When trying to think of a way to categorize The 1975 to a genre of music, I found it nearly impossible. Of course, the very sound of the name of an unfamiliar band can automatically throw it into the quasi-genre of “music that only hipsters listen to because they’re too proud of themselves to listen to songs that are actually good,” but unfortunately for the haters, The 1975 pleases its audiences in nearly every way. At times they invoke the New York City toughness of The Strokes combined with U2, while at other times they can embody the raunchiness and sleaze of 80s dance bands such as INXS. The 1975 are made up of four men from London, England, who burst onto the scene three years ago with their self-titled album. After their unexpected success with their second album, “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It,” The 1975 have truly created a sound of their own. They have begun to find their own voice while still playing homage to those who have inspired them.
The first song that truly caught my attention was the tight groove of “Love Me.” The guitar plays a repeating riff that connects itself with the drums and bass interchangeably. The track truly comes alive when the guitar solo begins; it immediately announces itself on the scene with a strong, powerful opening that builds upon the foundation the rhythm section builds. The lyrics discuss the superficiality of internet fame and says in no uncertain terms that being a public figure is not always as glamorous as it sometimes appears to be. The true star here however is the bass playing. The melody of the bass plays along with the vocal melody for most of the song, but during the end of the song, it morphs into its own beautiful song.
After the decadence and excess of “Love Me” has faded away “Ugh!” begins playing through on the speakers and only serves to be even more catchy and interesting than the previous song. The groove on the song recounts a kind of futuristic James Brown riff that again finds the perfect balance of drums, bass and guitar. While there is no striking guitar solo in this song, it is just as effective when playing minimally. The next few songs go by in a whirlwind. The slow pain of lost love can be heard in “A Change of Heart,” while “She’s American” manages to be both funny and entertaining. The ultimate standout on the album comes a little over halfway through. “The Sound” swirls with gospel energy. It begins with a synthesized beat that meshes perfectly with the soulful lyrics and delivery. It brings to mind both Aretha Franklin and The Killers in the best possible way.
Basically, if you love everything, you’ll love The 1975. Trust me, you always need something new to listen to, and I recommend this with all my heart. Get into something new-to-you and let The 1975 power you through the rest of the semester.