Review Summary: Ultimately, a hit-or-miss effort by one of indie pop's most anticipated bands.
The 1975’s self-titled debut album was, in all honesty, one of my most anticipated albums of the year. Sure, I wasn’t as hyped for it as I was for say, Trouble Will Find Me
or Hesitation Marks
, but I was pretty excited to see how it would turn out. All four of the band’s EP’s released in 2012 were great, and I was curious to see if, come September, they would blow a year’s worth of hype or not. The 1975 have been a hit-or-miss band; everything they’ve done so far has been either excellent, or mediocre. Still, I hoped the best for them, and was interested to see which tracks from their numerous EPs would make it onto the album.
Obviously, the band’s two biggest hits, “Sex” and “Chocolate” are on here, and they’re actually some of the best tracks on the album. The album version of the former is actually different than the version from the Sex
EP that was released as a single. Matt Healy’s vocals are a little more nasally and whiney, and in return, the despair and emotion he showed in the original in return is replaced by him oversinging for some parts of the song. The song is still decent, just not as good as it was before. Its deep lyrics about the angst of sex with new lovers is what makes it more meaningful than other songs about putting it in. Meanwhile, the latter boasts one of the catchiest choruses in recent indie music, even if the only decipherable world that comes out of Healy’s mouth is “chocolate”. “The City” also returns redone, but unlike “Sex”, the remake improves over the original, toning down the more annoying qualities of Matt Healy’s vocals, while improving its synth riff. Although all of these are excellent songs, it’s pretty disappointing knowing that most of the album’s highlights were previously released on prior EPs.
’s main flaw, though, is the fact that it is incredibly bloated with filler tracks. With sixteen tracks and clocking in at a little over fifty minutes, the album is a little bit too long for its own good, and in result, drags on towards the end. On songs like “Talk!” or “Settle Down”, Matt Healy’s vocals suffer from him being too melodramatic, as their whininess become considerably more unappealing. “Pressure” is incredibly bland, with its only memorable part being the chorus, while closer “Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You"” ends the album on a monotonous note, mainly due to Healy’s lifeless vocal delivery. Even with all the boring tracks, perhaps the most cringe-inducing moment of the album is on “M.O.N.E.Y.”, where an electronic voice repeatedly spells out the title of the song in the bridge. It comes out of nowhere, and ruins a song that wasn't all too bad to begin with.
The album’s only other highlights that weren't released on EP’s prior are “Heart Out” and “Robbers”. Both songs contain enough energy and passion to prevent them from being lifeless, but not so much that it appears as if Healy is over-exaggerating. "Heart Out" actually has a pretty nice saxophone solo towards the end, along with a nice a capella section. It's probably the best song on the album that shows off their 80's synth-pop influences. "Robbers", meanwhile, is probably the most emotional song on the record, and that's mainly because of Healy's passionate and striking vocal performance, along with the well thought out metaphorical lyrics.
is an album that will appeal mostly to fans of their EPs. If this is your first time listening to the band, you may be taken aback by Healy's whiny vocals, the girl-appealing image of the band, or just the overall sound of their music. Most of the album's highlights have already been released, and most of the unreleased songs fall flat with either how bland or melodramatic they are. The 1975 are a band that, despite their humble beginnings, will become the next "cool" thing for teenage girls to listen to. From their mainstream indie pop sound, to the loads of Facebook pictures where girls idolize Matt Healy and call him hot, it's interesting to see just how this band will turn out in the long run.