where is the conviction, the crisp clear words. I can barely understand what he is saying. You think someone so obsessed with being clear about a message of importance would idk, enunciate. Maybe I’m just waiting for another absolute BANGER like roadkill to pop up.

SHINY COLLARBONE

no one asked for this but okay. Some house music. Do it if you’d like. I’m going to listen to this once probably. Sounds like something they’d play during a cliche high fashion runway scene in devil wears Prada or something. Very cinematic I guess. Idk I don’t think this was worth putting on the album. If you wanna make shit like this then go make it for movies or do it separate. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the album and isn’t stand-alone good enough. When the beat starts to break down it’s like knee-jerk oh cool! But like any fucking song can and does do that. Idk not a good enough reason to just throw it on the album though. Unless he’s like PaLletTE CLEanSEr again. Idk this should’ve been cut in my opinion. 

IF YOU’RE TOO SHY

This was a single, so I’ve known of it’s status as TOTAL BOP for a minute. I’ll dance to this shit until I’m 85, case closed, points made. I’m in love with the opening line “I see her online all the time” it just flows so well and he sings it so clearly and with such conviction. Boy enunciates for once!

PLAYING ON MY MIND

I love the phrase “playing on my mind”. It makes sense. Idk this song has not enraptured me. I am bored. Boring vocals, boring acoustic guitar. Idk like what the fuck is this? It’s not good. I want to skip. I find myself listening hard to the lyrics now to find meaning to make this worth the listen. This would be a throw away song to any other musician, especially an unknown artist. Like imagine if you just wrote this song sat up in your bedroom and put it on Spotify. No one would care, no one would listen, it’s not good enough to merit notice. But because it’s on a the 1975 record it’s going to be given loads of attention it does not deserve. Idk so glad this one is over, maybe I’ll be in the mood to listen to it later when it comes on shuffle and I’m just painting by myself but for now I’m like WE DESERVE BETTER THAN MEDIOCRE MOOD-SETTING MUSIC. this record was way too long still christ.

HAVING NO HEAD 

So beautiful. I wonder if this instrumental was worth it though. Another song to throw on the shuffle I guess. Again, too many songs. This was too massive of an undertaking and it doesn’t really work with the random immersive house tracks… if they had their heart set on releasing it should have been on a separate project. smushed into this album was just not it. Dampens the massiveness of it. If you’re going to just do an instrumental track for the sake of making a cool beat, then make it worth it because all it does is detract from the larger ideas and conversation that Matthew started with his listeners. 

WHAT SHOULD I SAY

This song is great. It sounds different from the rest of the tracks obviously, and would have possibly been a contender to be on a different project they did, but the lyrics are tying it back to messaging and saying something. I hear the emotion in this one. A great song. I’m still trying to see how this album fits together in a world where they’re clearly playing so much with genre. Right now it’s not working and all this extra shit is just weighing down some great music and ideas Matthew is presenting. This feels like a rough draft almost. Trim the fat, as they say. There’s just too much that doesn’t say enough. If you’re going to make people listen you better have something prepared worth listening to. Make some tough editing choices.

BAGSY NOT IN NET

too many fucking songs. TRIM IT DOWN. Should’ve been on a separate album/project. Too much stuffed into the album. Great content, poor presentation. If your ideas are really that important why were you so careless in packaging them? Not easy to consume, borderline boring and messy album that is not beautiful to listen to because of the genre jumps… idk just like the last stage of this wasn’t executed right. Should’ve been two separate albums, or done in parts. I expect a lot out of this band and when every single song on here does not absolutely slay and is WORTH listening to I am disappointed. 

DON’T WORRY

okay an honest ballad. I guess. I guess. This is beautiful and the vocals are so baller. But because of the album length I’m literally just sat waiting for this album to either be over or to say something worth grabbing my attention. And this slow, repetitive ballad is not it. Again, could work as a stand alone single (maybe. It’s not THAT good compared to what other artists ((namely female)) are putting out.) idk if this weren’t the 1975 Id be like NEXT so long ago. boring.

GUYS

more of these airy 2000’s vocals that sound like they belong in the background of an Amanda Bynes movie while she has a montage of running around with her love interest. This is sweet in sentiment! Like aww okay the band is the best thing that ever happened to you. That’s nice. Again, if this wasn’t the 1975 it wouldn’t get any plays. Boring song, not worth praising or adding to my playlist. Idk this is the last song on the album and I can confidently say I was disappointed. 

FINAL REFLECTION

I didn’t expect every song to be good but like damn. Should have cleaned it up a bit. It was too much as one album, although with time as these tracks just get added to already massive playlists, the length of the album won’t matter and the tracks existing outside the context of the album will only help. A lot of these songs were fucking bops and slayed. But a lot was not that good and was just shit they wanted to do and they just put on there because they’re the 1975 and anything they do is going to get hella plays and attention and infinitely dissected. Kind of a boring cop out to make a perfect album. Should have made one GREAT album that was worthy of the attention it would garner that really SAID SOMETHING. This album was not it, and on a personal level I do not fuck with their sound as much as I did on earlier albums. Especially Matty’s airy vocals now, like there is no conviction or clarity that makes me listen and hear him. Disliked this album as a whole overall and will be adding my favs to my playlists because at the end of the day they are still great at writing music and wrote some great tunes. They should have trimmed the fat on this. A lot of this wasn’t worth keeping, at least not on this project.  It just wasn’t.

// NOTES ON A CONDITIONAL FORM // – First Listen Thoughts && Feelings on The 1975’s New Album.

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